My Mom used to say that, “age is a state of mind.” Her sentiment being that while the physical body ages, the mind and lively spirit of the individual does not have to. I can recall the boisterous laughing and sarcasm of my Grandmother, and the look on my Great-Grandmother’s face when she went for a ride on an ATV in her 90’s. Age does not have to limit our motivation for social interactions and adventures.
However, there are times when the reality of ageing clashes against the “young at heart” ideology. As we advance in age and experience, we may find our eyesight is not as sharp as it once was, or our bodies do not move in quite the same way. It is in these times when a little help or support is needed from others to help us accomplish the goals our mind and soul have that our body cannot help us carry out. It is at this stage of life when a service like that which ITNAmerica provides, becomes invaluable.
Katherine Freund created ITNAmerica when an 84 year-old-driver injured her three-year-old son. She became burdened by the realization that there was not an organization or structure available to meet the needs of senior adults who required transportation assistance. From this experience, Freund decided to find a way to meet the unmet need. As a result, ITNAmerica was born, standing for “Independent Transportation Network of America.” Today, this service boasts 13 affiliates with services available in 12 states, including Missouri. Furthermore, ITNStCharles has a home in our own backyard.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, those 65 and older and/or adults with visual impairments in the St. Charles area, can call on the trained drivers of ITNStCharles for a ride, regardless of the specific need for the ride.
49% of individuals utilizing ITNStCharles still retain a drivers license, but opt to use the services of ITNStCharles regardless. For an annual membership fee of $50 for a single person and $75 for a family membership, individuals can take advantage of this service for less than it would cost to get a taxi.
Individuals do not even have to worry about counting out money in the car. When they pay their membership fee, they pre-fund an account for this service and will receive a statement every month detailing the expenses deducted. In addition, ITNStCharles goes above and beyond, offering physical assistance to and from the vehicle and assistance with purchased goods if needed. There are other perks available for ITNStCharles customers. Participating customers can also expect a $5 credit on their birthday. Tips are unnecessary, and there are even discounts available if rides are booked in advance or if rides are shared.
Furthermore, should a senior decide to become an ITNStCharles volunteer driver, this individual could earn ride credits for use with ITN and affiliates. Ride credits can also be earned should the participant decide to forgo vehicle ownership; his or her car may be traded in for ride credits with ITNStCharles. If a senior adult is unable to volunteer or afford the service, ITNStCharles offers the Road Scholarship Program. While 46% of ITN customers have an annual income of less than $25,000,
lower income seniors can apply for this program and potentially receive services at little or no cost.
ITNStCharles is a realistic and helpful alternative for senior citizens and visually impaired adults who desire to stay active and mobile without the hassle of ubers, taxi fair, family rides, or bus transportation.
While ITNStCharles is not the fountain of youth, it is an organization brimming with possibilities and opportunity to keep the youthful spirit alive with dignity and heartfelt care. For more information, ITNStCharles can be reached at: