Another kind of need

There are many kinds of need.

When it comes to helping neighbors, some people think only of economic factors. Poverty, after all, is a clear need—without the money to take care of yourself things can get difficult. Sometimes someone else has to step in to lend a hand. This is the foundation of charity, the very essence of community service.

But poverty is just one kind of need. There are other kinds. Illness, for example, can render someone incapable of taking care of themselves. Illness can be as incapacitating as poverty, stronger even, and illness knows no bias. It attacks the wealthy and the destitute, the young and the old. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if illness strikes acutely it can force the most independent person into a position of need.

Age does the same thing. Like illness, age is without bias. It comes for everyone. The strongest and most independent among us will one day bend to time.

Such inevitability means aging creates its own needs. Age-related mobility is one, something that comes regardless of income or education or social standing. The limitations that force older people to walk slowly, to move with caution and to put down the car keys are universal. If you live to old age, you will experience some or all of these. And to keep living a full life you may find yourself needing some help.

That’s why ITNs are open to everyone. Our model is based on membership, and anyone can join, regardless of income level. If you’re over 60, you’re welcome to become an ITN member. We opted against a platform built around financial need (although our Road Scholarship program offers assistance to those facing financial difficulty) because age-related mobility is everyone’s reality. Regardless of the size of your bank account, age can still leave you trapped in your home. Mobility issues don’t care about net worth, past employment or how well you saved for retirement. The accumulating years eventually land in the lap of everyone, and at some point we will all need that helping hand.  One day we lend a hand, the next, we accept it.

That’s why ITNAmerica is here, to ensure age is not an unmet need. We work to ensure age-related mobility is not a reason to become homebound. Age is inevitable. Age-related isolation doesn’t have to be.

4 thoughts on “Another kind of need

  • I am impressed and support the concept of ITN. When it became necessary for me to find transportation because of declining vision and age, I discovered that the cost of ITN participation was a barrier that pushed me to look to other options. Uber has become my cost effective backup to family and friends who provide most of my transportation needs.

    • hi, Denis Noonan

      I would like to know more about this Uber transportation you mentioned in your post.
      I never take Uber before. I have transportation to doctor office need also but sometime
      the doctor office will not release you unless there is an adult to pick you up. Does Uber
      driver do that? Your response will be appreciated.

      • Hi C. Thanks for your note. We don’t have information on Uber’s offerings, but here at ITN we offer arm-through-arm, door-through-door service. Our drivers, however, often cannot serve as the attendant required by a doctor’s office, so it is best to check with your doctor directly to see what the requirements are.

        ITN does, however, does let a caregiver accompany a member on a ride free of charge. We recognize a caregiver is a crucial part of allowing many older people to retain full mobility, so we have made that allowance.

        Lastly, be sure to check out our Rides in Sight website, which has listings of transportation services coast-to-coast. If you’re looking for a ride, this is the place to start.

    • Hi Denis. Thanks for writing. We’re glad you’ve found a solution that fits for you. Here at ITNAmerica we support all types of mobility solutions. We are in favor of any company that can help solve the challenge of senior transportation. The most important thing is your access to mobility options.

      Our model is of course very different than Uber. All ITN affiliates are nonprofit organizations, and we have innovative tools and programs to help bridge the financial challenges you mentioned. Our CarTrade program, for example, allows you to trade the car in your driveway for miles. There is also our Healthy Miles program, our Ride & Shop program, our Road Scholarship program and the volunteer credits you can earn by driving for us. And our nationwide network allows credits earned in one community or at one time to be either saved or transferred to a rider in another community. Family members from other places can support your mobility by driving in their own community. Uber is certainly a wonderful new transportation option, but there is far more to an ITN than meets the eye. Specifically designed for the needs of older people, ITNs offer a service tailored to you. Arm-through-arm, door-through-door service begins here.

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