Letter: The real deal with the Oak Harbor Senior Center bus, program

Editor,

It is always refreshing to know people care about, and are engaged in, their community. As our membership here at the Oak Harbor Senior Center continues to grow, we have made a concerted effort to continually connect and communicate with our members.

Those who attended the annual all-member meeting in October were updated on many happenings at the center, including the travel program and bus status, and had an opportunity to ask questions and share comments.

Last year, in 2018, our robust and growing travel program saw over 1,200 sign-ups for 70 different day and overnight trips, both in state and in Canada.

Our trip prices range anywhere from $5 for a local tour to $600 for a two-night inclusive getaway to Salt Springs Island, B.C. Most trips cost $20 to $60, which includes transportation and often the entrance fee at the destination. Our travel program is sustained by a dedicated team of volunteer travel escorts who help to plan and lead the tours.

We are always looking for more travel volunteers.

Our goal is to ensure these opportunities continue to be available well into the future for older adults experiencing all levels of abilities.

This will be achieved by doing our due diligence and exploring all options for the replacement of our aging bus.

We are tasked with finding the most sustainable and affordable option for our present needs while planning for the future of our travel program.

We still own our old bus while currently working on a trial basis with a local bus company that offers ADA-compliant transportation options.

The need for socialization and cultural experiences that our travel program provides for our less mobile travelers is strongly understood, and our decisions are being made with their needs at the forefront.

Senior isolation is poised to become one of the most serious health issues faced by older Americans and has vast negative impacts on an individual’s physical and cognitive health.

We are dedicated to programming, including our travel program, that breaks down barriers and allows all with the desire to participate an opportunity to age well in Oak Harbor.

As always, I invite anyone who has specific questions or concerns to reach out to me directly. I can be reached by email at LLange@oakharbor.org, by phone at 360-279-4581, or by stopping in at the Center at 51 S.E. Jerome.

Liz Lange, administrator

Senior Services

City of Oak Harbor

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