LOWELL– Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore has received a 2020 Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) for its CareRide program, an on-demand transportation initiative that provides subsidized rides to non-emergency medical appointments for adults age 60 and over in the Greater Lowell area. The awards program is supported by Centene. CareRide was among 44 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Virtual Conference & Tradeshow on September 22.
The 2020 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes n4a’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging program members that develop and implement pioneering approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.
With funding provided by Lowell General Hospital, the referral based CareRide program launched in June 2019. Since then, it has already provided more than 800 rides for consumers to doctors’ appointments, dialysis and chemotherapy treatments.
“Safe and affordable transportation is fundamental to the creation of healthy, age friendly communities,” said Jennifer Raymond, ESMV-NS’ chief strategy officer and director of its Healthy Living Center of Excellence. “Programs like CareRide cut down on missed or delayed medical appointments, provide access to specialized care, and allow individuals to more fully participate in effectively managing their own health, which has been especially important during the pandemic.”
The 2020 n4a Aging Achievement Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories including Advocacy, Agency Operations, Caregiving, Community Planning & Livable Communities, Diversity & Cultural Competency, Economic Security, Elder Abuse Prevention, Health-LTSS Integration, Healthy Aging, Housing, Nutrition, Social Engagement and Transportation & Mobility. All winners are showcased in the n4a 2020 AIA Awards Book.
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore is a private nonprofit servicing 28 cities and towns in northeastern Massachusetts. We are a federally designated Area Agency on Aging and a state-designated Aging Services Access Point. We serve more than 38,000 people annually from age 3 and up, with a focus on older and disabled adults and their families.
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) represents the 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) across the country and is a champion in our nation’s capital for the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs. n4a’s primary mission is to build the capacity of our members so they
can help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Visit www.n4a.org