BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — The new year is starting out great for senior citizens in Bossier Parish.
The Bossier Council on Aging recently was awarded a grant from the CHRISTUS Foundation that will allow the agency to provide free medical transportation.
“A lot of our seniors, sometimes when they are having to go to (a) doctor’s appointment, we do charge a small fee for that,” BCOA Executive Director Tamara Crane said. “So now this is going to allow them to not have to pay that fee to us.”
The service will allow senior citizens to save that money and use it for their other needs, she added.
The grant will allow the organization to provide around 1,200 to 1,300 rides; that will last around six to eight months.
Drivers will take senior citizens to any medical facility in Bossier Parish and in Shreveport.
Last year, Crane said, they provided more than 5,000 medical transportation rides to senior citizens throughout Bossier Parish.
“Bossier Parish is a rural parish; and sometimes driving far for seniors can be trying on them. And that does lead to higher hospital readmission rates or visits to the ER (emergency room)," she said. “That’s all dollars that come back out of our Medicare and Medicaid pots.”
Gloria Kerry, a senior citizen who uses the Council on Aging’s transportation services, said the rides to her medical appointments have been very beneficial, especially since her daughter can’t always drive her.
“She can’t take off every time I have to go. I have this transportation that picks me up and brings me back and it’s wonderful.”
Kerry said she hopes to give back to the organization with the money she is saving from these rides.
The rides are available to Bossier Parish residents age 60 or older. Those on Medicare won’t be able to use this service. They will be referred to the services provided to them through that health program.
You can call (318) 741-8302 to request a free ride.