Rides will be offered to IRIS events like this one.                                 (Submitted photo)

Rides will be offered to IRIS events like this one. (Submitted photo)

New program offering rides for Castlegar seniors

IRIS has started a transportation assistance program for seniors.

Seniors around Castlegar have a new option for transportation assistance.

The new service is being organized by IRIS (Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors).

IRIS already offers free events for seniors in Castlegar including meals, coffee gatherings, lunch and learn activities, cook and share projects and exercise classes.

Seniors advocate Sandy McCreight said she’s been hearing from seniors about problems accessing transportation for many years.

RELATED: Castlegar IRIS Project seeks to connect seniors

“There are never enough options and opportunities for people to get rides,” said McCreight. “Even if you can afford taxis, there is limited availability.”

She also says many seniors have difficulty walking to bus stops.

“It’s just one more barrier to transportation.”

The rides will given by a skilled and trained paid outreach worker. Right now, there is just one driver, but IRIS is hoping to gain more funding to expand the service.

The program is going to focus on areas that other programs don’t cover, such as trips to the grocery store, pharmacy and IRIS events. Since there is already a volunteer driver program in the area that covers medical trips, doctor visits will not be a priority.

To use the service you must first register for the program and go through a screening process.

There is a $5 minimum donation per client per day.

For more information contact McCreight at 250-608-0706 or castlegarcrn@hotmail.com.