Dave McClurg and other volunteer transport drivers recently were trained in using the “easy pull” system in the new handicap accessible van. That same day, Dave made a trip with an elder to the hospital. The van uses a seatbelt webbing which is attached to the wheelchair to load and unload the elder in the wheelchair. The advantage of this system is people do not have to rely on their own strength to load or unload the wheelchair and person; an electric pulley fixed inside the van does the work. Dave said it takes some time to get comfortable with it, but the safety advantages are clear both for the person in the wheelchair and the operator.
With access to PPE, vaccinations, and rapid testing across Ohio, MHCO has been able to restart several volunteer programs. The transport program was one of the first. Dave has made close to 30 trips a month using the van and the 15-passenger bus. While drivers prefer to use the van, we are seeing an increase in appointments, so we often use the van and bus for multiple trips the same day. While our volunteer drivers are doing a great job, it would be helpful to have a few more volunteer drivers as people are starting to make their own travel plans. Betsi Werling, MMH Administrative Assistant does most of the scheduling and shared we could especially use some more volunteers comfortable driving the 15-passenger bus. Transports are typically made to local doctors’ offices or hospitals in Bluffton and Pandora, Findlay, or Lima although it all depends on where the resident has their appointment. Dave and his wife Barb share, “It is really a good way to meet and visit with older adults in our community.” If you would like to volunteer in supporting this or another program at MHCO please call 419-358-1015 and ask for Chris Moser at ext 263.