Mobility Matters is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that provides mobility management services in Contra Costa County. Mobility Matters is facilitating collaboration and coordination between public and private transportation providers, creating a network of integrated options that primarily address the mobility needs of seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals. In addition to working with other transportation providers on their programs and services, Mobility Matters offers some programs and services directly.
In 2005, Mobility Matters added Rides for Seniors, a free, one-on-one, escorted, door-through-door, volunteer driver program to its services for ambulatory seniors residing in Contra Costa County who were unable to drive or access other forms of transportation. In this program, screened and trained volunteer drivers provide transportation in their own cars to enrolled clients. Some of these clients have infrequent rides during the year and others have rides weekly. These rides are primarily for medically related services and basic necessities, like grocery shopping.
All potential clients are provided with a telephone intake which, if they appear qualified for our Rides for Seniors program, are followed by an in-home visit to determine their ability to be safely transported by a trained volunteer driver. During this in-home visit, staff assesses the client’s need for safety and fall prevention information, assistance, equipment, as well as other needs they may have to help him or her age in place. Information and referrals to a variety of other providers and services are often made during these visits.
In 2012, our organization added a Transportation & Referral Helpline for Contra Costa seniors, and for those trying to help seniors find the right transportation provider to maintain their mobility outside the home. Beginning in 2015, this service became available to persons with disabilities, as well.
Our overall goal is to see that the programs and services we offer contribute to our clients’ primary goal, which is to age in their own homes with the support they need. We are significantly increasing our clients’ opportunities for healthy aging by providing our services to them, especially escorted rides to obtain the clinical care they need, as well as the basic necessities of life. As a result, our clients experience improved health status through access to preventative health care, medical, mental health, dental appointments, surgery, prescribed medications, and proper nutrition along with exercise. Emergency rooms are no longer their initial primary care provider, nor are they experiencing premature long-term care placement.
With our mobility management endeavor, we hope to help Contra Costa County become the transportation model that other communities will seek to emulate.