My mother and most her friends who have lived here for decades are now over 80 and many do not drive anymore. Many now require frequent treatments for kidney disease, cancer and other maladies that they must regularly go to Twin Falls for. They have no choice. The trouble is, as the population in the Wood River Valley has doubled in the last decade, there are still no transportation options between here and Twin Falls for the seniors and the sick. This is a crisis in real time now.
To date there is no regular van pool service to and from Twin, no Mountain Rides to and from Twin, no regular airport vans and, most infuriatingly, there is no St. Luke’s medical shuttle between the two medical centers here and in Twin. Shame on who? I don’t know. All have ignored the elephant in the room, it seems, while people are dying prematurely from the burden of the drive.
My mother and I decided to cut back the frequency of her dialysis treatments for now until we can figure out her transportation woes. Until then I scramble to find private caregivers and/or cab drivers to drive her down. The going rate is $225-$350 per trip three times a week, all out of pocket and nonreimbursable for all of those on Medicare up here. The current option is expensive and inefficient.
At any given day there are dozens of sick and elderly people self-driving down the very same highway at the very same time my mother does. Can we please get them a viable shuttle option? Most towns provide this basic service. We get lip service.
Michael Hamer, Laguna Beach, Calif.