Group studies Little Compton seniors' transportation needs


LITTLE COMPTON —  The Little Compton Wellness Center at 115 East Main Road, with the aid of a grant of $8,800, is undertaking the first study in memory of the transportation needs "of seniors and persons with disabilities living in Little Compton."

The four page survey, said Graeme Bell, President of the Friends of the Little Compton Wellness Center, will undertake "to identify unmet transportation needs" of a significant population in Little Compton.

According to the 2010 census, Mr. Bell said, there are 794 residents of Little Compton over the age of 65, which is about 24 percent of the town's total population. It is not known how many of those are disabled, or what additional percentage of those younger is disabled. The median age of Little Compton residents is 50.2 years old, making it "an elderly based population," Mr. Graeme said.

"Little Compton has no public transportation service," he said. "Our concern is that some residents, because of transportation challenges, are hampered in accessing programs and services available in Little Compton."

Mr. Bell said the survey is difficult to conduct. "The hardest thing for us is reaching people in need of transportation, to reach all elements of the senior population in town."

The survey is being distributed "around town via churches, senior meal and activity programs at the Little Compton Community Center, the Wellness Center, and other locations," Mr. Bell said.He estimated it would take 10-15 minutes to complete.

"With the information we gather," he said, "we hope to come up with some options for meeting the transportation needs we identify."

The survey began last week," he said, "and will continue until we have a reasonable statistical sample of the senior and disabled population in town. The more completed surveys we can gather,the better picture we will have of the senior community's transportation needs. We hope to have the survey completed by the end of November, with the results available shortly thereafter."

Grant funding was provided by the Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation.

The Little Compton Wellness Center, formerly known as the home of the Visiting Nurses, is dedicated to the health needs of the elderly, adults with disabilities, and persons with dementia.

Another organization in town, Stay at Home in Little Compton, says on its website that it is "dedicated to helping the senior citizens of Little Compton remain in their homes in safety and security for as long as possible.  The primary method we use to achieve our mission is to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date directory of services available in our community that promote this goal."

Anyone interested in participating in the transportation survey should call the Wellness Center at 401-592-0400.


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