NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Many Nashville seniors can no longer drive, so quick trips to the grocery store or the bank can become big ordeals. Now, new non-profit Senior Ride Nashville is helping the homebound.
Molly says she loved the open road.
"Oh I love driving. I loved it," said Molly. "I have what’s called spinal stenosis, a numbness in my feet."
So after years of independence, Molly was suddenly stuck.
"I can sell my home and go into an assisted living facility or I could pray and ask for a miracle which is what I was doing when I heard about Senior Ride [Nashville]."
Senior Ride Nashville is a new non-profit that helps connect volunteers to non-drivers like Molly.
CEO Carrie Brumfield says Nashville is a car-centric city.
"And many of us take for granted our ability to just get in the car and go where we need to go," she said.
Brumfield says life continues, long after losing a license.
"Studies show that older adults typically live six to 10 years after they lose the ability to drive. Without access to the community, without that means for transportation you don’t have ways to get to medical appointments, to the grocery store," she said.
At first, some seniors are skeptical of strangers. But soon, friendships are formed.
"[The volunteer driver] was really nice so I called about a week later and got another ride," Molly said.
"Our drivers tell us they really enjoy the opportunity not only because they get to meet wonderful people like Molly and spend some time with her, but because of the flexibility in scheduling," said Brumfield.
Senior Ride Nashville has just expanded to the West Nashville community. They now cover Bellevue, Madison, Donelson, Old Hickory and Hermitage. They are looking for more drivers and hope to grow to East Nashville soon.
The rides are affordable ($6/round trip which can be up to 3-hours and 2-stops).