The “golden years” are another road to travel on the journey of life. But on this venture we may encounter some roadblocks or detours. A major one is running into a health issue.

Some of us “golden agers,” because of a health issue, may have to retire from driving. When this decision is made, we immediately are consumed with fear. Fear of giving up our independence. How are we going to get to appointments, run our errands or just take a drive to the ocean?

For me, I never had a license because of an eye problem. My husband drove until he was diagnosed with a progressive neurological disorder that caused him to no longer be able to drive. The above questions became my reality. My friend told me about ITN (Independent Transportation Network). ITNPortland, located in Westbrook, offers rides to seniors and the visually impaired within a 15-mile radius of Portland at an affordable rate.

It has now been five years, and from my very first ride with ITN and continuing to the present, ITN has been there for me. Everyone is kind, courteous, reliable and professional. The drivers assist you, lend you their arm from your door to the inside of where you are going.

We all have enough stress in our lives; we do not need transportation added to the mix. ITN saves me from worrying about who I can ask to take me to my appointments. I always have a ride with ITN. I am pleased and proud to say that I am on its board of directors in the capacity as secretary. I love being a part of ITN and helping it to continue to provide transportation that seniors and the visually impaired need.

Helping seniors stay independent by providing reliable transportation is very important. ITN, thank you. May God bless you to continue this much-needed service.

Patty Fortula-Kohn

South Portland

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