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Special Years Plus gives seniors a ride

SELMA — For elderly Selma residents who are not able to drive to doctor’s appointments, need a referral for a doctor, have difficulty shopping in the grocery store or need attention during the day, Special Years Plus offers services to remedy these concerns.

“I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have to go to the doctor, someone from the office can drive the car,” said Yvonne Hatcher of the center. “If there’s an elderly couple living at home getting Medicaid assistance, they may not be able to drive a car, or even have a car.”

Some people may also qualify for food or personal items in addition to transportation assistance.

The program also makes house calls to ensure that people are eating and not isolated, whether patients are disabled or elderly, and people from the program will spend an afternoon with a family member so the caregiver can have some time to themselves.

“They can come back into the home without worrying if that family member was secure that they left behind,” Hatcher said.

Little funding is given to the program, but the program tries to help as many people as possible with the money.

“The funds are so very much needed for our area,” Hatcher said. “If those who have are having trouble, think about those who do not have.”

Each month, the money given from the United Way helps six to eight people. Although the United Way donates $1,000 a year, about $80 a month, the program is not able to help as many people as Hatcher would like.

“The amount is a big number if you’re one of those eight helped,” Hatcher said. “Some person out there really can use the money.”

The agency is one of the newest in the Selma area, according to Jeff Cothran, executive director of the Selma and Dallas County United Way.

“They do all this for the elderly, helping them out in getting groceries, caring for them in their homes,” Cothran said. “Even if we don’t fund them much.”

Hatcher asked members of the community to call friends and family members who may need a little help.

“If the whole community works together, we can meet more of the needs. “Even if you do not have funds to help the elderly in their daily activities, give them a call to let them know they are not forgotten.”