Senior writers, senior riders

These memoir writers all take public transportation to classIn addition to moderating the Easter Seals blog, I also lead a memoir-writing class for senior citizens — it’s sponsored by the City of Chicago’s Family and Support Services and it meets right downtown. The youngest writer in class is 63, the oldest is 94. Many are widows, and most of them live alone.

Each week I assign these writers a topic, they go home, write 500-word essays, and bring them back the next week to read aloud. After weeks, months, years of hearing each other’s stories, these writers have come to know each other very well. “It’s not a therapy session,” one of them told me with a laugh. “But it sure is therapeutic.” Very few of the writers in my class own cars, and none of them drive to class. They live on Chicago’s south side, the Gold Coast, in Hyde Park, in west Rogers Park. How do they get downtown? Public transportation, of course!

An article in Metro Magazine earlier this month quotes Karen Wolf-Branigin, co-director of the National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST) on why transportation is so important to senior citizens: “Transportation is integral for older adults to be able to age in place and remain in their communities,” she said. “Since its inception, NCST has helped communities become more livable and increase their transportation options for older adults and all residents.”

The article explains that the Federal Transit Administration recently selected Easter Seals and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging to administer the National Center on Senior Transportation. NCST works to increase transportation options for older adults and enhance their ability to live more independently within communities throughout the United States. How reassuring to know my senior writers are in good hands!


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