Pam O'Brien, Partners In Care/Upper Shore
c/o Talbot County Senior Center
400 Brookletts Avenue, Easton, MD 21601
When Pam isn't in her garden, you can find her on the phone or around town making "matches" between people requesting services and people offering services. It's all part of the give-and-take reciprocity that is the foundation of Partners In Care's time-exchange program.
Quality Health Foundation (QHF), the charitable branch of Quality Health Strategies (QHS), recently awarded $20,000 to Partners In Care Maryland for its Ride Partners transportation program.
QHF awarded grants totaling $350,200 to ten organizations across the State of Maryland that support local healthcare-related quality improvement efforts. Since 2006, Quality Health Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $2.65 million to 49 organizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia. This year’s awardees were selected from approximately 45 charitable, not-for-profit applicants. Funding decisions were determined by a project’s potential to impact access to quality healthcare and human services, particularly among area underserved populations.
Read Pam's article in the Spring 2013 issue of The Exchange:
At a social function I recently attended the subject of Partners In Care came up. A former law enforcement officer asked “who” we are driving. I gave him an idea of the demographics of our members. He asked, “Did you know the average age of Talbot County drivers involved in accidents is 65 years of age?” He said, “Teenagers are not the real problem, it’s older folks who don’t see as well as they used to or react as quickly as they may have in the past.” I wasn’t surprised given that nearly 25% of the population in this county is 65 and older.
Many of the calls we receive are from older adults who are choosing to give up driving, or from their adult children who are encouraging them to give up driving.
Sometimes we help people ease into the difficult transition of giving up driving by initially just taking them to eye doctors, then later adding on other appointments. Once they make that connection and realize we are neighbor-helping-neighbor and not a way for their families to take away their independence they look forward to riding with us. Our members have formed lasting friendships and look forward to seeing each other.
A difficult thing about aging in Talbot County is that so many of our older adults don’t have family here and may not be aware of some mild dementia or increase in the severity of arthritis or other underlying health problems that can affect their driving. People ask about what our membership entails, and they are always pleasantly surprised we are not an impersonal agency and that we don’t have rigid criteria. We are good neighbors who care and share. Please pass the word...