National Senior Independence Month By Christine Martin, Director of Programs Community Life Bridge

February 25, 2023

February is National Senior Independence Month! It is also Spunky Old Broads Month, but we’ll
focus on independence for this article. At Community Life Bridge we love to be a part of
independent living.
Community Life Bridge provides a transportation service, Community Life Ride (CLR), for those
who are 60 years or older and who no longer drive. We are a catalyst for many in
Hendersonville to maintain their independence. One of our riders, Darla, loves her
independence and takes full advantage of the days she has been given. When I asked her what
independence means to her, she said it is being able to take charge of her own choices. One
thing that is important to her is her ability to defend herself. She does not want to feel
vulnerable, so she has taken self-defense classes and plans to take a concealed carry class.
She made the choice to be prepared in the event that she finds herself in danger. Knowing self-
defense for Darla means that she is more likely to go to the places she desires to go. She also
values her independence in being able to grow her own vegetables and flowers. This allows her
to have fresh food and beauty around her. The cost of fresh food continues to go up and
growing her own allows her to have the items she enjoys eating at her fingertips. 
When someone joins the CLR program, the door is opened for them to go to many destinations
in Sumner County. I love to hear new riders book their first ride to a place they have been
dreaming for a long time! One of our riders, Mamie, took her first ride to Olive Garden. That was
something she had missed so much while not being able to get out on her own. So, when she
had a gate to independence, that was her first stop with this new found freedom! Our volunteer
drivers take riders to many locations including medical appointments, but also to many social
destinations as well. We take riders out shopping, to our senior centers, classes at Volunteer
State, out to eat and many more locations around our community.
How do you stay independent as you age? Maintaining an active social life can be pivotal in
independence. If you are not near family, you can become more social by visiting our
Hendersonville Senior Center. You can meet others by taking classes at Volunteer State or the
library. Try out volunteering, where you can meet new people who are passionate about the
same things as you. CLR volunteers enjoy their time with our riders, both celebrating
National Senior Independence Month is the perfect time to think about any changes you may
want to make and to take charge of your choices. If you would like to be a volunteer driver or
are needing rides to help get you where you want to go, give us a call at Community Life Ride at
Article from: Hendersonville Standard Newspaper February 23, 2023 edition