Stranded by Dial-A-Ride

Dear Editor:This letter is to file a major complaint against the city of Downey and its Dial-A-Ride service. Three times in the past month this service has left me stranded, with no ride or transportation home. I am 74 years old, on oxygen 24/7, have two metal knees which do not work very well and two disintegrating discs in my lower back. I also have macular degeneration. I do not drive because I am a danger to myself and all others on the road. This is why I am forced to use the dial-a-ride service. After being stranded yesterday and my oxygen tank running out of oxygen - almost sending me into cardiac arrest - I am so traumatized I am afraid to use this service any longer. There may be certain rules that must be maintained, but to leave an almost-blind elderly person stranded without making any effort to see that some kind of transportation is provided is inhumane and totally unacceptable. I am so traumatized, I have triple-locked my doors, set the alarm and am afraid of going outside and trusting anyone. I am even afraid to go to my doctor visits anymore because of the constant fear of being stranded again. I am on a fixed income and cannot afford a taxi. My daughter is on SSI with a walker and does not drive either. I was lucky yesterday in that a senior citizen that does drive was kind enough to take me home and I was able to get oxygen from the spare tank I keep at home. I am really traumatized and now live in total fear of the Dial-A-Ride service. Fear of being stranded again. Next time I may not be as lucky. When my oxygen is gone, my chest feels like an elephant is sitting on it and my heart rate starts to accelerate. When receiving oxygen I can do some things for myself such as go to the doctor and even some minimal shopping. I will no longer be doing these things for fear of being stranded by this transportation service. I feel everyone should know that the city of Downey has total disregard for its senior citizens and their well-being. that the people they have running and working for Dial-A-Ride has no compassion for the safety of the elderly. They have no respect for human welfare. Genevieve Edwards Downey

********** Published: November 15, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 31