Senior column: The solution to your transportation needs

Senior sense 

I do not believe that Island seniors are fully aware of all the benefits available to them here. 

According to Senior Center Director Laurie Fanelli if you are 60 years old or over there are many transportation services available.

If you are in need of transportation, you can make arrangements to be driven to non-emergency health related appointments such as visits to physicians, dentists and physical therapists. Senior services will also drive to the FIT center, the Dinner Bell and activities at the Senior Center like afternoon movies. 

The senior services will drive to appointments as far as Riverhead. Just call the center at 631-749-1059 to book an appointment to assure a volunteer driver. I learned that Senior Services will provide a car or wheelchair accessible van. But they do insist that the wheelchair-bound individuals have an aide or caregiver accompany them in the van. 

It’s good to point out that there are no fees for these services. The only money that is required is to pay the ferry toll if going off Island.

In other senior transportation matters, every Tuesday a volunteer will take seniors who need it to go food shopping at the IGA, go to either of the Island banks and post offices. or visit the library. If you are interested in taking advantage of any of these services, call the center to set up a ride. Individuals are typically picked up at about 10 am.

This transportation is  free. Laurie Fanelli also pointed out to me that  eye testing that meets Department of Motor Vehicle standards is available at the Shelter Island Pharmacy and through the Shelter Island School Nurse. So if you want to avoid long lines at the motor vehicle office, call the pharmacy at 631-749-0445 or the school nurse’s office at 631-749-0302, ext. 129 to make an appointment. This is a good way to avoid those long lines.

Readers may recall that in last week’s column I said I’d report on my progress with my sleep patterns. So far I have been able to put off dinner and spend time after dinner on a project. This has been helping and I have been able to stay awake until  a little after 10 p.m. So I am getting up at 6 a.m. It’s a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile  the other day I picked up a copy of the Nutrition Action Healthletter, which has some nuggets I thought I’d pass on. 

Apparently you can’t go wrong with sweet potatoes. They are described as “nutritional superstars” that are a good source of potassium and fiber. Another source of potassium and fiber along with a day’s worth of vitamin C are mangoes. Of course broccoli is on the list along with wild salmon which helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes because it’s loaded with omega-3 fats.

Another expected member of the healthy food list is oatmeal with its cholesterol lowering qualities. Chick peas are also very versatile because they are rich in good items like protein, fiber, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

It’s also noted that watermelon is right up there in the good nutrient department. A standard serving which is about two cups has vitamins A and C and good dose of potassium along with lycopene. And this is all with few calories.

Then there are the leafy greens which the health letter calls powerhouses-kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens and Swiss chard. They are full of vitamins A,C and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and fiber.

So take a break from bacon and eggs, cold cut sandwiches and heavily salted soups and alternate with some healthy choices.