When my mother-in-law became ill, I realized why so many people fear getting old. Daily activities can be difficult for older people who are homebound or who live alone. Many senior citizens can no longer drive, public transportation is lacking and there are too few mobile services. All told, it isn't much to look forward to.
But Ventura County is full of good people, especially volunteers, who make growing older a little easier. Here are some services that come to your home. Remember to ask businesses about seniors' discounts.
Mobile pet grooming:
A van will bring grooming services to your curb. Basic service includes clipping fur and nails, shampoo, cleaning the ears, eyes and foot pads. Flea dip is extra.
The Grooming Van in Simi Valley only accepts small dogs. The average cost for an animal that is well maintained is $20-$25. Seniors' discount is $2. (805) 522-1369.
All Breed Mobile Pet Grooming in Moorpark also serves Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Westlake Village. Small and medium dogs only. Both minimum and average price is $25. No discounts. (805) 523-7147.
The following businesses will pick up and deliver pets:
Susie's Pampered Pooch in Santa Paula accepts all breeds of dogs. They pick up and deliver at no cost for shut-in clients in Simi Valley. Grooming prices are $15 and up. Call (805) 525-3654.
Betty Reeder's Experienced Grooming welcomes all breeds of cats and dogs in the Simi Valley and Moorpark area. Free pickup and delivery for seniors plus a small discount on services. Prices start at $20 with a flea dip included. Call (805) 526-0617.
Mary's Pet Salon charges seniors $5 for pickup and delivery in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park or Agoura Hills. Grooming prices for dogs and cats start at $12. Flea dip is $3 extra. Seniors receive a 10% discount on basic grooming services. (805) 496-3400.
Transportation, Shopping and Errands:
"Dial-a-Ride," a subsidized taxi service, is available to eligible seniors age 62 and older as well as people of all ages with disabilities who are residents of Thousand Oaks. Cost for a "regular senior" is $1.50 per person each way during weekdays and $2 on weekends. It's half-fare for shared rides--picked up and dropped off together. Low-income and disabled senior citizens may qualify for reduced rates. You must obtain a transportation card that is issued by the Thousand Oaks Public Works Department, City Hall West, 2150 W. Hillcrest Drive, on the second floor. But first call (805) 497-8611, Ext. 367 to determine which documents you will need to verify age or disability. For information on disability verification, call (805) 496-8655. The card costs 50 cents for low-income seniors or handicapped and $1 for regular handicapped or seniors. Cardholders can call (805) 492-1544 to request taxi service.
The Buenaventura Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers match a volunteers and seniors on a one-to-one basis after a home visit to determine the person's needs. Volunteers may provide neighborly assistance with transportation, shopping and errands for senior citizens. They also offer companionship or respite to families. There is no charge although donations are encouraged. Call (805) 652-0566.
Legwork, a professional shopping and errand service, offers senior discount rates of $10 an hour in Ventura County. No transportation provided. (805) 494-1732.
Located in Westlake Village, Mrs. B, is another personal shopper. "I do whatever your mother used to do for you but it involves no guilt." Charges begin at a base price of $25 an hour. (818) 706-8914.
To be continued next week.