Wheelchair ramp requests on the rise, CASA needs more volunteers

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The Madison County senior population is expected to grow by more than 100 percent in the next 20 years, according to the U.S. Census. In the last five years alone, the area has seen a five percent growth among the 65-plus age group.

The astounding numbers translate to an overwhelming need for more services for the aging.

"The demand is not going to go away," said CASA Executive Director Ann Anderson. "The needs are always going to be there."

CASA of Madison County builds wheelchair ramps for needy individuals, regardless of income or age and at no cost. The ramps provide CASA clients the mobility necessary for safely entering and leaving their homes, while promoting a sense of independence, freedom and access to the outside world.

In the past two months, the group received 20 new requests for wheelchair ramps. The intense increase in demand has led to a backlog. More than 40 families are currently on the waiting list for ramps, which means even more volunteers are needed to help build them.

"These people are waiting for their ramps and we're trying to find more volunteers to do that," said Anderson. "If we don't find the volunteers, these people are going to wait and wait and wait."

The organization is looking to add two to four more "Ramp Teams," which typically consist of six to eight people. Each ramp is custom designed for each client and built by CASA volunteers. In the last year, volunteers built an average of 17 wheelchair ramps per month.

To find out how you can help, click here.