Finding a plan to clear driveways

The Office of Aging is working on a way to help seniors shovel out of their homes and driveways after it snows.

By: Joseph Harvie
   A nor’easter bombarded the region with snow Saturday and Sunday, dumping between 21 and 24 inches in town and leaving many seniors snowbound in their homes because of the huge, heavy snowbanks blocking their driveways.
   Aaron Rosloff, 84, of Kendall Park, said he was stuck in his house from Saturday night until early afternoon Monday, not because he couldn’t clear a path to his car, but because a snowplow had blocked his driveway.
   He said he used to pay a friend $50 to clear him out, but that friend was unavailable. He said he finally paid someone with a plow $20 to get him out.
   "My concern is this, it is getting to the point where I can no longer deal with this myself," Mr. Rosloff said. "I’m 84 years old and I am still in good health and I tried to clear the snow off of my driveway and I pulled a tendon in my hand doing a little shoveling."
   Mr. Rosloff said he would like to see a program started where the township could come and plow out senior citizens. He said it should be a paid service that seniors sign up for.
   He said there are fewer township children going around on snowy days to clean driveways, and said regardless of that he would be leery of letting children clear his driveway anyway.
   Mr. Rosloff said that he worked in the insurance business for many years and that if you allow someone else to shovel your driveway and they get injured in the process, it may not be covered under homeowner’s insurance.
   However, this would not be the case if the township instituted its own program.
   "It is a business agreement and it would be covered by workman’s comp," Mr. Rosloff said.
   Susan Trilli, program coordinator at the Office Aging, said that several seniors called the center on Monday to tell them they were stranded because of the snow. She said the Office on Aging is working on a system to get seniors help by having them contact neighbors who live no farther than three doors away.
   In addition, the Office on Aging is hoping to work with Viking Volunteers, a program run out of South Brunswick High School, to get the students to help, Ms. Trilli said.
   Ms. Trilli said there are more than 100 students in the program and that she would connect the volunteers with seniors in their neighborhoods when it starts.
   Ms. Trilli also said that in the event of a storm, seniors should have supplies, including food and beverages, for three to five days.
   "I’m sure it is scary for them because they are older and have illnesses and they are apprehensive towards their day-to-day well being," Ms. Trilli said.
   In case of a medical emergency a snowplow can be sent with Emergency Medical Services, Ms. Trilli said.