Senior Transportation Is Moving Right Along
Transportation and the freedom that comes with it are vital to a feeling of independence. That’s one reason why “giving up the keys” is deeply emotional for many older adults. So while we wait for reliable self-driving cars to come on the market to solve this problem, mobility is an important topic for people with cognitive or physical challenges. If a loved one’s vision has worsened, hearing has deteriorated or their reflexes have slowed, it may be time to look at elderly transportation options other than driving themselves.
The good news is that, more than ever before, there are senior transportation services that can provide older adults the freedom to control their days.
Volunteer Driver Programs: Though they require reservations and advance notice, several nonprofit organizations, like Elder Helpers, offer a volunteer-based ride service to those who require assistance.
Paratransit Services: The Americans with Disabilities Act established that most public transit systems are required to provide this alternative for those who are unable to use mainline services. Paratransit usually requires a day’s notice, and there is a fee.
Door-to-Door Services: With this type of service, trained drivers will offer their passengers more personalized assistance to ensure bags, wheelchairs, scooters, etc., complete a successful trip. Provided for a fee by private agencies, like iTNAmerica, drivers for door-to-door services are a great option for personal transportation for seniors.
On-Demand Ride Services: Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are revolutionizing elderly transportation. Even if an older adult doesn’t have a smartphone, there are third-party services, like GoGoGrandparent, that allow them to dial and request a rideshare. Depending on where you live and how active the companies are in your community, these services do not require much notice — they can be ready to go whenever you are.
Many seniors are lucky enough to live in a community that provides personal care transportation — often called assisted living transportation, depending on the region you live in — that will take residents to medical appointments, shopping centers and recreational activities. If you don’t feel comfortable using the technology involved with some transportation services or would simply like more personalized attention, a community will likely provide a higher level of service. Frequently, assisted living transportation is available to residents by appointment,and the services are included as part of the monthly fee.
The many senior transportation options available can supplement personal care transportation or relieve family caregivers. The important thing is that even if a senior has to give up their keys, there are solutions to help them maintain their independence.
If you find yourself frequently googling “transportation for seniors to medical appointments near me” or calling everyone you know to see if they can drive Mom or Dad, explore some professional services. It may even be time to tour senior living communities in your area. They provide transportation to residents to support their independent lifestyle. And going with a group of friends can make a trip to the doctor’s office or the supermarket a lot more fun.