As seniors grow older, they likely lose the ability to drive on their own related to physical and cognitive changes that often come with age. And according to an AARP report, it is projected that 8.7 million Americans will be aged 85 and over and a substantial portion of them will no longer drive by 2030. Especially if personal driving was their primary mode of transportation, seniors may lose their independence to run to the grocery store, meet a friend for lunch, or visit with a family member. Nonetheless, shaking their independence may trigger emotional, social, and psychological losses, subsequently increasing the risk of social isolation and comprosing overall wellbeing. But finding transportation services for seniors can be the segway to prevent against the dangers of isolation, flourish social interactions, continue independence, and optimize their quality of life.
Senior Transportation Service Options
Call A Friend
Whether on a sporadic or regular basis, consider calling a friend or family member to volunteer their time to assist in transportation. Utilizing the assistance of close relatives may not only reduce transportation costs, but grants you a peace of mind knowing your loved one is with a dependable and trustworthy driver.
While reliant on their health and community options, seniors may be able to take the bus, subway, or train. But before committing to this option, take a few test runs together and analyze and verify their comfort level using public transportation.
Local Transportation Services
Thanks to the Area Agency on Aging, your local area likely supports senior transportation for citizens 60 years of age or older. Transportation services often include non-emergency medical transportation to the doctor, hospital, and other medical appointments and trips to sponsored senior centers, grocery stores, and governmental or bank businesses. Research transportation services offered in your local area to verify services, hours of operation, and requesting needs.
Paratransit services caters to individuals with disabilities that may prevent them from using fixed-route buses or other forms of mass transit. Offering specially equipped shuttles pick you up at your doorstep and take you to where you need to go, paratransit services might be a viable option to qualifying seniors.
Senior Day Care Centers
Adult day care programs provide access to a number of services, including transportation. They also provide a structured program of therapeutic, rehabilitative, social, and leisure activities in a monitored and protective setting, along with the provision of meals, exercise, recreation, and education.
Uber and Lyft not only caters to the younger generation, but offers seniors a safe ride to the grocery store, doctor’s appointment, or get-together with a friend. GoGoGrandparent also allows your loved one to use Lyft or Uber services without the need or use for a smartphone and touts itself as affordable senior transportation.
Care.com allows caregivers to find the best senior transportation for their loved one. Caregivers are able to make a match by identifying when care is needed and exploring other caregiver profiles.
Ultimately, it is important to deliberate the options of senior transportation for the upmost safety of your loved one. Common questions to consider include the reliability and duration of the company and whether or not they have insurance coverage, reliable and well-trained staff, and a sufficient number of vehicles. Also explore the conditions of the vehicle, including the presence of air conditioning and heating, if it can accommodate wheelchairs, and if it will be comfortable for a short or long trip.