Transportation Services for Seniors
Seniors often choose to stop driving for a number of reasons. However, for seniors who no longer drive, transportation can easily become an issue. Whether it is to buy groceries, get to a doctor’s appointment, or any other reason, most seniors will need some form of transportation service when they reach the point of no longer driving. While many choose to rely on family and friends, this can quickly become inconvenient for loved ones and seniors. For regular or one-time transportation needs that family and friend cannot provide, there are a variety of services available depending upon your location. Although the services in your area may vary, below we have compiled a list of a few of the most common types of transportation services for seniors who no longer drive themselves.
5 Transportation Services for Seniors - Options to Consider
Public Transit/Fixed Route Service
Depending upon your senior’s mobility, public transit can provide a reliable and cost-efficient means of transportation. Of course, public transit varies greatly by the municipality. However, nearly all cities offer some form of bus or train system on a regular schedule that can help seniors arrive safely at their destination. Many transit authorities offer free or reduced rates for seniors as well. Contact your local public transit agency for more information about these rates and other services they may provide for seniors wishing to use a fixed route service.
Frequently transit agencies or other aging authorities also offer transportation services for seniors that allow for more personal assistance. These services range from curb-to-curb to door-to-door meaning that they will pick up and drop off your senior either at their front door or curbside. Paratransit is typically more flexible than traditional public transit in that it is based on reservations rather than a fixed route. The driver will also assist your senior on and off the vehicle. Similar to public transit, paratransit services near you may offer free or reduced rates for seniors as many operate largely on donations.
Volunteer Driver Programs
Non-profit organizations around the country offer volunteer driver programs that are specifically meant to provide transportation services for seniors. These programs vary by organization but usually allow seniors to request rides for anything from doctors’ appointments to grocery shopping to recreational activities. Since the volunteers who drive in these services specifically drive seniors, they are usually able to provide whatever accommodations your senior may require. Thanks to the generosity of both the drivers and the donors who fund these programs, they are usually offered free of charge for seniors and their families.
Sometimes seniors who no longer drive require further assistance than standard transportation services can provide. If this is the case for your senior, an in-home caregiver may be a viable option to assist with both transportation and other services such as general home keeping and meal prep. Usually, homecare agencies have a minimum service time of 3 to 4 hours, but by planning ahead this may prove to be exactly what your senior needs. In this period of time, a caregiver could drive you senior to and from a doctor’s appointment, take them grocery shopping, help tidy their home, and even prepare a meal for them. Not to mention the valuable companionship that your senior will likely enjoy. Even if your senior does not require an everyday caregiver, scheduling regular weekly or bi-weekly appointments can ensure that they are able to continue to live at home safely and comfortably.
Although hiring a taxi service with regularity could quickly become very costly, it may be the perfect option for one-time transportation needs. Since taxi services are available by ordering in advance or at the time transportation is needed, this is perhaps the most flexible option available seniors. However, be sure to communicate in advance any additional assistance that your senior may need such as door-to-door accompaniment. While many taxi services may be able to provide this, it is important to check with the specific agency you are hiring before requesting the ride.
It can be difficult to find convenient, affordable, and safe transportation services for seniors who no longer drive. However, there are many options available. Since these options vary greatly between cities, be sure to reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging. This agency can provide more specific information about the services available in your area and can help determine what the best option may be for you senior.