Elderly transportation services provide seniors with independence, freedom and convenience.
There are a variety of options available, from public transportation to volunteer driver programs to staying home and having services and items delivered.
Many seniors no longer drive. This can be very frustrating as it can represent a major loss of independence.
Although many other transportation options are not as convenient as driving, they do allow the senior to access the community.
Some options are relatively inexpensive while others can be more expensive (but also more convenient).
These options include: public transportation, taxi, senior transportation services, retirement community options, family and friends, volunteer driver programs, community organization services, powered mobility, delivery services and elderly drivers.
One of the first elderly transportation options that most people think of is the public bus. This can be an excellent solution for some seniors and may not be an option for others, depending on their situation and where they live.
Some communities have a public transportation service specifically for seniors and individuals with disabilities. They typically are door to door accessible buses (ie. people can bring their wheelchairs, scooters and walkers on the bus). Inquire with the local public transportation office for more information on local elderly transportation programs
The second common solution is taking a taxi. This can be expensive although some communities have programs for seniors that provide a discount for taking a taxi to/from medical appointments. They can be as much as 50% off the regular fare. Inquire with the local transportation office for more information on "taxi saver" programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
There are more and more small businesses serving the needs of seniors. One type of business provides a personal elderly transportation service that goes above a regular taxi service. They include walking the client to the car, sometimes accompanying them no their outing if needed (shopping, etc) and then taking their purchased items up to their home and even helping them put their groceries away.
These are excellent alternatives for some seniors as they need the extra assistance that some taxi drivers do not provide. The drivers are also trained to assist seniors and are better prepared for assisting them.
Most senior retirement communities have a shuttle service that provide both regularly scheduled transportation (for example, every Wednesday a 2hr trip to the shopping mall) as well as driving residents to medical appointments.
These are excellent services for seniors living at the retirement community. If your aging parent lives at one of these communities, encourage them to take advantage and get out in the community. It is also something to look for when choosing a place to live.
Family and friends can also be a great resource as it allows the friends/family to visit as well as get their errands done. Make a schedule for regular outings so the driving is shared amongst several people.
Often times seniors feel they are being a burden. If this is the case, ask them if they want to pay for the gas so they do not feel that way. Every family and friend is different so communicate expectations and make sure everyone feels comfortable with this arrangement.
Different community organizations manage a volunteer driver program for assisting seniors to get to/from medical appointments. It is an excellent elderly transportation service that provide a valuable service to seniors.
Contact your local volunteer bureau, senior's bureau or health authority for information about volunteer driver programs.
Many community service organizations such as Masons, Shriners, Rotary offer elderly transportation services so seniors can get to/from medical appointments.
Seniors typically do not have to be members (or spouses of members) to be eligible. In more remote communities, they also offer regular elderly transportation to larger towns where many seniors need to go for treatment (such as chemotherapy or dialysis).
Powered mobility such as motorized wheelchair and scooters for elderly can also be excellent solutions if the senior lives close to shopping, medical services, pharmacies, churches and other places seniors frequent.
They can provide seniors with independence, convenience and can provide an increased quality of life. Many can operate all day without having to be recharged till the evening. In addition, many senior retirement communities have areas to store and charge powered mobility equipment. If looking for a place to live, make sure you can have an elderly scooter and/or motorized wheelchair.
Instead of going out, seniors can bring many services and items to them! Many businesses deliver and can bring their service to you. Grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, clothing stores and many more. Some charge a fee while others do not. Services can also be provided at the seniors homes such as massage therapists, elderly foot care and many more.
Delivery can be a great alternative but its also important to get out in the community. Staying home can make seniors feel isolated and alone. Encourage your aging parents to balance the two, going out sometimes and having items delivered at other times.
At varying ages, seniors give up their licence (or at least start thinking about doing so). If your aging parent is an elderly driver, you should discuss transportation options so they are better prepared for when they discontinue driving.
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