From the time a young adult reaches legal driving age, hopping in the car represents freedom and independence. The same is true for a senior who has been driving for decades. As we grow older, however, safety becomes an issue.
Some elders continue to drive despite not feeling especially safe doing so. It might be to avoid asking a friend or family member for a ride to the doctor, grocery store, or other essential appointments. Having a list of reliable, affordable transportation options might be the key.
While concerns about the spread of the coronavirus have impacted many volunteer-based organizations, some established safety protocols. As you begin your search, it’s important to ask each potential provider about their COVID-19 practices.
Here are a few suggestions for creating a list for an older adult in your life.
6 Transportation Resources for Older Adults
- Community level programs: Start your search locally with your area agency on aging or neighborhood senior center. If they don’t offer transportation or have paused theirs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they may know of other options. If you need help locating these organizations, you can search online by visiting the Senior Center Directory or the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
- Medical system van service: If a senior needs transportation to and from medical appointments, see if the provider’s network offers any services. Some hospitals, rehab centers, and physician groups are part of bigger health systems that offer complimentary transportation in company-owned vans. Most will pick up patients at home and drop them off afterwards.
- Volunteer transportation programs: The National Center for Mobility Management is another resource to explore. They maintain a database of volunteer transportation services for older adults. Search their site to check for programs near your loved one’s home.
- Public transportation: While public transportation might sound intimidating to seniors who are unfamiliar with it, some local municipalities offer transportation designed for people with mobility challenges and disabilities. Call your township supervisor or mayor’s office to find out what is available.
- Senior living communities: When the time comes for a family elder to give up driving, moving to a senior living community might be another solution to consider. Many communities offer transportation. Transportation team members can schedule rides to and from essential appointments and social outings for residents.
- Rideshare services: Many people associate ridesharing services with out-of-town travelers or young adults, but seniors utilize them too. Some rideshare companies, such as Lyft, are working diligently to attract older clients. If your aging loved one doesn’t want to book transportation through a cell phone app, GoGoGrandparent can help. Seniors can call them for help arranging transportation anytime. "Are Ride Share Services a Transportation Option for Seniors?" is a good article to help you learn more.
Transportation at Five Star Senior Living
At Five Star communities, residents can take advantage of transportation services for errands, appointments, and outings to local destinations like restaurants and shopping centers. Call the Five Star Senior Living nearest you for more information on resident transportation.