For your older family members who have given up driving, transportation can be a huge headache to deal with. For caregivers, this is one of the biggest concerns, as you cannot be around for them throughout the day because you are working, or if you live a distance away.
Your loved ones may need to go for their doctor’s appointments or to refill their medication. They may also need to shop for groceries or necessities. They may also just want to visit friends or family members that will help with their emotional and mental well-being. Staying alone at home for too long may cause them to feel isolated and negative.
Finding out which other modes of transportation will be suitable for your loved ones requires some research, but there is a wide range of options available.
Things to Research and Ways to Find Transportation Options
Firstly, you would have to bear in mind several factors before you even start finding suitable options for transporting your loved one from place to place.
Cost: You would not only need to consider the fare but also whether there are any discounts available for the elderly or people with disabilities.
Eligibility: Some services are limited to certain people, whether they are meant for the elderly or specific lower-income groups.
Availability and service area: Sometimes your loved one may need to travel far and some transportation options may only service a certain area. The service may also only be available at certain timings or on certain days.
Scheduling ahead: The service may need to be booked days in advance, so if you need urgent transportation, this might be an issue and something to consider.
Assistance and space: Some transportation services offer more than just pickup and drop-off and may even help transfer your loved one from the building to the vehicle and vice-versa if needed. This is especially important should they have mobility issues. The vehicle should also have enough space to accommodate any mobility devices.
Alternative Modes of Transportation for Seniors
Public Transportation: Usually if you live in a metropolitan area, public transit is an easy and convenient way to get around and is usually accessible for wheelchair users. They typically also offer senior discounts. However, it may not be a great option for older adults who have trouble climbing stairs or can’t walk long distances.
Paratransit: There are paratransit services that are complementary for riders who meet Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) criteria. These trips usually need to be booked a day in advance and the ride is shared with passengers who have booked around the same time. The vehicles are outfitted for accessibility.
Taxis: Some taxi companies may include accessible vehicles as part of their fleet and may offer discounts in the form of vouchers for disabled or older riders.
Ride-hailing: With the rise of ride-hailing applications such as Lyft and Uber, it’s easier and more convenient to find transportation. Some apps even support location sharing to ensure that your loved one reaches their location safely.
Demand response: A rideshare service that carries multiple passengers. For these types of services, you would usually need to book a day in advance to allow them enough time to schedule their trips.
Non-emergency medical transportation: NEMT is a part of Medicaid that will cover your transportation to medical appointments. Your loved one’s private insurance may also have non-emergency medical transit, so it’d be best to check with your provider.