The majority of people age 60 and older require help with so many routine activities and chores. An important one of which is the transportation service. Transportation is a mandatory part of life, and people require traveling to complete many tasks, like buying groceries or going on a job. It is quite easy for young people to sit in the car and reach their destined location. However, the process of traveling is not that enjoyable and easy for aged people like young ones. The majority of aged people lose their ability to drive due to health conditions; it is also not very safe for aged people to drive alone because of which they become dependent upon their family members to drive them to the required place.
Researches have shown that older people who cannot drive attend fewer medical appointments because depending upon their relative and not being able to drive is quite exhausting for them, so they prefer not to leave the house. Fortunately, there are numerous medical transportation services for seniors who are not able to drive themselves.
Selection of Transportation Service
While selecting modes of transportation for a senior, it is mandatory to consider a variety of factors. Do the elder lives in a rural or urban area? Do they require a regular transportation facility to visit the doctor? Do they have any medical necessity that needs consideration while traveling? Many services cover non-emergency and emergency medical transportation services for seniors.
Types of Services
Transportation services depend upon the area you live in. The types of transportation available for elders include door-to-door service, fixed route with scheduled services, volunteer driving services, etc. Some communities are running elderly support programs to provide facilitation to elders regarding transportation. Here is the detail of transportation services provided to elders
Door-to-door Private Transportation
Many urban, suburban, and even rural communities offer door-to-door transportation. The service involves bringing an individual from one specific location to another location. This service is not free, but it is the most flexible transportation service. It takes the elder from their home, follows fixed routes, and drops you at the exact location.
Volunteer Driving Service
Many no-profit organizations, based on a network of volunteers, provide transportation services to elders. They offer flexible hours and a great transportation experience. Many senior people can go shopping, appointments, doctors, and other activities with these transportation services. One-way, round trips, and even multi-stop rides are available. However, these services are limited; therefore, they require reservations. These programs are free and work on a donation basis covered through membership dues for a minimal cost.
If the elder member requires a wheelchair or has any disability, then look for paratransit service in your area. Paratransit services are offered privately and publicly. The rule of this service is that vans and microbuses must have an ADA facility and should run within 3 to 4 miles of the existing bus on the same schedules. There cost not be more than 2x of standard fees. Paratransit service is good for elderly people.
Paratransit systems are very much high in demand, and therefore, users must be flexible and patient when planning outings. The services that can be expected from these services include
- Seniors can schedule a ride within 24 hours through call
- This ride takes a little more time to reach the fixed route.
- It provides 30 minutes of waiting time for seniors to be picked up. The law permits a one-hour waiting time for seniors to be picked.
Many paratransit systems do a background check on drives because passengers’ security is crucial in paratransit services.
The use of a medical car is an ideal option for seniors who need assistance. If the senior person can walk with a cane or with a walker’s help, medical car can be a good option. These medical cars are very affordable. Their benefit is that while traveling, you will have the assistance of a trained medical professional that you give the company to the elder and respond appropriately in case of any emergency.
The medical cars staff is trained; they wait on hand for the appointment to end and help out the aged member along the way. They have great communication skills and experience in dealing with mobility assistance techniques.
If there is a public transportation service available in your area, then it can be a good option for traveling. Public trains, buses, subways, and other transportation modes can be a great choice for seniors if they are mobile. These are the most affordable way of traveling and provide non-drivers a sense of independence.
However, these transportation services have some limitations for seniors because they require walking to and from bus or train stops and have strict schedules, which are not feasible for elders. However, senior citizens can rely on walking aids or wheelchairs for assistance as there is a rule by law to have wheelchairs on every public bus. Seniors who rely on public transportation need to adjust their schedules to avoid the rush and crowd.
If all other transportation services are not working well for your loved one and they are not feeling comfortable with these rides, you might want to explore private transportations. The most common form of private transportation is the taxi service. This option is most feasible for those who occasionally drive and require a minimal amount of assistance but cannot use public transportation. This option is good for people living in urban areas where extensive transportation services are not available and those who need to travel late at night.
Public transportation systems and aging organizations have developed travel training programs that help seniors feel more comfortable and relaxed while using public transportation. These programs provide practice to trainers who spend time with elders to provide assistance to aged people and help them find discounts, calculate costs, and work out on routes.
The purpose of all the transportation services is to provide facilities and comfort to all the elders who no longer can drive. Through these services, it becomes easy for them to go to their destined places. They can feel independent, and they won’t have to ask for help from anyone. Most of these services are free, but some require fees or minimal cost