As seniors age, it can become increasingly difficult to navigate the outside world. For many, personal transportation for seniors becomes a necessity –– especially when traveling beyond the home or errands that require a vehicle. But with the wide variety of options available, how do you know what is safe and most convenient for your individual needs?
In this guide, we’ll help you make sense of the different forms of personal transportation for seniors so you can make an educated decision.
When It’s Time to Stop Driving
The most important safety concern for seniors is when it’s time to stop driving. For some, the decision can be difficult and emotional. However, certain conditions should raise a red flag if you or your loved one is considering getting behind the wheel:
- Difficulty seeing signs and other vehicles while driving
- Trouble maintaining speed and following the flow of traffic
- Difficulty understanding and obeying traffic signals
- Memory loss or confusion while driving
If any of these conditions apply, it may be time to consider a different form of personal transportation for seniors.
Different Types of Personal Transportation
If you can no longer drive yourself, public transportation can offer a safe, affordable way to get around.
Volunteer Driver Programs
Seniors who have difficulty driving or accessing transportation can benefit greatly from faith-based and non-profit volunteer driver programs. These programs rely on a team of volunteers to provide free or inexpensive transportation for various activities such as shopping, medical appointments, and leisure.
Private agencies provide transportation for seniors or those with disabilities, specifically equipped to meet their needs. These vehicles may be buses, vans, or cabs that are specially modified for wheelchair accessibility. They often include features such as a fold-out ramp, securement devices, and handles throughout the vehicle to ensure passengers remain safe.
Private agencies offer transportation services where drivers assist seniors and people with disabilities from their front door to the vehicle and at their destination, including any stops in between. This offers a safe and comfortable way to travel without stress.
The Area Agency on Aging
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is an invaluable resource for seniors looking for transportation options. It is a non-profit organization specializing in providing services and resources to help older adults remain independent, safe, and healthy.
AAA serves as the focal point for local access to information about housing, health care, nutrition programs, social activities, and transportation.
AAA can help seniors find ride-sharing services, taxi companies, or other private companies that offer personal transportation to their destinations.
Medical Transportation Options
If you or your loved one requires medical transportation, there are options to choose from.
Insurance Covered Transportation
Your health insurance may cover your medical transportation expenses. These services are typically intended to provide safe rides to and from doctor’s appointments or other medical facilities. In most cases, the insurance company covers the ride’s cost.
However, there may be some restrictions, such as geographic limitations or specific types of transportation services.
If your insurance doesn’t cover transportation for routine doctor’s appointments, you can look into independent services to ensure your loved one receives the necessary medical attention. These services generally provide door-to-door transportation and may be staffed with experienced drivers who specialize in providing safe rides for seniors.
Additionally, they tend to be well-priced, making them an excellent option for seniors on a budget.
Although public transportation may take longer, it is often a safe and economical option for seniors who do not have access to private transportation. Public transit systems that offer bus and light rail services are typically accessible, convenient, and inexpensive.
It’s essential to keep in mind that some cities may also provide special discounts or reduced fares for seniors using public transportation.
How to Pay Less for the Transportation
Finally, it’s important to remember that there are several ways you can save money on transportation for your loved one.
Check Senior Discounts
Many transportation services offer discounted rates for seniors. Look for discounts on bus and train tickets, ridesharing services, taxi companies, and more.
Use Ride Sharing Services
Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft often offer lower rates for seniors. Consider signing up for a membership plan to access exclusive discounts and promotions.
Assisted Living Services
If you are living in an assisted living facility, check to see if they offer transportation services. Many assisted living facilities provide on-site transportation for their residents or subsidize taxi fares.
Transportation Tools and Apps to Help Seniors
Finally, seniors can use several tools and apps to make transportation easier. transportation
Uber and Lyft
Both offer special apps for seniors, which allow them to book rides quickly and safely.
Embark is a free app that helps seniors find and book rides with vetted drivers in their region. With Embark, seniors can compare prices, read driver reviews, and access local discounts.
The Eldercare Locator website is an excellent resource for locating transportation programs and other services in your area.
Transportation is an important part of senior living. With the right resources, seniors can easily and safely access the transportation services they need to maintain their independence and well-being. From insurance-covered rides to discounted taxi fares, there are several options available for seniors seeking reliable transportation. With these tips in mind, you can ensure your loved one gets the transportation they need while still staying on budget.
The content writer on Choice Senior Life