For a person over the age of 65, life includes its own unique challenges. Poor eyesight and special needs, in particular, pose serious challenges in accomplishing everyday tasks. And when the family isn’t available to help seniors run their errands, make their personal appointments, or do grocery shopping, they are often left to their own devices.
So what is a senior to do if they’re not able to drive themselves anymore? Don’t Worry! Help Is At Your Door!
Deciding not to drive – Is it time for you?
One in six drivers today in the US is 65 or older and according to the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety, fatal crashes per mile traveled increases at about age 70. This means seniors are at a much greater risk of getting into accidents – a risk that becomes less and less wise to chance with age.
Here are some of the signs it might be time to put some else behind the wheel:
- Impaired Vision or hearing issues
- Dementia, including Alzheimer’s
- Parkinson’s disease
- Diabetes and high blood pressure
- Regularly taking medications that could impair driving ability such as narcotics, sleeping pills, and some anti-anxiety medications.
What type of transportation services are available for senior citizens?
With 90% of seniors saying that losing their license would be problematic for them, we can’t simply brush these problems aside. Fortunately, there are an abundance of senior services helping the elderly continue to live their everyday lives despite the setbacks.
Asking Family Members
This is always the best alternative to driving yourself because you can trust your relatives and likely rely on them to already know where you need to go. Plus, there’s no cost and don’t have to wait outdoors for a public form of transport to pick you up.
Find Caregivers/Home Aides
If you don’t have family nearby or they cannot reliably serve as transportation when needed, having a caregiver is often a good alternative as some of them are willing to drive as part of their services. There is a cost to hiring a caregiver, however, there are also caregivers that specialize in just senior transportation rather than all the in-home services.
Sometimes there are willing neighbors or folks nearby to organize a carpool with you. Not only is it a great way to save on gas, time, and money, but it’s also a more viable transportation option for seniors in rural areas.
Take Public Transportation
This is a transport solution that’s dependent on what your city has to offer. Depending on where you live, you might have access to trains, buses, light rails, trams, shuttles, or ferries. The benefit of taking public transportation as a senior citizen is that there are often discounted rates. However, public transport seldom accommodates people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters. And it’s not an option for seniors in more rural and even some suburban areas where public transport doesn’t run very often.
This is a service for any people with disabilities or mobility issues. There are private agencies that will provide a mini-bus or vans that are wheelchair-friendly. Unlike public transportation, you have to schedule this transportation in advance, but it will pick you up directly from your home and drop you off closer to your destination. To qualify for these services, you have to be eligible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Taxis & Rideshare Services
Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft tend to be less expensive than taking a taxi, but it does require some basic smartphone know-how and ability to follow instructions from the ridesharing app.
Transportation Network Companies
There are businesses and volunteers who provide door-to-door transportation services 24/7. This can sometimes be a more expensive option but is the superior choice for seniors without family nearby who want to remain independent with convenient transportation that suit their needs.
Paying for your chauffeur
Many services today still accept cash, credit, debit cards, and some will still take a check. But rest assured, you can pay for this in the manner you choose and if you have Medicaid or Medicare there are many options of paying via that route. More information can be provided by most of the services that you contact. Just ask and they will be happy to help you choose the best and most affordable method of payment for your comfort.
What services are in my area?
In the St. Louis and St. Charles areas, Mobility for U offers wheelchair accessible van transport staffed with a Licensed Certified Nurse Assistant. You set the schedule and a dedicated attendant will escort you in and out of your destination, staying with you and providing as much assistance as required. This chauffeur service also offers the service of renting the vans for family outings and even road trips. For more answers and contact, click here.
To learn more about Mobility for U services, call 314.873.6814 or Email Me.