Driving represents freedom to most people. Whether it is a teenager with their first license or an aging adult, being able to jump into a car and go is essential to independence. When a senior’s driving starts to become a safety issue, families often struggle to figure out how to address it.
The older adult usually recognizes the change in their driving skills. But the fear of being stuck without transportation keeps them from talking about it with family members. The senior may also hesitate to bring up the issue because they fear being perceived as a burden.
Fortunately, there are options you can explore on an elder’s behalf before you talk about hanging up their keys for good.
Here are a few transportation solutions you can investigate:
Search for senior-focused agencies that have volunteer transportation programs. Churches and senior centers are great places to start. These programs offer older adults complimentary or sliding-scale transportation to and from appointments and errands. The volunteers are often retirees looking to give back to their communities.
Older adults who need assistance with transportation should also call their local agency on aging office. These are typically county-wide programs that assist seniors with everything from transportation to housing. They often maintain a list of senior-friendly transportation services, both private and public. If you don’t know how to find the agency nearest you, search the national database for contact information.
While ride sharing services have earned some bad press, one that has been working to build trust with older adults is Lyft. They’ve developed innovative programs to make ride sharing more comfortable and easier for older adults to access. The on-demand nature of the service makes it a good solution for last minute physician appointments or trips to the grocery store.
Older adults who don’t use a smart phone will find this transportation coordination company The organization acts as an on-demand transportation concierge for seniors. With a simple phone call, an older adult can order new transportation or arrange for pick up from a destination.
Another option to consider is a move to an independent living community. Designed with the active senior in mind, these communities have a wide variety of transportation services. Most have scheduled events and group outings to restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, cultural events, and more. They can typically accommodate personal appointments, such as physician visits or pharmacy trips, as well.
One of our experienced senior care advisors can help you learn more about independent living and begin your search. Our advice is always free for older adults and families. Call us at 888-514-6461 to get started!