Choosing a Transportation Service for Seniors
There comes the point in every adult’s life when it’s time to rethink getting behind the wheel. A combination of age-related conditions, including reduced vision and hearing, slower reflexes, and health/medication-centric side effects, make it more difficult or even dangerous for some seniors to be driving.
An adult’s track record and driving performance should always be the primary factor in whether it’s time to discuss modified driving boundaries or outside transportation support. However, driving statistics show a correlation between adults 75+ and increased accidents and fatalities. And, by 85 years of age, most adults should be switching to senior transportation services.
Being proactive and choosing a transportation service for seniors before an accident or crisis dictates the change, making this transition easier for everyone.
Opening the Conversation About Transportation Service for Seniors
As with any conversation around lifestyle changes, remember that the discussion regarding transportation changes can be difficult – especially for loved ones who are reluctant to discuss age-related changes and the needs that arise. Remember to be compassionate, patient, and prepared to have the conversation more than once.
Since the goal of enlisting outside transportation support is to keep loved ones safe, it’s essential to find professional transportation services that specialize in catering to seniors’ safety, security, and comfort. We recommend creating progressive, incremental long-term care plans so loved ones can baby step into their new reality.
Note: If your loved one shows signs of memory loss or has an existing dementia diagnosis, standard public transportation system options or standard ridesharing options (Uber, Lyft, etc.), are out of the question. Without proper supervision from a caregiver or companion, your loved one is at high-risk.
Ease the Transition to Modified Services
First, ask yourself why you’re concerned and whether permanently retiring the keys is necessary. For many adults 65+, a graduated plan makes more sense.
For example, many families come to an agreement that an aging parent or grandparent is willing to forgo driving at night or in inclement weather but is still safe to drive during the day. This is a good compromise that maintains the driver’s sense of independence while keeping them safe in road conditions that post the most significant risk.
In this case, public transportation services such as the bus, ridesharing services, or senior-friendly options like Dial-a-Ride are happy mediums until other arrangements can be made.
Consider Safe and Reliable Options
While most public transportation options do their best to cater to the majority, most are not set up to specifically look out for older riders.
For example, there is no phone call to let a loved one know the regular 10 a.m. bus is running late. An aging loved one may be waiting in the heat or cold without knowing whether the bus is coming – or how long they should wait before making their way back home or to a safe location to make inquiries.
Suppose your loved one exits the bus, the taxi, or an independent rideshare car and tires out or weakens before getting to their destination. In that case, the driver may not be likely to know how to assist or they simply may not be comfortable doing so.
In most cases, by the time adults need transportation services, families are best off looking for services specifically geared to clients 65+ that provide personalized assistance for their clients, and that is vetted through third-party agencies to ensure clients’ safety and security.
Keep a Focus on Senior Riders
By and large, you are always best seeking senior-specific transportation services from the outset. In addition to automatic peace of mind, these services will continue to customize their services to your loved one’s needs as age-related changes continue. It also prevents yet another transition for your loved one down the road.
Companies provided senior driving services stand out from other options because they:
- Are typically licensed, accredited, or governed by third-party agencies or organizations
- Can be contacted anytime to verify the well-being of passengers
- Have a regular team of drivers and routes so drivers are familiar with their passengers, providing more personalized attention and service
- Are proactive in communicating with clients/caregivers about any route or schedule changes that pertain to them
- Register their riders and maintain contact information for “in case of emergency” scenarios
These are the features you should look for when seeking senior transportation services.
Examples of Senior-Specific Transportation
Some of the most common examples of senior-specific transportation services include the following.
Most counties/communities offer some type of free or low-cost senior transportation services that provide door-to-door service. Visit your county website and head to their senior services page, or contact a local senior center to learn more about the options available in your area.
Uber and Lyft Health
Both Uber and Lyft have a Health services niche dedicated to providing rides to patients to and from various health- and medical-oriented appointments. While this service cannot be used for social engagements, errand running, etc., it is a safe and smart option for seniors needing rides to medical appointments, to the pharmacy, and so on.
Senior Home Care Agencies
Licensed senior home care agencies typically offer transportation services as well. There are multiple benefits to using this option. In addition to knowing loved ones are in the hands of senior care specialists, clients can take advantage of other in-home service offerings, such as errand running and meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal care services, and more.
Let Affordable Senior Home Care Help With Transportation Service for Seniors
Are you having a hard time determining whether or not it is time to enlist the help of senior transportation services, or which transportation option is the right fit for your loved one? Let us be your guide!
Affordable Senior Home Care has decades of experience providing personal assessments to make client-specific service recommendations. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation assessment and to learn more about safe senior transportation services in your area.