The ability to get around town is essential to preserve a senior’s health, safety, and independence. Reliable transportation gives seniors an opportunity to give back to their community, as well as feel an important sense of connection. Here are transportation options for seniors who don’t drive.
Seniors who drive are typically good drivers. These older adults wear their seatbelt, follow the rules of the road, and generally do not drive while intoxicated. Research points out that over the years, crash rates continue to drop in this age group.
But rather than age, health and capability are driving forces behind older adults’ abilities to drive safely. As people age, their vision, hearing, and reflexes gradually deteriorate. Declining cognitive abilities and medical conditions also affect how seniors operate a vehicle.
In the event a crash does occur, aging people are more likely to be injured or killed than their younger counterparts. Senior drivers are also more likely to be involved in certain types of vehicle accidents, such as crashes at intersections and those caused by failing to yield.
These alarming facts concern families, prompting many of them to take away their elderly loved one’s keys. No longer being able to drive safely can be an emotionally distressing time for seniors. After all, being able to get around town is necessary to accomplish important tasks.
Seniors need reliable ways to get to a doctor’s appointment, buy groceries, conduct errands, or simply visit a friend across town. Social isolation is problematic among seniors who don’t drive—and this issue contributes to a poorer quality of life and an earlier death.
Solutions abound, however, as older adults do not necessarily have to get behind the wheel to get around town. Florida seniors have plenty of opportunities to make use of various transportation options without risking their personal safety or the safety of others.
1. Senior Ride Programs
Various states offer variations of the call-and-ride program for the elderly. Depending on the program, seniors must schedule a ride in advance. Drivers are trained to be helpful, considering these forms of transportation are designed to support seniors and people with disabilities.
The Sunshine Line in Florida, for instance, provides door-to-door transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, health and wellness facilities, and for personal business. Trips are prioritized based on their purpose. Reservations must be made at least two days in advance.
2. Volunteers and Friends
Nonprofit organizations also provide transportation options for seniors who do not drive. The benefits of being driven by a volunteer or friend include having a social outlet during the ride and the ride being free. The availability of volunteer drivers or friends may be limited, however, which is a drawback.
Florida nonprofit programs that offer transportation include Senior TranServe, which requires that requests for rides be made seven days in advance. Seniors who utilize the program must be at least 55 years old and capable of entering and exiting the vehicle by themselves.
3. Uber, Lyft and Taxis
Hiring a cab is an old-fashioned yet still effective way for seniors to attend cultural events or visit restaurants. The modernized form of taxis is Uber. Older adults who own a smartphone can order a car to any destination. Different drivers can impact the quality of the ride, however.
Using Uber in Florida is cost-effective. Seniors pay significantly less for an Uber ride whenever one is needed than having to maintain a car. Whether aging adults choose Uber or Lyft, the cost is around $2 per mile. Seniors should download the Uber or Lyft apps to use them.
4. Professional Caregivers
A routine part of a professional caregiver’s responsibilities is transportation. Caregivers are available to drive elderly care recipients to a wide range of destinations, such as doctors’ appointments, social events at the senior center, senior group exercise classes, and grocery stores.
Many advantages come with hiring professional caregivers, one being seniors develop a relationship with them. Caregivers learn about their care recipient’s preferred destinations and routes. An extra benefit is that when full-time care is needed, the caregiving can be amped up to meet those needs.
Seniors in Florida have an abundance of transportation options, many of which are low-cost or free. The best way to find local programs is by contacting the county’s Area Agency on Aging. Or seniors can find local government transportation programs through ElderCare Locator.
Florida’s Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Plans also provide transportation to enrolled members via its transportation provider. Eligible older adults should refer to their health plan identification card to locate the transportation provider and receive a ride to a covered service.
Dependable transportation to places and events in the community is vital to preserving a senior’s overall health and quality of life. When the elderly loved one in your life is in need of safe transportation, turn to the professional caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care.
Our home care agency is staffed with teams of dedicated caregivers who support senior care recipients with all the activities of daily living. Providing transportation is a regular part of our responsibilities. We drive aging adults to the pharmacy, post office, senior center, and physical therapy, for instance.
The in-home care provided by our senior care agency extends beyond transportation. Caregivers also help seniors with personal hygiene tasks, mobility, fall-risk assessments, light housekeeping, and meal preparation. We shop for groceries and pick up medications from the pharmacy, too.
Seniors in our care receive all-around attention and support. Plus, our services are flexible and meet the changing needs of individuals in our care. We’re available for respite care, 24-hour care, hospice care, dementia care, and post-operative care, among other forms of elder care.
Choose Assisting Hands Home Care for quality home care. Our senior care specialists will conduct an in-home consultation to determine care needs. We serve the elderly living in Hollywood, Florida, and the surrounding areas in West Broward County. Call us at (954) 859-2271 today for the best in local senior care.