Family Caregiver Tips | Transportation Assistance for Seniors
As a former caregiver and a volunteer at an adult day care program, I have seen my share of caregiver challenges. Few top the headache of transporting a loved one safely, on time, and without losing your mind.
Take, for example, a recent experience I witnessed:
One of our attendees (we’ll call him Sean) at the adult day care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s gets dropped off by his wife. This sweet, little older lady does not like driving and in a big city with lots of “passionate” drivers, getting her husband safely to and from the day care was becoming a nightmare. One afternoon she was late to pick Sean up and when she finally did arrive, she walked in and started crying. She was visibly shaking so we had her sit down and gave her some water. Turns out, someone had totally cut her off when she was trying to make a turn and she had almost got in an accident.
She wasn’t upset about that as much as she was about potentially losing her license – their kids had said they would take it away if she got in an accident. Without her license, she told us between sniffles, she wouldn’t be able to bring Sean to the daycare program and she knew how much it was helping him. It was heartbreaking.
Luckily, the volunteer coordinator for the program was able to connect Sean’s wife with a regional Texas service called “Drive a Senior” where volunteers will transport seniors at no cost! Since the incident, Sean has had wonderful volunteers dropping him off in the morning and picking him up again in the afternoon and it has obviously saved his wife a LOT of stress and anguish.
Unfortunately, Sean’s story isn’t unique. So many seniors require transportation assistance to be able to live independently, to attend helpful programs, to get to doctor’s appointments, and more. If you are looking for transportation assistance for your loved one, check out these tips:
5 Transportation Options for Seniors
Free local senior transportation services – whether’s it is a senior drive service offered by your local government or a nonprofit whose entire mission is to help older adults remain independent, chances are there is a free (and often, volunteer-driven) senior transportation service near you. Contact your area Agency or Council on Aging for more information or visit Eldercare.gov.
Discounted public transportation – does your city or country have public transportation like buses or commuter trains? If your loved one can safely travel on public transportation on their own, ask the local transit authority if there are discounted or free passes for seniors.
Rideshare service – while not free, rideshare services like Lyft and Uber can provide reliable transportation your loved one needs. If the person you care for is unable to use rideshare apps on their smartphone, try a service like GoGoGrandparent that allows them to call for these types of rideshare services instead.
Hired drivers – did you know you can find care workers who help with senior transportation for an hourly rate? Sites like Care.com allow you to find safe, reliable care workers that can help your loved one get from point A to point B and back.
Health-insurance provided transportation – have you heard of the service Veyo? It is a transportation service available in around 7 states in the U.S. currently and offers non-emergency medical transportation (i.e. to doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, etc.) through Medicare and Medicaid programs, Managed Care Organizations, and state and country governments.
Are there other senior transportation services, apps, or programs you have found useful for the family member you care for? Leave a comment and let me know!