Explore the different methods of transportation seniors can use to safely and efficiently stay mobile as they age
Many people have relied on driving for a large part of their life to run errands, go to doctors appointments, visit with friends and family, and so much more. That’s why when your senior loved one cannot drive anymore, it can be overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, and unsteadying.
Luckily, there are many great options that your senior loved one can use to get where they need to be safely and efficiently.
Continue reading to learn about the four best methods of transportation for seniors who can no longer drive themselves.
Many in-home care companies will include transportation as part of their caregiving services. Caregivers can provide transportation and run errands for seniors who are no longer able to drive themselves.
Caregivers will be able to drive your seniors’ car or drive them in their own car to go shopping, attend social activities, or go to appointments. With your seniors’ caregiver as their driver, your loved one can travel in comfort and you can rest assured that your senior is safe.
You and your loved one may also feel more at ease with a caregiver driving than the other options below because they have already built a trusted relationship with you and your loved one. Caregivers can also help seniors comfortably get in and get out of the vehicle.
#2: Rideshare apps
Rideshare apps, like Lyft and Uber, are very popular options for transportation. If your senior will be traveling alone, this option will generally work best for independent seniors who are able to enter and exit a car without assistance.
Uber is also in a partnership with Maruiti, a passenger transportation service company in Florida and Texas. Their partnership program, MT Connect, is able to provide transportation services in vehicles that are 100% ADA compliant. This option gives seniors with mobility difficulties and people with disabilities a new and safe way to travel where they feel at ease.
If your loved one finds it difficult to use Uber, Uber does allow you to order cars for others. You can set your pickup location to your loved one’s locale and request a ride. Then, it’s important that you get in touch with their driver through the app to let them know they’ll be picking up someone else. You can then share the trip information with your loved one so they can track the driver’s location and see their information.
Gogograndparent is another option seniors can use to access a rideshare service. Gogograndparent allows you to order rides, grocery and pharmacy delivery, and more by calling their 24/7 phone number—allowing access for seniors who do not own or use a cell phone. This service is able to intercept GPS issues, communicate with drivers and emergency contacts, and oversee trips and deliveries from request to fulfillment.
#3: Public transportation
Depending on where your senior loved one lives, there may be various public transportation options available to them. Public transportation can allow your loved one to go where they need, usually for a low cost.
In the Orlando area, there is the LYNX bus service and the Sunrail. The LYNX bus has 77 daily routes across Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties that leave in 15, 30 and 60-minute intervals, depending on location. LYNX offers an AdvantAge fare program for seniors, people with disabilities, and other eligible people. The AdvantAge fare program allows the designated groups to receive a 50% fare discount on single rides, as well as all-day, weekly, and monthly passes.
SunRail is another public transportation option for seniors in the Orlando area. This commuter rail service also offers seniors and people with disabilities a 50% discount on all fares. SunRail travels to and from DeBary to Ponciana with 14 other stops along the way. SunRail runs Monday through Friday from 5:45 a.m. to 9:55 p.m., with the trains leaving every 30 minutes during peak hours (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and every 2 hours during non-peak times.
#4: Paratransit or Non-emergency Medical Transport
If your loved one has mobility problems, as another option, you may want to consider paratransit or non-emergency medical transportation. Paratransit is a public transportation system that is supplemental to larger public transportation systems that provides transportation for people with disabilities and mobility issues without a fixed-route or time schedule.
Paratransit is considered a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service, meaning that if your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, they can also receive the NEMT benefit.
Non-emergency medical transportation is a service that allows seniors to get to and from their doctor’s appointments, the pharmacy, or the hospital. NEMT may only be used in non-emergency cases, meaning there is no immediate threat to the health of your loved one. There are several companies in the Orlando area that can provide paratransit or NEMT services.
When is it time for seniors to stop driving?
It may be difficult to know for certain when your senior loved one is having trouble driving, and unfortunately it is unlikely that they’ll tell you.
Many seniors wish to maintain complete independence for as long as they can, and can feel ashamed about no longer being able to drive themselves. However, it’s critical for their safety and the safety of others that you monitor their driving as closely as possible.
Older adult drivers are more than twice as likely to report having a medical problem that makes it difficult to travel as compared with drivers ages 24‒64.  Seniors also tend to have slower reaction times than other drivers, making it even more difficult to drive and avoid other cars or obstacles on the road.
You can determine when it’s time for your loved one to stop driving by regularly riding in the car with them to doctor’s appointments or family outings. Monitor their reaction times, ability to focus, and capacity to follow traffic laws. If any of these items cause you to feel alarmed as the passenger, it’s a sign that it’s time to take them off the road and try one of the many great transportation options detailed above.
Looking for a caregiver for you or a loved one?
Flourish in Place provides home care options for all needs and budgets and specializes in helping families in Central Florida find the appropriate level of care for their loved ones.
Our trained and certified caregivers can assist with a variety of needs including transportation, personal care, dementia care, and companionship.
Through our transportation service, your loved one’s caregiver provides transportation and runs errands for clients who have difficulty driving on their own. With our help, your loved one can travel in comfort and without hassle to appointments, shopping, social events and more.
To learn more, please request your Free Consultation today!