One of the challenging things for people as they get further and further into the ranks of “seniors” is the matter of transportation issues. While many seniors remain competent drivers, others may be in need of caregiving services and transportation assistance. There are several different types of services that can address the different needs of seniors.
Getting from Point A to Point B
When seniors who no longer drive need to get from one location to another, they and their caretakers have to become familiar with the various transportation options available to the senior. A healthy life for the individual involves social engagement, so caregivers try to make sure that the senior citizen does not sink into becoming a shut-in because they have no way of getting out. It is important for caregivers to know what outside activities are important to the senior receiving the managed care. Religious activities, musical events, theater performances, social organizations, each of these possibilities (and many more) can provide enrichment to the life of the senior citizen, and so it is worth the effort to find out how to get the senior to them.
Public Transit Services
Many metropolitan transit systems provide handicap accessibility that also provides similar accessibility for seniors. If the senior in care still has a degree of independence, in spite of no longer being able to drive, learning how to take advantage of the public transportation system will be an important part of the senior’s life. This involves becoming familiar with established routes and schedules. Although buses and trains have inevitable delays in keeping to the schedule exactly, knowing the intended regularity can help the senior plan arrivals and departures to their outside activities.
Special Shuttle Services
In addition to regular public transportation services, there are also many specialized shuttle and transportation services. These can involve shuttle services that circulate between a location like a managed care or retirement home and other regularly visited locations that many of the residents may need access to. This can include hospitals or medical building housing doctors’ offices, senior social centers, local grocery stores or malls, or religious facilities. Some services operate on the expectation of groups of people traveling together on a schedule, while others will take reservations with specified destinations.
Another type of transportation for seniors who are the recipients of caregiving services is that of the companion transport. This type of service is conducted in a one-on-one fashion, where the caregiver personally drives the senior to their activities, providing not just transportation but companionship as well. This personal touch can enrich the life of the senior as much as the activities do. Companion transport can also be far more personalized that relying on either public service or hired shuttle services. The companion can drive the senior to appointments, and wait until the visit is over. The companion can attend religious services or entertainment events with the senior as well.
Making sure that seniors who are still active have options to participate in outside activities is important for their health. Caregivers should be aware of all the transportation possibilities available.