Need a Ride? Finding Transportation Services for the Elderly
For family and friends of seniors, it may be difficult to ask them to give up their driving privileges. Although many do so for safety reasons, the loss of freedom can be disheartening. Aside from feelings of isolation or dependency, seniors still need groceries and transportation to appointments. Without the ability to leave home, seniors must turn to their community for resources.
According to the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), there are nearly 26 million Americans who depend on others to provide their transportation. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, this number is expected to grow an estimated four or five times by 2030. As much of the older population is reluctant to stop driving, the CTAA also predicts the number of elderly traffic related-fatalities will triple as well.
Options Just for Seniors
Fortunately, there are plenty of transportation services available throughout the country. Community transportation services are specifically designed to help seniors get where they need to go. These services allows for freedom to travel, at little to no cost, without the burdening family and friends. Here are a few options to consider:
Medicaid is required by law to provide non-emergency transportation services to doctor’s appointments. Many services require advanced notice of the appointment before you can be worked into the schedule. If you or your loved one is a Medicaid recipient, then you should speak to your caseworker to learn more about how this works.
Medicare, on the other hand, will only cover emergency medical trips. There are some cases, such as in chronic and debilitating conditions where Medicare will cover the cost of non-emergency trips, but these must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, all local governments with public transportation systems are required to provide basic transportation services to the elderly, free of charge. These services may not reach rural areas or it may be necessary to walk to and from bus stops. Seniors who need medical attention or have mobility problems should consider alternative methods.
Local Volunteer Agencies
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a volunteer organization that is designed to help seniors with appointments and errands. Your local Council on Aging should be able to assist you with finding these services and learning more about your options. Many senior-friendly transportation services can also be found at your local senior community center or advertised in your monthly neighborhood newsletter.
Quality transportation services will do more than get the elderly from point A to point B. They allow the senior to maintain a sense of freedom and control while preventing loneliness and isolation. While the elderly may have to schedule their rides in advance, there are countless services will strive to transport them while keeping them happy and secure.
About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.