From non-emergency medical transportation to public transportation, there are a variety of senior transportation options with unique pros and cons. Before we get into this, we are going to briefly discuss the transportation issues facing millions of seniors around the US, highlighting the importance of finding a reliable transportation service.
Millions of older adults find themselves living in communities where vehicle transportation is a necessity, although as they age, they may not be able to provide this type of transportation for themselves any longer.
Many seniors depend on friends and family to transport them where they need to go. A smaller percentage will relocate to areas where it’s easier to get around and access day-to-day needs by foot. A combination of pedestrian-friendly streets and recreational trails for seniors will help combat this issue. Although, at this point in time, they do not exist in every neighborhood, not even close.
Seniors require adequate transportation services to get where they need to go at all times. Unfortunately, without access to affordable transportation services, seniors are at risk of isolation, depression, and so forth.
According to a 2004 study referenced by a t4ameica.org report:
- Seniors 65 years and older who no longer drive go to the doctor 15 percent less than seniors of the same age who still drive.
- They make 59 percent fewer trips to the market and to eat out
- They make 65 percent fewer trips to visit friends and family
Furthermore, in the New York metropolitan region where there is arguably the greatest access to transportation in the US, an estimated 101,159 seniors do not have access to transportation.
The American Journal of Public Health reported that men in their early 70s who no longer drive will require access to public transportation for an average of six years, while women in the same age group will require transportation alternatives for ten years on average.
Factors that influence a senior’s ability to access transportation:
- Location of residence – do they live somewhere rural or in an urban area?
- Where they live in the country – certain states and cities are far better prepared to offer transportation to seniors than others.
4 Options for Senior Transportation
Finding a reliable form of consistent transportation is key to combating isolation, depression, and the inability to attend important appointments or even lunch dates with friends and family. Here are a few options to consider.
1. Friends & Family
Friends and family are the best drivers for seniors, but life is busy, and they may not be available at all times, especially if they do not live in the immediate area, have demanding careers, and so forth.
2. Public Transportation
Buses, trains, cabs – these are all forms of public transportation that can be utilized by seniors who no longer drive. Although it is important to live in an area where seniors can access these services without going far from their home.
The downsides to public transportation:
- Must be mobile enough to get to pick up and drop off locations
- Public transportation runs on a schedule that may conflict with the time one needs to get somewhere.
- Only available to seniors living in certain urban areas
The upside to public transportation:
- Available (virtually) every day of the year
3. Uber, Lyft
For the tech-savvy senior, calling an Uber or Lyft is a great way to get a ride on the go, right when they need it. Yet, seniors must have the ability to operate a smartphone and get into the car on their own without assistance. There is the option for friends and family to call the ride for them using their own smartphone from a different location, although this may complicate things.
4. Non-emergency Medical Transportation
For seniors who require a little more assistance or need to get to an appointment at a specific time, non-emergency medical transportation remains an ideal option. Seniors who rely on a wheelchair, are bedridden, or recently underwent surgery are better off depending on the support of these services. For instance, there’s the option for add-ons like door-through-door transportation, in which a professional comes into the home to assist getting out of the home, into the vehicle and into their specific appointment.
Looking for Affordable Non-emergency Medical Transportation for Seniors in Melbourne?
Schedule a ride with Stellar Transportation! We get you from point A to point B safely, securely and in style. We offer affordable and competitive rates for seniors of all mobility – no matter if you are in a wheelchair, require a stretcher, or get around on your own two feet. We even offer special rates for frequent riders. Contact us today to learn more. Check out our pricing page.