As much as you love to keep driving, like many others, you may have to stop at some point as you age. With up to 600,000 seniors choosing (or made to) to stop driving every year for a variety of reasons, having easy access to reliable transportation is essential for many of their livelihoods and everyday activities.
Whether it be going out to buy groceries, seeing their family, or visiting their healthcare providers for a routine medical checkup, there are several services and means available for them to get to where they need to go. If you have a loved one who is currently unable to drive and needs a way to get around town, here are some things you should know.
Why Do Elderly People Stop Driving?
Although many older people are safe drivers, as they age, the risk of traffic accidents rises, with numbers spiking at age 70 and peaking at 85 and older. This is a natural result of the physical and mental changes associated with aging which can prevent people from driving safely, such as failure to yield or stop when required, confusion or inability to keep track of speed limits, or failure to recognize the distance between cars and objects.
Additionally, elderly drivers are typically more prone to confusion over which direction they need to go, right of way, and otherwise becoming routinely lost, which can lead to accidents. For these reasons, many seniors should stop driving if they show any signs which could impair their safety and that of others while on the road.
Being left unable to drive, many older people must rely on family members to drive them around or transportation services to meet their needs. Here are a few options that are available to older people.
- Public Transportation
In most cities, there are several public transportation options available that may be convenient for seniors. Buses and light rail services are good options for many people who are in good health, and since they provide fixed routes, there is little worry about getting lost when compared to driving on their own.
Additionally, public transportation services offer low-cost travel and reliable schedules and do not require making reservations beforehand, making them ideal options so long as a bus stop or station is within a reasonable distance for seniors to reach on their own.
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act, city public transportation services must offer paratransit for individuals who are unable to use the standard public transportation services or fixed routes. Paratransit services must operate within three-quarters of a mile from a fixed route service and be available during the same operating hours.
They can accommodate seniors and anyone with disabilities, although they do require the submission of an application and medical documentation supporting your inability to use fixed routes. While they can be more expensive to use, they are not permitted to cost more than twice the standard fare.
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)
For passengers with severe disabilities or health complications, NEMT services offer reliable transportation that is safe and equipped to handle medical emergencies. Depending on your needs, some NEMT vehicles are outfitted with ventilators, electrocardiogram monitoring, and more, with paramedics staff onboard to handle any emergencies. For anyone unable to use public transportation and needing care during transit, NEMT may be the best option.
If your loved one is unable to use public transportation and requires safe and reliable transportation staffed by medical experts, NEMT is your best option. Stellar Transport offers state-of-the-art equipment and staff who are certified in elderly patient sensitivity, CPR, and first-aid, and they will make sure your loved ones arrive safely and on time. Contact us today to schedule a ride with one of our NEMT vehicles.