While letting go of the steering wheel can be a tough decision, it is a necessary one everyone has to make at some point in their lives. Every year, as many as 600,000 seniors have to decide to stop driving for a variety of reasons, making reliable alternative transportation methods a must for every one of them.
As a caregiver, you may not always be available to give them a ride to where they need to go, whether that be something simple like grocery shopping and meeting a friend or visiting their healthcare provider for a checkup. In such cases, you might be wondering what options are available to safely and reliably transport your loved one in your area. If that describes you, here are some things you need to know as a caregiver about elderly transportation.
Signs To Watch For
As a caregiver, it is important to monitor your loved one for signs that they are no longer fit to drive. The risk of traffic accidents rises in older drivers, spiking at 70 before peaking at 85 and older. This is due to the natural physical and mental changes that occur as people age, impacting their cognitive and physical capacity to safely drive.
Signs you should watch out for are failure to yield or stop at traffic signs, inability to track speed limits, or failure to recognize the distance between cars and barriers. Other signs that may signal their unfitness to drive are confusion over directions, right of way, or otherwise becoming lost regularly. If any of these signs begin manifesting in a loved one, it may be time for them to stop driving.
What To Do When You Can’t Give A Ride
While driving them to their destinations may be something you are willing to do, you may not always be available to do so. For such cases, you must understand the needs of your loved one and identify a means of transpiration that suits them. Most metropolitan areas have a variety of public transportation options, in addition to services catering specifically to seniors and medical patients. Here are a few options you can consider.
- Normal Public Transportation – If your loved one does not have any urgent medical needs and can move about without assistance, they may be able to use your area’s public transportation services. Many cities feature buses and train systems for their residents, providing a low-cost means of getting around the city with reliable scheduling. If you do decide to use public transportation, you may want to research where the access points are so that your loved ones can get around town without physically taxing themselves beyond what they can handle.
- Paratransit – Cities that offer public transportation must also offer paratransit within a mile of the standard routes with the same scheduling and availability. If your loved one needs special accommodation and cannot comfortably use public transportation, paratransit may allow them to get to where they need to go. To use these services, you must first submit an application and documentation providing their inability to use standard services.
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) – NEMT vehicles come equipped to accommodate seniors and patients with severe disabilities and medical conditions. Many services offer door-to-door pickup by paramedic staff to assist seniors out of their homes and will monitor them throughout transit and see to their needs. If your loved one needs specialized care and attention, NEMT transportation may be your best option.
If your loved one is unable to use public transportation due to an underlying medical condition or disability, Stellar Transport can ensure they reach their destination safely and reliably. Drivers are certified in elderly patient sensitivity, and vehicles have the necessary tools in the case of an emergency. To schedule a ride, contact us today.