Changes in life can bring discomfort. If you or an older adult you love has to give up driving, and fears losing their independence, talk through this transition with a counselor to explore options.
Connect with Friends and Family Members
Having active social connections is good for your health because you can help each other through good times (and bad) and offer support when needed. Sometimes that support can be transportation. Talk to friends and family members about their ability to help with errands, doctors’ appointments, and trips to social gatherings. Even if they aren’t able to help, they may know someone who can.
Besides, a weekly trip could be a wonderful way to strengthen relationships you already have or bond with new people. Taking the time to connect with others—and in this case getting needed errands accomplished—is an essential part of healthy aging.
Reach Out for Community Support
If you are involved with a senior center or a place of worship, ask about senior transportation options. Many of these organizations have buses or rideshare programs in place to help elder adults continue to live alone. Sometimes services ask for contributions. While it may not be free, it could be an optimal solution and could even lead to new friendships.
Even if you don’t have a relationship already in place, you may be able to connect with a senior living facility. Some organizations allow seniors outside of their communities to benefit from their senior van routes, too. There may be a route they already have in place that could be just what you or a senior you love needs. Contact senior services agencies in your areas for information.
Look at Public Senior Transportation Options
Depending on where you live, public transportation may be an option. In cities with large, local transportation systems, you may even have access to paratransit buses. Unlike fixed-route service, paratransit buses provide transit to individuals in need of pre-arranged trips.
Also, typically, there are senior discounts for public transportation services. And, most buses have the equipment to transport wheelchairs and individuals in need of special attention smoothly and safely.
If you are worried about your own driving or are concerned about the driving abilities of someone you care about, it may be time to explore alternate senior transportation options. There are plenty of reasons to leave the driving to someone else, from hearing issues to slower reaction times and medications.
Explore your options and weigh your needs before committing to a senior transportation option. Every change in life takes some adjustment. Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. A dedicated professional, Kendall can help you, or a senior citizen you love, through the transitions of older adulthood.