For most people, driving is as easy as getting in your car, turning the key, and stepping on the gas. For many seniors, though, it is not that easy anymore. In fact, driving may not even be safe. While physical limitations and diminished awareness are a normal part of the aging process, they can make for a dangerous combination on the road.
Still, like everyone else, seniors need to get places. Whether it is a doctor’s appointment, the grocery store, visiting with family or any number of other scenarios, transportation is critical. Fortunately, there are a number of ways seniors can travel where they need to go without the risk of getting behind the wheel.
Let us share several key alternatives to driving that you need to know about whether you are a Virginia or are planning for an aging loved one.
1. Family and Friends.
One of the easiest options is for adult children, other family members or friends, and perhaps even neighbors, to offer to drive a senior citizen to his or her appointments or run errands. Helping the senior develop a regular schedule and identifying other alternatives can also be useful, especially when things get hectic for all involved.
2. Ride Sharing Services.
Technology continues to make life easier. With the advent of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, a ride to the doctor is as easy as pressing a button on one’s smartphone. The key here is to make sure the elder loved one is comfortable with technology and may require a bit of upfront training.
3. Low-Tech Ridesharing.
If you or your aging loved one is not tech savvy, companies like GoGoGrandparent can help. It utilizes Uber and Lyft services without smartphones, and caters to the elderly to make sure they reach their chosen destinations safely. In addition, they send alerts to the senior rider’s caregiver to update them on where the senior is, as well as who the driver is.
4. Personal Driver.
You do not need a chauffeur and limousine to have a personal driver. There are plenty of affordable services offering to run errands for seniors, or take them to various appointments. This can include caregiver-drivers, who also assist with daily living activities.
5. Public Transit.
Public transportation remains an effective and inexpensive way of getting around town. Public transit services often include senior discounts and added safety accommodations, such as wheelchair lifts and handrails. Although not as frequent a service in less metropolitan areas, most local communities have a service specifically designed to assist seniors.
We know that this article may raise more questions than it answers. The key to being able to ensure you or your aging loved one is able to age-in-place is developing an elder law plan that contemplates future needs like driving. Do not hesitate to contact us to help you navigate the maze of aging for yourself or your loved ones.