The Senior Care Transportation Guide: Exploring Transportation Options

How to discover what senior transportation options are available

Various transportation options exist and all should be explored in order to come up with either one or a combination of solutions that meet your parent's needs. Here are some possibilities:

  • Family members who volunteer to drive your parent as needed. This option is usually free, and the advantage is that you would know all the care providers, and hopefully like them and trust their driving.
  • Volunteers from religious organizations. Many churches, synagogues and organizations like Jewish Family & Children's Services or Catholic Charities have volunteers who will offer to regularly drive seniors to shop or see a doctor.
  • Taxis
  • Senior vans or buses -- which stop at seniors' homes and take them to the local grocery store or shopping center. While sometimes slow, these vans offer seniors a way to get out and an opportunity to socialize with others in the bus.
  • Private driving companies. Perhaps you can contract with a local driving service to regularly take your parent shopping, or golfing, or to the beauty parlor. Often, more spontaneous requests can also be accommodated.
  • Public transportation. Check with your local public transportation office for reduced fares available for seniors and for routes that accommodate wheelchairs or other special needs.
  • Home care aides. You can hire aides through local home care agencies to provide transportation to your parent. Check to make sure that the agency you contract with runs background checks and carefully screens employees.
  • Hire a private individual. Some are listed on Care.com, which will also do background checks for members.
  • Check with a local eldercare provider to see if there are additional options you hadn't known about.

Once you have investigated the various options, you can come up with a plan that meets your transportation needs.

Ronnie Friedland is an editor at Care.com. She has coedited three books on parenting and interfaith family life.

Next: Cost of Transportation for Seniors »
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