Seniors who use wheelchairs, canes, or walkers or those who can’t walk far or stand for long may find it difficult to get out of the house. If this limited mobility affects the ability to drive and stay independent,some seniors can become depressed and frustrated. Grand Rapids home care experts have put together a list of alternative transportation options for your senior loved one.
Local Senior Transport
Many communities offer a senior transportation service. These services are often free or inexpensive to help seniors living on a fixed budget. Senior transport services usually use a large van or bus and are almost always accessible for seniors with limited mobility. Lifts can help a senior in a wheelchair get into the bus, and some buses are able to lower to the curb, eliminating the need to walk up too many steps. Generally, these services require a call to reserve a ride, but they can usually pick your loved one up, drop him or her off at a desired location, and come back at a prearranged time to bring him or her home.
For seniors who live in large cities, public transportation may be a good option. Once impossible for those with limited mobility, the ADA is encouraging municipalities to make transportation accessible to people with limited mobility. Subways and metros often have special entrances to assist seniors in boarding. These entrances are frequently separate from the main boarding area, which means your loved one won’t have trouble finding a seat. Many buses have special seats at the front reserved for those with limited mobility. Public transport is also an affordable option.
Church or Senior Organization Carpool
Sometimes senior organizations and churches offer a carpool or transportation services for seniors with limited mobility. While the van or car may not always be equipped for accessibility, drivers are generally helpful about assisting your loved one into the vehicle and preparing mobility aids for transport as well. Knowledgeable, patient drivers can make things much easier.
Many seniors are using modern technology to help reclaim the ability to drive independently. Some insurance companies, local charities, and grants can help seniors with limited mobility obtain vehicles modified for their use. If your loved one is still capable of driving, but it is difficult for him or her to do so in a normal vehicle, a vehicle with proper adaptations may be the best alternative. Some vehicles are now made with hand controlled gas and brake options to allow paraplegics to drive, sliding boards or lifts to help get into and out of the driver’s seat, and have storage space so the driver can get into the seat, fold mobility aids, and stow them within easy reach.
Are you looking for other transportation options for your loved one? A Grand Rapids hourly caregiver from Home Care Assistance can provide transportation and mobility assistance whenever your loved one needs it. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with these and many other daily tasks, including exercise, cooking, and cleaning. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 616-243-0835 today.