Posted on Nov 29, 2018 in Senior Tips
For senior citizens that no longer have access to a car or no longer have their license, it may seem like harder to get around to activities or appointments that you need to go to. While it may feel debilitating to lose a license or may feel like you are lacking independence, you still have many options for getting to where you need to go. Especially with the technology we have available to us today.
There are a number of options to get to and from your activities, social events or medical appointments. However, each option normally comes with its pros and cons. You will likely have to change which mode of transportation you are using depending on the situation or event you are going to.
Depending on where you live, there is most likely a number of public transportation options available. Many metropolitan areas have access not only to buses but to light rail and train systems that are generally pretty affordable, and there are generally reduced fares for senior citizens. You can find your city or town bus or train schedule online.
While the cost is cheaper, public transportation does not run all the time which may affect your schedule. Similarly, weather and transfer lines could make it more difficult to get around with public transportation.
While taxis used to be the go-to option when you needed somewhere to go, and they still are at some times, Uber and Lyft are two companies that have disrupted the taxi industry. After downloading the Uber or Lyft application onto your phone and entering your payment information, all you need to do is type in your location and destination and within a few minutes an employee will be at your door ready to take you to your location.
While transportation companies like taxis, Uber, and Lyft are much more accessible and easier to use than some other options, they tend to be more expensive.
Many local faith-based and nonprofit organizations will generally have a network of volunteers available. These services are generally used for senior citizens going to and from activities like shopping, medical appointments, recreation and other activities. These volunteer programs will normally offer options for one-way or round trip rides. Mostly these programs are provided for free and take donations to keep them afloat but some may have low costs.
One downside that comes with transportation is that the ride will likely have to be scheduled in advance, if an appointment or other activity is last minute you may have to look at other options.
While you might not have accessibility to a car, a friend might. Carpooling is one of the most inexpensive options available to you when it comes to transportation. There are some benefits that come from carpooling. Not only do you get to your destination, you can also get there faster by using the carpool lane during rush hour. Also, having someone come with you can be a social opportunity that both can benefit from. Not to mention, carpooling is good for the environment. Most family or friends are willing to help with driving, especially if you offer some money for gas.
The only downside to carpooling is that you will most likely have to be more flexible with your schedule.
These are a few of the options available to you if you lack access to your own vehicle. However, there are a number of other choices. For example, one thing that can work is finding a personal or family friend that you can hire to drive you around. Paying them each hour they drive as well as gas money can not only get you where you need to go but can increase social interaction with others.
While it may seem like losing your license or not having access to a car can prevent you from attending events and activities that you need or would like to, there are a lot of alternatives to driving yourself. Things like carpooling, volunteer drivers, and public transportation can all help get you where you need to go.
However, most options come with their own pros and cons. While some are more accessible but costly, like taking a taxi or a Lyft, others can be less accessible but more affordable like public transportation. While some make you schedule around them like volunteer drivers, companies like Uber are available at all times of the day.
Obviously there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a mode of transportation, mixing and matching how you get around seems to be the best way to go about adjusting to this new lifestyle. If you have a doctor’s appointment that it unable to be rescheduled ordering an Uber or Lyft is probably your best bet. If you are going to a sports event, public transportation generally runs right through major metropolitan areas where the stadiums are.
While losing a license or access to a car may seem debilitating, if you can overlook the initial lack of independence that you may think is associated with this, you’ll see that whatever your needs are, there are tons of options available to you. Alternatives like public transportation, volunteer drivers and carpooling are all available. Assisted living facilities are another option available to some. Some senior care facilities come with volunteer drivers or driving programs and it also gives you or your loved ones opportunities to meet with other senior citizens who may still have access to a vehicle. Whatever the case, senior living homes and assisted living homes are available if you or your loved one needs assistance or wants to be more social as they turn to the next chapter in their lives.