Check with local senior organizations as well as your religious institution to see if they provide volunteer transportation services. Often, churches, synagogues and religious organizations, as well as senior centers, have volunteers at the ready to assist older members of the community with errands, appointments and other necessary trips around town.
Dial-a-Ride, Van Services and Ride Sharing
Many communities provide public ride sharing services, such as Dial-a-Ride, that cater to older adults. Often, these services are run by local transportation companies or nonprofit organizations and can be very useful for getting around town. These vans and buses are unlike taxis and hired transportation services in that they run along specific routes and usually don’t cater to specific requests. Costs for these services vary by service and location. To find a service in your area, check the phonebook or use the Eldercare Locater.
Depending on your loved one’s health, level of comfort and location, public transportation may be an option. This is a convenient way to get around metropolitan areas and is a great option in those areas where it’s safe, easy to follow and convenient. If you think your parent or loved one would take well to public transportation, take him on a few test runs to ensure he’s comfortable and finds his way around easily. Most major public transit systems provide rate information as well as maps on their websites.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those with disabilities are legally entitled to paratransit, as long as they meet eligibility. A system of buses, vans, cars and trains, paratransit is a public transportation service that caters to those who are unable to use regular public transportation. Those interested — or their caregivers — must contact their local transit provider, which will determine eligibility. For help with determining eligibility, visit the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.