Family and Friends
Many older adults ask their family and friends for rides. However, some non-drivers may feel guilty asking for assistance. Building strong relationships earlier in life can make the transition easier. Requesting rides from a number of different people, based on the activity and timing, is also important. Think about family and friends who might share your interests or needs. Try to build relationships with drivers of all ages.
Volunteer Driving Programs
After decades of experience at the wheel, moving to the passenger seat isn’t easy. Catching a ride with family and friends is the top alternative to driving for older adults. If that’s not an option look for local, not-for-profit organizations that connect seniors with volunteer drivers who offer transportation for shopping, medical appointments, and other activities.
Many volunteer driving services offer ‘door-through-door’ services perfect for individuals with limited mobility, and advanced booking is often required. Many pay mileage and liability usually falls under your regular auto insurance policy without extra cost.
Walking and Cycling
On some occasions, walking or biking can replace the need to drive. Baskets, small carts, or delivery services can be used to deal with purchases or bulky items. These options are not practical for everyone, especially in bad weather or on icy streets, however, they can provide physical exercise, as well as more autonomy.
Private Group Transportation
Some seniors’ residences, day programs, recreation centres, tour companies and retail businesses such as shopping centres, offer free or fee-based transportation services. For example, some individuals pay for occasional group or individual trips in the seniors’ residence bus as part of their rent. Some shopping malls and casinos offer free transportation to encourage purchases. Tour companies offer day trips and longer vacation travel. Many seniors’ recreation groups offer day trip transportation opportunities and tours to local sites and events.
Taxi and Limousine Services
Most urban communities have fee-based taxi services. Some companies train drivers to work effectively with older people. Taxis provide opportunities for individualized travel at specific times. Some taxi companies sell coupons or other pre-paid tickets and offer discounted fares for seniors.
For Profit Transportation Services
Many new assisted-driving services have emerged in recent years. For a fee, a driver will provide appropriate individualized transportation. Most of these services will assist passengers with other tasks for additional fees, such as shopping help or waiting at a medical appointment, if requested. Operators have varied training that should reflect the services being provided. Check the cost, the reputation of the company and be sure they have appropriate insurance and worker screening in place.