In the United States, more than one-third of seniors (people age 65 or older) do not have access to public transportation and stay at home. Also, older adults in rural areas cannot commute from the place because of limited transportation options. If this trend continues, the elders will lose their social independence and become a target of isolation and loneliness. For this purpose, elderly transportation services commute elders for shopping, recreation, doctor’s appointments, and other needs. Such services may serve your older family member door-to-door or curb-to-curb, depending upon the type of service you choose. Please read below to learn more about door-to-door elderly transportation, its cost, and the right options available in the market.
Difference between Door-to-Door or Curb-to-Curb Service
When your older adult’s parent or a loved one chooses a curbside service, they must come outside the house and wait for the driver to come on time. The driver helps the older adult into the car and drops them off at the destination before driving away. Besides being convenient, curb-to-curb elderly transportation is not ideal, especially in winter, because of slippery doorsteps and sidewalks. Also, it is not friendly for the elderly with physical and visual disabilities.
On the other hand, door-to-door older adults’ transportation is a fantastic choice for older adults and especially the elderly with disabilities who require additional assistance to run errands and visit doctor’s appointments. In door-to-door service, the driver picks up your loved ones from the door, walks every step with them, and safely drops them off at the destination.
Who offers curbside and door-to-door services?
Several transportation options offer curbside and door-to-door older adults transportation for people who are no longer fit for driving due to health challenges or special needs. Here are some options for you or your elderly loved ones:
1. Para-Transit Services:
Paratransit is a shared ride public service offered by the city or town using minibusses and vans. People with disabilities who cannot ride a fixed-route public transport are eligible for this service. Para-transit services serve curbside as default, but you can request door-to-door assistance when booking a trip.
2. Private Ride Services:
Private Ride services are door-to-door by default and are specifically catered to older adults and the physically disabled. In addition to assisting in getting into the car and getting off the car, the driver also accommodates in carrying bags, loading wheelchairs, and making purchases during the outing.
3. Ride-Hailing services:
Apps like Uber and Lyft serve door-to-door elderly transportation with a click from smartphones. In addition to being convenient, these apps provide accessible vehicles and services for older adults and people with special needs.
4. Volunteer Programs:
Volunteer transportation programs offer free or inexpensive door-to-door elderly transportation services for errands and appointments. Most of the time, the vehicle is unsuitable for motorized wheelchairs, but the driver provides D2D assistance.
Pros and Cons of Transportation Services
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of elderly transportation services that serve D2D/curbside:
- Para-transit services provide wheelchairs and handicapped-accessible vans and are suitable for people who cannot ride public transportation but do not offer door-to-door assistance.
- In private rides, the vehicles are designed for people with high medical needs and can transport motorized wheelchairs as well. However, private rides for seniors and the disabled can easily cost between $20 and $30 and are only available in urban areas and suburbs.
- Ride-hailing services give flexibility because you can call for a ride anytime, but the quality of the ride may vary because the driver switches every time.
- Volunteer transportation service is free and allows social interaction in addition to transportation. However, the availability depends upon the programs in your area.
Charges of Door-to-Door/Curbside Service
Here is everything you must know about the costs of the door-to-door elderly transportation services mentioned earlier:
- For para-transit transportation services, the cost varies depending on the private agencies and the state, so there are no fixed charges. Therefore, contact the company before securing a ride.
- Volunteer driver programs are usually nonprofit, so the cost is minimal, around $5 to $10, or even free.
- Private rides usually cost around $20-40, depending on the time of the day and distance from the drop-off location. Also, they may charge additional money if you call a ride urgently, on weekends, or during off hours, require an additional attendant, or cancel a ride.
- Rail-hailing services also have varying costs. For instance, an Uber ride charges around $0.90 to $2.35 per mile.
How do older adults get around without a car?
It is a necessity for seniors and disabled individuals to have mobility and maintain social independence and health. However, the elderly cannot transit around and stay active due to age-related problems. Hence, it is mandatory to find affordable transportation options for seniors. Some of the right options include:
- County public transportation
- Public transportation like busses, subways, ferries, or shuttles
- Volunteer driving programs
- Non-emergency medical transport
Why is transportation a problem for older adults?
Transportation is a problem for older because for many reasons, including:
- Lack of access to a personal vehicle
- Physical challenges due to aging, like vision and mobility impairments
- Mental challenges
- Loss of driving skills
Due to a combination of the above reasons, aged people can commute from places and are bound, limiting their social interactions and isolating them.
For older adults transportation is a means to maintain their independence. However, many cannot drive by themselves and go places. Therefore, there are many private and public transportation options that serve door-to-door elderly transportation at low or no-cost at all. These rides take you or your elderly loved one to shopping malls, medical appointments, grocery shopping, or running errands with complete assistance and safety.
Reach out today at NewMedicare.