You will be forgiven for thinking that in America, assistance with housing, food programs and health services would be the most pressing needs for the elderly but Eldercare Locator, the government helpline report that they receive more inquiries about transportation than any other topic. Seniors need help getting to routine medical appointments, supermarkets and locations where they remain active in their community. This seniors transportation dilemma is likely to be a very similar story for older Australians.
For seniors and the elderly, getting out and about is so important for their health and well-being! But just at the time this is so important, ageing wields its challenges such as diminishing vision and hearing, memory loss and many other health conditions which make it unsafe for older adults to drive.
As a result, some seniors decide to move to a senior living community that offers transportation services. But most prefer to stay in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes.
Caregivers and friends often provide the vitally important transportation needs for their older loved ones but they can find this very demanding and time consuming. According to an American poll (the NADTC poll), "Caregivers play a pivotal role in helping older adults meet their transportation needs and most are happy to help, but they find providing or arranging rides to be extremely time consuming." The poll results found that 39% of caregivers spend five to 10 hours or more each week transporting their loved one, and 28% say this task feels overwhelming. This statistic may well be the same in Australia.
Senior transportation options
There are other options:
Public transportation: Most Australian cities have good public transportation systems, with buses and rail or tram infrastructure. They offer discounted senior fares. However, older Australians can find these systems daunting, or fear they'll be unsafe.
Taxicabs: Taxicabs can be a more convenient option than public transport. They can be pricey, but your community may offer discount coupons for seniors who qualify.
Ride-hailing services: More and more, older adults these days are using app-driven services such as Uber. They are usually less expensive than traditional cab service, though also perhaps a bit less safe and reliable. This form of transport requires users to be able to use their smartphone app which can be daunting for many seniors.
Professional in-home care: If your family uses home care to care for a loved one at home, such as Right at Home, don't forget that our caregivers can provide transportation. And the ride is only the beginning. A taxi or Uber driver isn't going to assist your loved one to the restroom or wait in the doctor's waiting room with them. Transportation is sometimes required for more serious reasons such as post- operative transitions from hospital to home. It's important to choose a home care service provider that screens, trains and supervises their caregivers. This provides peace of mind for seniors and families alike. How nice to call Mum and hear that the caregiver took her to her weekly seniors group activity!
This Blog is based on an article that appeared in the 'Caring Right at Home' newsletter, a publication of Right at Home International.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website.
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors and adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones, and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no admin or subscription fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget.
Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 362 609 or visit our website.