One of the main problems faced by elderly people is difficulty in finding transportation to and from the places they need or want to be. The transportation facilities everyone else uses do not always favor the elderly, who often get isolated in their old age and become unable to drive by themselves. It becomes necessary for them to depend on others for travel purposes. If helpers and caregivers are inadequately trained or lack the needed patience to take care of old ones, then the latter are in trouble once more.
Effects of the Lack of Transportation Facilities
Lack of transportation facilities can prevent elderly people from reaching a doctor while in a medically critical situation, affecting their health very badly. Also important is shopping for groceries and food items, because without that going forward without hitches, they soon have malnutrition to look forward to. Elders may lose connection with the outside world and get secluded in their homes, and may eventually descend into a depression of the kind that stems chiefly from loneliness.
There are lots of possible solutions to tackle the problem of lack of transportation facilities for older people. Actions can be taken by community groups and governments as well, which can work to improve the transportation facilities available to elderly persons in the neighborhood. Application-based ride companies like Uber and Lyft too can do much to serve the elderly people in specific areas. The fact is that the elderly people need vehicles operated by “elder-friendly” drivers, who are willing and able to provide extra senior assistance and care.
There are many community organizations now which provide volunteer drivers looking to assist elderly people. In a program hosted by Medicare, ambulances are being used to take elderly people to doctors. Door-to-door transportation is what is necessary for these people, and it must be carried out efficiently. ParaTransit buses, cars, and vans do carry out this service, but require pre-reservation, which can sometimes be impossible for the senior to take care of.
A new idea called ‘Universal Mobility as a service’ is being worked out by some transit planners. It aims at combining different kinds of Transit services which will make transportation for the elderly more effective. This is expected to make transportation services more easily available.
Elderly people must be considered as senior citizens and taken care of by everyone. In public transport systems as well as private systems, they must be given priority and treated with courtesy. Elders too must be taught to make use of the safest possible means of transport with the help of someone, so that they can keep themselves going strong in all possible ways.