Three ways public transportation helps you maintain a social butterfly status
Like many older adults, you may be amazed by how full your days have become since retiring. But now, as you stand at another junction, your decision to give up driving doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite activities.
There is life after driving!
With a little planning and coordination, you can find transportation alternatives that will keep your life-affirming activities in place. Here are three options to consider.
1. Find a driver
You are probably well-acquainted with taxis, which provide a quick and convenient way to get around town. In fact, some cab companies offer discounts to seniors, so make sure to ask.
If you're feeling more modern, check out ride-sharing services, which are typically booked through an app on a smartphone or tablet. If you aren't sure how to navigate ride-sharing services, link up with a tech-savvy friend or family member to see how simple ordering a ride can be. Uber and Lyft now target services toward older adults including those without smartphones. Uber has partnered with 24Hr HomeCare to create RideWith24, a program that connects people to rides via a toll-free number. Lyft also works with senior transportation providers like Common Courtesy and Ride N Care to provide rides for seniors who live in the suburbs.
If taxis and ride-sharing aren't your style, another alternative is booking transportation services from home health care agencies. These organizations offer escorted shopping, outings and appointments. A less flexible but cheaper arrangement is to hook up with churches, senior centers and other social service organizations who use volunteer drivers.
2. Hop on transit
Public transportation is another affordable way to get around—and one that may work better for city dwellers as buses tend to run more frequently there than in the suburbs. Bear in mind, mass transit usually involves walking to bus stops and traveling on sometimes crowded vehicles.
Some municipalities operate senior-friendly systems that allow older adults to be dropped off along the route or to hail a bus on non-designated stops, and certain cities connect older adults with a traveling companion until they feel secure enough to go it alone. In addition, some places provide wheelchair accessible vans that take people with more limited mobility to their appointments.
Your local Area Agency on Aging can let you know the range of public transportation services in your community.
3. Let activities come to you
Some older adults take a different approach to solving the transportation problem by choosing to live in a senior living community. Not only are many activities like bean bag baseball and balloon volleyball provided on-site, but these communities can also offer scheduled transportation at no additional cost. For instance, each Holiday Retirement community develops its own transportation program based on residents' interests and needs, which includes scheduled activities like shopping, doctors' visits and recreational events like trips to the theater or cinema.
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