Finding transportation services for seniors is a challenge for many. Even those who live independently may no longer be able to drive safely, yet traveling to medical appointments, grocery shopping, hair appointments and other errands is necessary for remaining independent.
Finding safe, reliable transportation isn’t always easy and may depend on where you live. Whether you need transportation for errands or a way home after hospital discharge, there are options available.
Transportation for Social Visits
Looking forward to lunch with the ladies or a catch-up session with an old neighbor? You likely need a car service that offers personal service.
- Uber. The Uber app is available for smartphone users. Create an account using your email address and phone number. Once you are set up, you simply type your destination into the Where to? box, tap your pickup location and tap Confirm to arrange for a ride with a nearby driver. For safety, be sure to match the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo with the information provided in your app. If you don’t own a smartphone or are not tech-savvy, ask a friend or family member to schedule the ride for you. Once your driver is on the way, you’ll receive a text message with information about the driver and the arrival time.
- Lyft ridesharing service. Download the Lyft app on your smartphone or ask a family member to order a ride for you. If you have a Jitterbug phone, dial 0 and ask the Lively service operator to set-up your Lyft for you. Again, be sure to match the car and driver information sent to you before getting into the vehicle.
- GoGoGrandparent. This is not a ridesharing service, but rather a way to connect you with a service such as Lyft or Uber. GoGoGrandparent makes it easy for seniors who aren’t comfortable with technology to connect with a variety of services. They can assist you with arranging rides, grocery delivery, meal delivery and prescriptions. GoGoGrandparent can even help arrange home services including landscapers and dog walkers. Choose from monthly plans staring around $10.
Transportation for Errands
- Public transportation. If you live in a larger city, you may have access to buses or trains. Public buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts, and trains have wheelchair-accessible cars.
- SilverRide. The company offers door-to-door service for grocery shopping, appointments and other outings. Available in select locations across the country, SilverRide provides bonded drivers, who tailor trips to the needs of their passengers.
- Taskrabbit. Instead of hiring a car service to drop you for multiple errands, consider contacting Taskrabbit, a service platform that connects you with Taskers who can help with errands and more. All services can be booked online.
Medical Appointment Transportation for the Elderly
- Modivcare. Subscribers to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and certain healthcare plans may be eligible for non-emergency medical transportation through Modivcare. The company also works with multiple health systems, hospitals and universities to provide transportation and other services to seniors. Visit Modivcare’ website or contact your health plan to determine eligibility.
- Local volunteer or faith-based organizations. These sometimes offer transportation to and from medical appointments. Trips must be scheduled in advance and a small fee may apply. A map of volunteer transportation providers from the National Volunteer Transportation Center shows volunteer transportation providers in each state. You can also check with your local senior center or Department of Aging for information on available services.
Transportation Services for Seniors Following Hospital Discharge
- Some Medicare Advantage plans cover nonemergency ambulance transportation in some cases. Traditional Medicare may cover ambulance service upon hospital discharge if it is deemed medically necessary. Medicaid typically covers nonemergency transportation for those who meet the designated requirements.
- Nonemergency medical transportation (NEMT) services, such as ACC Medlink, can assist you with a ride to or from hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, hospice, assisted living or private residences. Many NEMTs accommodate special needs, such as oxygen, stretcher or walker, and serve cities across the nation.
- In some cases, it is necessary for a senior to travel a significant distance to reach a specific rehabilitation facility, to relocate closer to family or for a variety of other reasons. Flying Angels provide non-emergency medical transport services where you will be accompanied by a flight nurse on a commercial airline. Transport services are custom-designed to each client.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical conditions or treatments.