Ask the Expert (Amy Natt)
My mom is living on her own for the first time in 52 years. She stopped driving about 10 years ago, as my dad always did the driving. My brother and I both live out of town and are looking for suggestions for transportation.
There are several options for transportation; some offer more benefits than others. You will also have to determine which options are available in her specific community. Some options require technology, so it will involve her comfort level with navigating them. If your mom has any mobility issues or would benefit from assistance beyond just the ride, a more specialized option might be a good fit.
Ride Share Apps – most people are aware of ride share apps, but these require her to use a smart phone to request a ride. They are dependable in bigger areas but may be very limited in more rural areas or smaller communities. She would get different drivers each time and would need to be comfortable riding with someone she doesn’t know.
Taxi and Transportation Services – many communities offer taxi or private transportation services. These allow you to set up rides as needed and may offer more consistency in getting the same driver each time. Some will offer basic services, like grocery shopping, in addition to transportation.
County Transportation – try calling your county or area agency on aging. Most counties will offer some type of public transportation. These may involve waiting longer for rides and require prescheduled rides, but they offer affordable transportation options.
Private Duty Caregiver – you may want to consider hiring a private duty caregiver for your mom. If she scheduled the bulk of her appointments, errands, and shopping on set days of the weeks, you could set up a caregiver for those days. This gives your mom someone to drive her, as well as an extra set of hands for things like putting groceries away. She would have a familiarity with the caregiver, and they can build a relationship.
Medical Transport Services – if mobility becomes an issue or something special is needed, like a wheelchair transport, there are services that offer medical transport with wheelchair accessible vans.
Facility Transportation – if your mom decides to transition to a continuing care retirement community or assisted living facility, they will have transportation options for residents.
Here are some things to ask when you are looking for transportation options:
Do rides need to be scheduled in advance? If yes, how far in advance?
How long is the typical wait for a ride?
Will the driver drop her off and wait for her? Or will she need to let them know when she needs a return ride and how long will that wait likely be?
What is the cost of the ride and what forms of payment are accepted?
Are there any eligibility requirement to use the transportation?
What credentials to the drivers have?
Does the driver offer assistance beyond providing the transport, like help with groceries?
What area or distance is transportation available? How far from her home will they go?
Once you gather all of your information, you can determine the best options and try a few of the services out while you are in town visiting. Having access to transportation will help your mom feel a sense of independence. Create a list for her, so she will have options. If you find that she needs more hands-on assistance in navigating and accessing these options, consider working with a local care manager who can help her determine the best fit and coordinate the details for her. CaregiverNC is North Carolina’s only accredited caregiver registry. All of the Caregivers listed on our registry are pre-screened & pre-verified to ensure they can provide your loved one with the best care possible. Contact Us online, or call our concierge service directly at (910) 692-0683 today!