Senior Transportation: Leave the Driving to Us
Over 8 million senior citizens depend on others for transportation. By 2030, the number of drivers over 85 will be four to five times what it is today. Neither cars nor roads in America are designed for our elderly population. The skills and abilities associated with driving tend to diminish with age, making alternate forms of transportation for our elderly an important issue that must be addressed.
How and when do you tell a loved one that he or she needs to stop driving? Older adults often become defensive of their right to drive even when they realize that driving may pose a threat to themselves and others. Terminated driving privileges create a loss of social independence, a lack of access to essential services and often result in isolation.
Age-related changes affecting driving include the following:
- Physical and mental changes
- Age-related functional declines
- Side effects of medication slowing reflexes
- Reduced mobility
- Increased isolation and other quality of life changes
Driver retraining and physical therapy may help some seniors with driving difficulties. If your loved one has always been independent and self-sufficient, asking family and friends for help can be incredibly difficult. They may feel that they always have to plan around others’ schedules and only ask when it is a necessity.
Alternate transportation is available in our community. The Rocky River Senior Center provides curb to curb transportation for older residents traveling to medical appointments, grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, and the senior center! Residents are asked to register with the Transportation Coordinator and then call to schedule rides as needed.
This allows seniors to be less dependent on family members and friends. A small fee is requested to help defray the cost of the program. The program is sustained by the support of individual donations, generous residents and businesses who value the older adults in our community. The Giant Eagle Foundation recently awarded $5,000 to help sustain this program and keep it affordable for residents to utilize these services.
The weather is cold and driving conditions hazardous. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from transportation services - please contact Leigh Eastman at the Rocky River Senior Center at 440-333-6665 and leave the driving to us!
Deborah (Bock) Capstick is the Director of Senior Services for the City of Rocky River. For the last 13 years, she has worked with seniors in North Olmsted, Bay Village and Rocky River. Deborah has a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in counseling.