Contributed by Frankie Fort, ACT Medical Transport Services
Did you know that one-half of Americans 65 and older do not have access to transportation? And that more than half of all non-drivers 65 and older stay at home in a given day because they don’t have transportation options. Those in rural areas and small towns are particularly affected because the transportation options are limited. But, it’s important for seniors to remain mobile to keep their social independence with friends and family; to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, and many other life-prolonged benefits. If you or your loved one is no longer able to drive, there are personal transportation options through state programs, non-profits and private businesses.
A study of the problems seniors face with transportation was conducted by the Beverly Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Seniordrives.org summarized their findings with the following themes:
- Seniors continue driving “as long as possible because they are unaware of, or do not believe they have, alternative means of transportation.”
- Seniors “limit their driving or stop driving altogether because of functional difficulties.”
- “By the time they stop driving, many older adults are so disabled that they are unable to use most public and para-transit systems.”
- “Next to health, transportation is the most important issue for seniors.”
Maintaining independence is crucial for healthy and active aging. A big part of independence is transportation. If you’re unable to drive, consider using personal transportation or a paid service. Your safety should always come first.
SC Access is YOUR guide to available resources for older adults, people with disabilities, their family members and caregivers in South Carolina. It is a program of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging. This link is directly to transportation in South Carolina: https://scaccess.communityos.org/zf/taxonomy/detail/id/468194
You may also call your local Area Agency on Aging for assistance.