Many aging in place seniors can no longer drive for one reason or another. If an alternative form of reliable transportation isn’t available, they can become socially isolated and face additional challenges like missing doctor’s appointments or not getting to the grocery store. As a result, some of those older adults are eventually forced to give up their freedom and independence. If you have an aging loved one in the Tuscaloosa, AL, area who’s in this situation, here are some safe and reliable transportation options for seniors that will get them where they need to be.
Why Do Seniors Stop Driving?
The aging process itself can bring about physical and mental changes that make driving no longer safe for seniors. Some of the reasons why older adults can no longer drive include:
- Vision or hearing loss
- Slower reaction times
- Poor mobility and flexibility
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Financial difficulties
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s
If your senior lives in Tuscaloosa but you don’t, other potential transportation options for them include trustworthy family members, neighbors and friends. If none of the those are available, it’s time to move on to Plan B.
Keeping Tuscaloosa Seniors Mobile
Older adults who stay active tend to be happier, healthier and live longer. Here are some safe and reliable transportation options for seniors in Tuscaloosa:
Demand Response Services
The Tuscaloosa Transit Authority provides Demand Response bus or van services that are specifically designed for those with physical and/or mental challenges, including the elderly. Here’s how it works:
- Services are provided by appointment only.
- To get started, riders must complete an initial application.
- The cost is $2.00 per passenger each time they board.
- Personal assistants are available at no additional charge to help passengers, and arrangements can be made by contacting the Demand Response office.
For more information, visit the Tuscaloosa Transit Authority’s website at: www.tuscaloosatransit.com.
Tuscaloosa County residents aged 60-and-above can schedule rides by contacting FOCUS directly. FOCUS provides door-to-door transportation services for seniors using handicapped- accessible vehicles, and escorts are available at no additional charge. The FOCUS program is specifically designed for seniors who have scheduled appointments in the area, and rides can be booked up to 3 months in advance. Although FOCUS is a non-profit organization, they do charge a $2.50 one-way or $5.00 round trip fee to cover fuel and other operating costs.
FOCUS offers senior transportation services to:
- Doctor appointments
- Physical therapy
- Grocery stores
- Social services offices
To get your senior started with FOCUS, visit their website at: www.focusonseniorcitizens.org.
Ride-Sharing Services Like Lyft
Another option you have is sett