Posted by Jen Campbell
Assistant Administrator at Westview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
According to a June 2017 Consumer Reports article, 40 million adults 65 and over have a driver’s license and 3.5 million over age 85 do. But at some point, physical or cognitive limitations or even medication use can make driving unsafe. When that happens, not only is the inability to drive an inconvenience, the loss of independence and mobility can be devastating to some seniors. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of alternatives for the elderly to stay mobile.
- Ride share companies. The rise of services like Lyft and Uber mean more access to door-to-door car transportation that’s quick and affordable. For those who need wheelchair-accessible vehicles or have disabilities, Uber offers programs like UberWAV and UberASSIST in select cities. But for some seniors, the lack of a smart phone to access the ride sharing apps can be a barrier. To address this issue for those who may not have the technology, other alternatives have emerged. For example, RideWith24 is available in some states that allows people to call a toll-free number to book an Uber ride.
- In Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority offers a reduced fare bus pass program for seniors. Seniors simply have to bring appropriate documentation when applying for a pass in person. The pass allows persons age 65 and older to pay ½ fare on all off-peak hours of service. Low-income seniors can apply for a RIPTA No Fare Bus Pass and ride free of charge. The RIde program for those 60 and older in about 18 communities in the state offers transportation by appointment for things like doctor appointments, therapy, medical tests, kidney dialysis, cancer treatments and meal sites. In addition, the ADA Paratransit Services from RIPTA offers curb-to-curb transportation service to people with disabilities that prevent them from using regular RIPTA bus service for twice the cost of the standard bus rate.
- The LogistiCare program offers rides for Medicaid members and certain elderly individuals age 60 and over who have no other way to get a ride to medical appointments, adult day care, and meal sites. All trips must be pre-arranged by a member or medical practitioner two days in advance.
- Senior transportation. In some communities in the state, transportation is available to seniors through local senior centers. In Smithfield, for example, the Senior Center offers rides to local hairdressers and nursing homes, grocery shopping, pharmacies and banks. In Warwick, seniors who don’t possess any available means of transportation can participate in the Transwick program and get rides for $1 to shopping, the senior center, pharmacies, hospital visits and more.
At West View, we understand the importance of staying connected and offer numerous opportunities for our resident to enjoy life and have fun, both on our property and off-site.
About West View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
West View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility providing long-term care and rehabilitation services located in West Warwick, Rhode Island. At West View, our commitment is to treat every resident with the respect and dignity that he or she deserves, and to involve them and their family in the development and implementation of their care plan in order to maximize positive results.