When you cross the 60-year mark, most people consider you elderly. One of the most significant disadvantages that comes with old age is the fact that you can no longer go where you want when you want. According to statistics released by the National Caregivers Library, more than 8.4 million senior citizens in the United States have issues with transportation. The biggest problem is that they must rely on other people for transportation. Here we are going to talk about the most significant issues that older adults come across regarding transportation and their possible solutions.
To best handle busy traffic, you need to have quick reflexes, good vision, and agility. Most of these traits have deteriorated in older adults. This makes the elderly less adept in traffic. Most seniors find it hard losing part of their independence when they are no longer able to drive a car. The biggest issues are the inability to read words on signs, the lights from other vehicles, and the brightness of some road signs.
Distance to Public Transportation
When older adults lose the ability to drive, they need to resort to public transportation. But this also can be an issue for the elderly because they often live far away from public transportation systems. While retirement facilities usually have bus transportation, they are also at the same time far away from taxi stations and other transportation services.
A high entry step is a primary problem for most seniors when they try to board either a bus or train. Buses with the “kneeling” option can solve the problem, and train stations can create an additional step on the boarding platforms.
While subways are often easy to enter, as they are on the platform’s level, they rely on fast stopping and even faster departures. Because of this, the time between the opening of the doors and their closing is short. This can be a problem for the elderly who are slow walkers. Also, older adults face a similar obstacle when they find themselves at a pedestrian crossing and the green light quickly changes. This can put them in danger.
Steps vs Ramps
Today’s buildings and street crossings require a wheelchair ramp, and they are a huge help to the elderly with disabilities. But older buildings and old parts of town lack them and create a significant obstacle for some seniors.
Timing is everything, and for the elderly, it can be a hindrance. Most older adults need public transportation at a time when it is not available. Because of their state, most seniors avoid rush hour. But that’s precisely when most public transportation is available. Service is reduced when rush hour passes, and that is when the elderly want to do their chores.
Burden to Others
With time, most elderly adults become too dependent on others for transportation. But many of them don’t want to be a burden to their close ones. Because of that, their lives become harder as they lose one way of getting transported. This problem can be solved through family support, churches, and civic groups that provide organized transportation to those in need.
With age, older adults have less need to use transportation than they had in the past. But when medical issues arise, they once again need a constant means of transport. But at the same time, their close family has increased its members, and they have needs of their own and cannot dedicate enough time to their elderly loved ones.
Most people don’t think about this, but for the elderly who are no longer drivers, even a small hill can become a mountain. If they don’t have someone to help them, seniors who live outside urban centers can have their well-being endangered by the inability to get transportation to a hospital or to simply leave their home for some other need.
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