No one wants to hear they are no longer capable of driving, as it is often associated with a loss of independence and is a sign of significant life changes. It is an awkward conversation for both children and parents, but necessary for everyone’s safety. Depending on where you live, no longer driving can make life challenging. As a whole, the United States is not very accessible for people who cannot drive. Our public transportation is lacking, and most towns are spread far enough apart that it makes walking tough.
To help a difficult transition go more smoothly, consider offering some alternative transportation options. While your parents may not be open to listening at first, hopefully, you will be able to reach a solution that makes everyone happy.
It is important during this conversation to be respectful of feelings and involve your parents in the decision-making process. Some driving alternatives are:
Hire a Delivery Service for Essentials
If family members can help out with occasional appointment transportation, an excellent option for day-to-day needs is a delivery service. Shipt offers grocery delivery all over the United States including San Antonio. For a yearly membership fee, someone will grocery shop on your behalf and deliver it directly to your house in as little as an hour. This allows seniors to still be in control of decision-making and relatively independent, something that is important for many people.
Research Senior-Friendly Transportation Options
Many urban cities have transportation services designed with seniors in mind. A great resource is ITNAmerica, a non-profit service that offer rides to seniors all over the country. Founder Katherine Freund started the service after an elderly driver hit her 3-year-old son, Ryan. She realized the answer was not simply in taking away someone’s driver’s license, but in offering them an alternative solution. While ITNAmerica is not currently available in San Antonio, there are alternatives. There are several medical appointment transportation agencies. See below for contact information:
|Presa Transportation Collaborative
|Southwest Community Outreach for Older People (SWOOP)
|Southeast Community Outreach for Older People (SCOOP)
|Jefferson Outreach for Older People
|North East Senior Assistance (NESA)
Explore Senior Living Options
Losing the ability to drive is also accompanied by other aging declines. If other activities like house upkeep, cooking, and personal hygiene are also becoming difficult, it may be time to research senior living options. Depending on how much help is required, independent living may be appropriate. However, if your parent needs a significant amount of help or has cognitive impairments, assisted living and memory care may be more appropriate.
Many senior living facilities, including all of Franklin Park® Senior Living communities, offer free transportation and scheduled group outings for appointments and grocery shopping.
Whatever solution fits your family’s needs, it is important to make sure it is safe and practical for everyone in the situation. If you would like additional resources on beginning the conversation about senior living or resources available in the San Antonio area, please contact us.