In the last six months, approximately 15,900 individuals reached out to the Eldercare Locator seeking transportation assistance. The partnership between NADTC and Eldercare Locator ensures that when individuals or their family caregivers call NADTC (866-983-3222) requesting a ride or needing information about local transportation options, they are offered the option to be directly connected to one of the Eldercare Locator’s Transportation Specialists by pressing ‘1’.
In some situations, the need for a ride is impacted by a housing (or another) problem. Take, for example, this real situation, referred to us by the Federal Transit Administration:
An individual with a degenerative neurological condition is homebound and has difficulty walking. He lives in an apartment on the 2nd floor and it is extremely difficult for him to get out. There is no elevator. Currently, he uses medical transport service/stretcher service to go to medical appointments since he cannot safely get down the stairs.
Immediately we recognize that not only is this individual facing transportation challenges, he is also facing a housing crisis. In this situation, NADTC referred this individual to speak with an Eldercare Locator Enhanced Services representative. The Enhanced Services team investigated and researched additional transportation resources available in his community and also explored housing options for him. Meeting the growing demand for specialized transportation is not always easy, but this individual’s housing situation severely impacts the options available to him.
NADTC and the Eldercare Locator Transportation Specialists are continually learning from callers and agencies who contact us. Callers frequently ask similar questions, but our responses are unique based on a slew of questions discussed with the caller. Eldercare Locator Transportation specialists provide information about transportation options in general and typically connect the caller directly to their local I&R line. We know that local transportation resources vary a great deal state-to-state and local I&R Specialists can help an individual know what organizations in the community can be most helpful. Here are just a few of the questions we often discuss with individuals:
- Is transportation, including public transportation, available? Some communities may have limited transportation services due to the lack of funding, volunteer drivers, vehicles, or even all three.
- Are free or discounted fares available? Even when transportation is available, the cost of a ride may be out of the range of some people’s income.
- Is service available across county or state lines? Especially if in a rural area, there may be miles between destinations. This distance adds on to the cost of fuel and maintenance. This cost that could be passed on to the consumer, who may not be able to afford paying higher prices per trip
- Are there limits on when rides can be provided? Some agencies may only provide transportation at certain hours and/or scheduled times that don’t meet the needs of the individuals seeking service
What are some of the transportation challenges your community encounters?