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JoAnn29, isn't that strange? Why not use services available to you?

My gramma was obese but still very mobile and got herself all over the metro area by bus, transferring as needed. She had her wits about her to the very end (age 98). If she decided she needed buttercup yellow crochet thread she knew just where she could get it and she lumbered her way to the bus stop. But after the city decided to make bus rides free for the elderly, she never used buses again. She was not about to take charity. Sigh. We tried in vain to convince her this was not charity, it was a policy decided on for the public interest. If Seniors could be encouraged to use the bus they would get out to shop more and that was good for the economy. We tried explaining that it was good to keep those still driving past when they should be off the roads. We tried assuring her that this was a little reward for all the years of good citizenship. Nope. It was charity and she wouldn't take it. She would never impose on family so she remained isolated at home. What a shame!

If I were in charge of policy, I wouldn't make it free. Maybe seniors paid a quarter or even a dime, but they had to drop some money in the fare box like everyone else.
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There's no free service for very good reasons: who could afford to purchase and maintain vehicles for periodic use? Who would pay for the upkeep, the insurance? How could such a company pay drivers if it's doing all the chauffeuring for free?

Public transportation systems often have paratransit/small bus/dial a ride/point to point transportation for a very nominal service.
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It urks me that there are services out there and people who could benefit from them won't use them. They could make their families lives a little less overwhelming lives. Have a friend that has no family. She will not check out free services she needs.
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Mother has access to the van that picks up the Srs for the Senior Center. Will she take it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Even though she'd be first on, first off and the Sr Center is 1/2 mile from her home. She depends on others, and all her friends who can drive--well, it's down to one couple who will take her to the center one day a week. She complains b/c the husband just plays Bingo and gets up and wants to leave, she wants to stay for lunch and socializing. If she'd accept she's 88 years old and not the queen of the world, and ride in the van, she could stay at the center all day, everyday if she do wanted. I did mention using an Uber, but realized since she cannot operate her phone, that is just asking for trouble.

I have 4 sibs. She lives with brother, He is her primary "chauffeur" and she does tend to abuse that in him. I can't take her anywhere since I downsized my car and she can't get in and out. My other sibs will NOT run taxi duty----we do have bus service, but she is so mobility impaired.....she just can't. I tried to get her to accept in home aides, who would be able to drive her wherever she wanted--and she was really excited for like one minute and then pulled back. An aide 2 days a week is what she NEEDS--but not what she wants.

I agree, the "system" for transport for elders is difficult to deal with--I can't imagine trying to drive a van load of people in various states of mobility and health. Shane is right---nothing is free. Mother wants everything to be free to her. I get that, but she has funds and just doesn't want to spend them on transportation. Here comes a snowy winter and she is essentially housebound, I don't think this man can drive in the winter.

And your mom shouldn't be taking public transport home after ANY kind of surgery!!! I am pretty sure they make a responsible person sign saying they will get the patient home and stay with them, if necessary. I don't know a hospital who would discharge someone to go home alone, much less and elderly person.
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When someone has surgery, then there needs to be a responsible party to stay for at least 24 hours. As for routine trips, check with your local town senior department. There are van services available under certain qualifications
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Most counties (urban areas, anyway) have buses/transportation for low cost depending on your income. I believe you have to complete an application with financial information to get it but then maybe pay $2-5 per trip one way.
Those vans need gas, upkeep & maintenance and a trained driver. County & state resources can only go so far.
I’d call your county department of aging and ask if they have this service & apply. You never know until you try.
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gwenmumley, if there is no one to drive the senior to and from surgery, that also means that senior is going back to an empty house. Not good especially if that person had some type of surgery.

Usually doctors will request that surgery will only be performed if someone, who can speak for the elder there during surgery, recovery, and to be with the patient at home afterwards.
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The eye clinic where I had my cataracts removed does provide this service. I suppose they count it as part of their overhead and do their pricing accordingly. They send a small van to pick up several patients who live within a reasonal route and have similar appointment times. Your are given your appointment time and also told when the van will be there. Unless you are the last pickup, you'll spend more time on the road than if you drove yourself. And there is a waiting period after you arrive. Not as convenient, perhaps, as a taxi, but an absolutely wonderful service.

If garages can take you home after you leave your car off and then come get you when the work is done, you'd think more medical facilities could figure how to work this cost into their overhead.

My mother and my husband and brother were all eligible for no-cost transportation for medical appointments. My mother was not capable of traveling alone so she never used that benefit. And I also wanted to accompany my husband on all appointments, so he didn't use it either, except for a few dental visits. My brother preferred driving when he was well enough to do so, but he used the no-cost transportation sometimes.

My metro area also has free or low-cost transportation for eligible people, and it is not limited to medical appointments. I don't know if "old age" is a qualifying condition!

I'm with you, gwenmumley. I would love to see such services more broadly available.
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Who would pay for this? Someone has to.
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