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Transportation Options for the Elderly

December 22, 2016

As we get older, things that used to be easy can begin to present a challenge. Everything from walking up a flight of stairs to driving a car can cause more stress and fear. Thankfully, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Aging Services can help those who are growing older and struggle getting from place to place. Additionally, if you're a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers specific transportation programs for you.

Driving Safely for Seniors

Getting older doesn't always mean that you need to give up driving. Maybe you just need a refresher course on state laws or you want to sharpen your driving skills. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) recommends attending a Certified Defensive Driving/Driver Improvement class. These classes are offered all around the state and are approximately 6 hours long. The class covers changes to traffic laws, signs and signals, and will offer driving tips to keep you safe on the road.

Another resource recommended by DDS is the CarFit program, put on by the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Unit and developed by a number of national organizations. CarFit educates Georgia’s senior population on how getting older affects the way you fit in your car and the impact that can have on your driving. Find details on program eligibility and upcoming classes in your area on the CarFit website.

When Driving Becomes Too Much

Maybe driving has become too much of a burden or you have a physical disability that has prevented you from driving anymore. Whatever the reason is, it’s still important you are able to get out and do the things you need to do. That’s why DHS has put together a list of resources for Georgia residents who need other transportation options. Some of these resources are available throughout the country, while some of them will offer assistance in your local community.

ElderCare is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging and offers a number of different transportation options for the elderly, such as:

  • Volunteer Driver Programs
  • Paratransit Service
  • Door-through-Door Service
  • Public Transit/Fixed Route Service
  • Travel Training
  • Taxi Service
  • Transportation Vouchers Programs

Detailed information on each of these services can be found on the ElderCare website along with an ElderCare Locator to help you find resources in your community.

Local Transportation Resources

Georgia Services for Seniors is a resource sponsored by the Georgia Area Agencies on Aging. The services help improve the lives of seniors and those with disabilities by providing education and information on different services. Find information on some of the most popular aging-related topics, including non-emergency transportation services, with their online search tool. You can also contact your regional Georgia Area Agency on Aging for more information about your local community.

The American Public Transportation Association provides a list of transportation options for every county in the State of Georgia. Search by county, types of transit you prefer or statewide and local services.

The State of Georgia ADA Coordinator’s Office has a list of local transportation systems in different cities around the state. Each option provides information on transportation eligibility, pick-up and drop-off locations and other general information.

Transportation Services for Veterans

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers 2 types of Veterans Transportation Programs to eligible veterans as travel solutions to and from their VA health facilities. Those who are eligible can use the services at little to no cost.

Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) gives safe transportation to veterans requiring assistance traveling to and from their VA health facilities and other authorized non-VA health appointments. This service also partners with other local service providers to serve veterans in their communities with transportation needs. Search for a local VTS office to find transportation services near you.

The Beneficiary Travel (BT) program reimburses eligible veterans for travel costs incurred while traveling to and from their local VA health facilities. With a request from the VA, the BT can provide pre-approved transportation or arrange special mode transportation for eligible veterans. Find out more about the Beneficiary Travel program, see if you’re eligible and find out how to apply through the VA website.

Driving doesn’t have to be a burden on you or someone you love. There are multiple options around the state that can help with your transportation needs — getting you to your destination safe and stress-free.

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is a Content Specialist for Georgia.gov. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea ensures the content on Georgia.gov provides accurate information to all constituents of Georgia. She graduated with a degree in Marketing and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.