Transportation Resources Caregivers Need to Know (2023)

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About 600,000 older adults stop driving each year, according to USAging, the national association for Area Agencies on Aging. That can make it harder for aging or ill loved ones to make doctor's appointments, shop for necessities, visit family or attend social events. That, in turn, increases their isolation, whichnegatively affects health and well-being.

Transportation is often a major responsibility for caregivers. More than 40 percent of older and disabled adults rely on family, friends and neighbors for rides, and around three-quarters of caregivers list providing or arranging transport as one of their primary duties, according to a 2021 survey by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), a program administered by USAging and Easterseals that promotes accessible transit.

But providing transportation is not always easy or convenient. “Some family caregivers just can't leave their job every time somebody needs a ride to the doctor, much less even to the grocery store,” says Virginia Dize, a USAging program director and codirector of the NADTC.

Finding alternatives for times you can't get your loved one where they need to go likely will require some research. But a variety of options are available that can lessen the burden on caregivers and help older and disabled people keep appointments and stay socially connected.

When you can't provide a ride

The types of transit available differ widely from location to location, as do opportunities for specialized or discount service.

Metropolitan areas tend to be transportation-rich, with public bus, rail or trolley lines and various commercial options. In small towns and rural regions, you might have to rely on prebooked “demand response” services or volunteer organizations.

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In a joint publication on transportation options, NADTC and Eldercare Locator, a federal directory of local services for older adults, list several programs and services geared in varying degrees to helping older and disabled people get around. Remember that not all of these options are available everywhere, but your area is likely to feature at least some.

Public transit

Primarily bus and rail services, operated and financed by federal, state and local governments, with fixed routes and set schedules, these systems usually offer discounted fares for older adults and people with disabilities. Vouchers may be available as well.

Some transit agencies and local aging or disability organizations provide free training to help riders learn to travel safely. Buses, railcars and stations usually will have accessibility features, but public transit might not be a suitable alternative for people who will have difficulty navigating stairs, waiting outside or walking to and from stops.


Public transit agencies are required by law to provide “complementary paratransit service” for people who are unable to use regular lines. Paratransit operates during the same hours as normal service and covers comparable routes.

Riders must meet eligibility criteria set out in the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Vehicles typically are vans outfitted for accessibility.

Trips should be scheduled at least a day in advance and generally are shared with other passengers who have booked similar times. Paratransit providers typically have a 30-minute pickup window, from 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after the scheduled time, so riders need to be ready and waiting at least 15 minutes early.

Demand response

Sometimes called Dial-a-Ride, demand response is another shared-ride service, carrying multiple passengers who book individually with different pickup points and destinations. Reservations usually must be made at least 24 hours in advance, online or by phone.


Some communities require locally licensed taxi fleets to include accessible vehicles. They also may offer taxi vouchers to older and disabled riders.


Ride-hailing companiessuch as Lyft and Uber connect passengers with drivers who provide point-to-point transportation in their own vehicles. Booking and payment are typically done viamobile apps.

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In some cities, riders can request wheelchair assistance as part of their booking, and the companies have expanded accessibility efforts in recent years. The Uber Assist program trains drivers to accommodate passengers who have mobility issues and use wheelchairs, walkers or scooters. Lyft is teaming with United Way to provide free rides through the 211 phone service for people who have difficulty using public transit.

Users who don’t have a mobile device or aren’t comfortable using apps can request rides via theLyftandUberwebsites. Both companies also offer limited call-in service. You canorder a Lyft by phoneat 631-201-LYFT (631-201-5938) weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.Uber’s phone service, currently available only in Arizona and Florida, can be reached at 833-USE-UBER (833-873-8237) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You must call by cell phone to use either service.

Another phone option isGoGoGrandparent, a subscription service that lets you book Uber and Lyft rides by calling 855-464-6872 from a cell phone or landline. Membership plans start at $9.99 a month. There's an additional “concierge” fee for processing and monitoring rides from request to drop-off. (The fees do not cover the fare itself.) Members can also call in to arrange meal and grocery delivery and other services from online providers such as GrubHub, DoorDash and Instacart.

Non-emergency medical transportation

NEMT, as it's known, is a Medicaid benefit that covers travel to medical appointments. Private insurance, including some Medicare Advantage plans, also may cover non-emergency medical transit; check with your provider.

Eligibility rules, types of destinations and allowable modes of transport vary from state to state. Taxis, wheelchair vans or vehicles dispatched by specialty brokers or community groups often provide the service, but a growing number of insurers and state Medicaid programs are covering Lyft and Uber rides.

Volunteer programs

Some nonprofit and faith-based organizations offer transportation for medical appointments or other destinations. This might include “door-to-door” or “door-through-door” service for passengers who need someone to help them get in and out of cars and buildings, or stay with them throughout the trip.

Volunteer drivers provide rides in their own cars or agency-owned vehicles. They should undergo training and a background check.

Trips are usually prearranged and may require a small fee.

How to find transit options

Transportation information rarely comes from a single go-to source, although emerging strategies in public transit aim to fill that gap. Some local and regional transit organizations have developed “one-call/one-click” centers or "mobility management" programs to help people quickly find, assess and even book transportation services online or by phone.

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Caregiver support programs, elder care and social service agencies, and family and friends can also be good resources.

"Do a little exploration in the community about what's available, so that even before you need the service, you know what's available,” Dize says.

Here are some ways to start your search:

Use the Eldercare Locator

“Transportation is consistently the number-one reason people call the Eldercare Locator,” says Joellen Leavelle, communications director for n4a.

The website, operated by the federal government's Administration for Community Living, can direct you to the nearest Area Agency on Aging for information and referrals on transit options.

You can also access the Eldercare Locator by phone at 800-677-1116.

Find a mobility manager

Mobility managers work with communities to develop coordinated transportation programs and help individual customers, particularly older, disabled and low-income people, navigate the range of transit options in their area.

Your local public transit agency, Area Agency on Aging or Center for Independent Living (CIL) can connect you with a mobility manager if one serves your area. The National Center for Mobility Management has an online directory of state and regional programs.

Dial 211

The 211 phone code is reserved for callers to get information and referrals for health and social services in their community, including transportation and other support for older and disabled Americans.

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The 211 service is available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and reaches 94.6 percent of the U.S. population.

United Way chapters operate and finance most call centers. You can get more information on 211 and find your local service at

Learn more about seniors and mobility

  • Car accessories for disabled adults and their caregivers
  • What to do when a loved one has trouble getting around
  • How to make a home safe for your aging parent


What can be used to transport patients? ›

Sometimes patients are not permitted or are physically unable to walk from their rooms to other areas of the hospital. In these cases, patient transporters use wheelchairs and stretchers to help move patients safely to other areas to receive treatment, take tests, recover from recent procedures, and more.

Why is it important for a caregiver to maintain an appropriate relationship with the elderly? ›

A positive relationship with a caregiver can make a huge difference in a patient's companionship needs, and not just from an emotional standpoint. Talking, playing cards or board games, making crafts, and other activities provide important mental stimulation, especially for seniors.

How can I be a good caregiver? ›

Tip Sheet: How to Be the Best Caregiver You Can Be
  1. Build Confidence. ...
  2. Exercise Compassion. ...
  3. Avoid Useless Gestures. ...
  4. Don't Hesitate to Act. ...
  5. Offer Words of Encouragement. ...
  6. Check in Often to Show you Care. ...
  7. Take Care of Yourself. ...
  8. Ask Questions about Care Procedures You Are Not Comfortable Doing.

How do seniors get around without a car? ›

County public transportation services for seniors

Most counties across the U.S. offer free or low-cost public transportation services designed for seniors who need door-to-door rides. The best way to find these programs is to call your county's Area Agency on Aging. They'll connect you with available local programs.

How do you assist patient transport? ›

5 Tools and Tips for Safely Transporting Patients
  1. Use a “Ticket to Ride” ...
  2. Correctly Identify the Patient. ...
  3. Bring Appropriate Equipment. ...
  4. Nitrile Gloves. ...
  5. Using Transfer Boards or Rollers for Bed-Ridden Patients. ...
  6. Incorporate Gait Belts for Mobile Patients.
20 May 2017

What is patient transport service? ›

What is the Patient Transport Service? Patient transport is a service provided to patients who are unable to attend their hospital appointments by public or private transport due to their medical condition.

What are 5 responsibilities of caregivers? ›

Take a look at these top caregiver responsibilities:
  • Assess medical needs. Checking on your senior loved one's health is an important caregiver responsibility. ...
  • Prepare a care plan. ...
  • Assist with basic needs. ...
  • Provide companionship. ...
  • Help with housekeeping. ...
  • Monitor medications. ...
  • Assess your care plan regularly. ...
  • Prepare meals.
5 Nov 2020

What is the most important task of a caregiver? ›

Checking on your senior loved one's health is an important caregiver responsibility. You may need to help assess pain levels, schedule medical appointments, or manage medications and chronic conditions. It's a good idea to discuss your loved one's health with their doctor and other health professionals regularly.

What do caregivers need most? ›

Carla Johnson: Care givers need love and respect for what they do. They also need someone to listen to their needs without passing judgment or giving them advice. They need a little time for themselves as well.

What knowledge and skills do caregivers need? ›

They focus on cognitive stimulation, supervision, monitoring, medication administration, communication, memory enhancement, and problem solving. Caregivers need to acquire knowledge for goal-directed behaviors and for priority-setting, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

What is your strength as a caregiver? ›

Compassion – The ability to translate empathic feelings into action (desire to alleviate suffering). Optimism – Expect a favourable or positive outcome. Confidence – Sure of one's self and one's abilities. Organization – Methodical and efficient in arrangement or function.

How do I get around if I can't drive? ›

Transportation options will vary depending on your community
  1. Volunteer Programs. Some faith-based and community non-profit organizations often have people who volunteer to drive older adults to various places. ...
  2. Paratransit Services. ...
  3. Door-Through-Door Services. ...
  4. Public Transportation. ...
  5. Taxi Services.

Does Uber give discounts to seniors? ›

Senior: 2 Free Rides for Senior Citizens

No matter who requests the ride, as long as there's an elderly with a valid senior citizen ID – discounts apply! With fares the same as UberX, we are here to offer you a safe and affordable ride – no matter how old you are!

What do old people use to get around? ›

4 Mobility Tools for Older Adults
  • Walking Poles or Walking Sticks. These add stability when you walk and can be used to improve balance, posture and overall coordination. ...
  • Canes. There are three main varieties of canes, including the more typical ones with curved or T-shaped handles. ...
  • Crutches. ...
  • Walkers.
30 May 2017

How do you assist a patient with mobility? ›

Universal tips for caregivers assisting a patient with mobility: Clear clutter to create a safer environment for movement. Transfer on the strong side of the person receiving assistance. When moving or repositioning people, always face them, and keep them—as well as equipment and supplies—close to your body.

How do you transfer a client from bed to chair? ›

Put one of your arms under the patient's shoulders and one behind the knees. Bend your knees. Swing the patient's feet off the edge of the bed and use the momentum to help the patient into a sitting position. Move the patient to the edge of the bed and lower the bed so the patient's feet are touching the ground.

Why must proper techniques be followed for a patient transfer? ›

It is important to follow proper transfer techniques to reduce the chance of injury. In addition, whenever you move a patient or lift, push, or pull an object, it is important to use good body mechanics. Even a light load can cause lower back strain if poor body mechanics are used.

Who is responsible for patient transport? ›

For your first referral to the hospital, your GP is responsible for assessing your medical need for patient transport and completing the booking form. If there are any further follow up appointments, the hospital clinic/department is responsible for completing the assessment and booking form.

What is non-emergency patient transport service? ›

Some people are eligible for non-emergency patient transport services (PTS). These services provide free transport to and from hospital for: people whose condition means they need additional medical support during their journey. people who find it difficult to walk.

What qualifies you for hospital transport? ›

Patients requiring a stretcher. Patients who are unable to stand or walk more than a few steps, cannot use public transport and cannot manage in a family car. Patients with clearly recognised disabilities who are genuinely unable to travel by private or public transport.

What are the 3 major job of a caregiver? ›

Assisting with personal care: bathing and grooming, dressing, toileting, and exercise. Basic food preparation: preparing meals, shopping, housekeeping, laundry, and other errands. General health care: overseeing medication and prescriptions usage, appointment reminders and administering medicine.

What are the 10 functions of caregivers? ›

Caregiver duties and responsibilities
  • Home management and care planning. ...
  • Medical advocacy. ...
  • Prescription medication management. ...
  • Help with personal hygiene and care. ...
  • Assisting with meals and nutrition. ...
  • Help with mobility. ...
  • Home maintenance and basic housekeeping. ...
  • Transportation.
16 Feb 2022

What are 4 types of caregivers? ›

Are you looking for a caregiver? Then you should know your options. In general, there are four types of caregivers: Home Health Care, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Adult Daycare Centers.

Who are caregivers key points? ›

A caregiver is defined as a "person who attends to the needs of a dependent child or adult." Caregivers manage the physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of another person, all while managing their own life, needs, family, and career.

What are the 2 types of caregiver? ›

The most common type of caregiver is the family caregiver: someone who takes care of a family member without pay. The other types are professional, independent, private, informal, and volunteer caregivers.

Why do you want to be a caregiver best answer? ›

Rewarding – Caregiving is an extremely rewarding job. Caregivers take care of our elders, the people who have given so much to this world. Taking care of people is something you can be proud of. Caregivers and residents also develop special relationships.

Why is it important to support caregivers? ›

Overall, caregiving is a critical part of a strong society. Caregivers provide support to those who are elderly, young or in need of direct aid, and they also contribute to the fabric of our overall community.

Why is being a caregiver so hard? ›

Caregiving is also hard because you often see many changes in your loved one: The person you're caring for may not know you anymore. He or she may be too ill to talk or follow simple requests. He or she may have behavior problems, like yelling, hitting, or wandering away from home.

What is the most important skill of a caregiver for effective communication? ›

Remember, listening is the most important aspect of communication. Talk openly about your fears, worries and needs. This will invite frank and meaningful dialogue. Other family members may feel comfortable sharing as a result.

Why do you need to at least have a knowledge in caregiving? ›

Family caregivers need to be able to monitor, interpret, and manage symptoms and may need booster sessions to learn additional knowledge and skills. Interventions that increase knowledge and skills are targeted at caregivers who work with patients with dementia more often than at those who deal with other illnesses.

What is your strength best answer? ›

When answering, mention what your top strengths are, provide examples on how you've used them in the past, and finally, describe the results you've gotten. Be super specific with your answers. Don't just say “I'm good at X” - really dive deep and give the interviewer a comprehensive answer.

How do you introduce yourself as a caregiver? ›

Tips to Introduce Yourself to New Home Care Patients
  1. Learn Something About Your Patient. ...
  2. Follow Proper Introduction Etiquette. ...
  3. Pay Attention to Body Language. ...
  4. Explain Your Role. ...
  5. Ask Your New Patient If They Have Questions.
16 Dec 2020

What motivates a caregiver? ›

A caregiver may be motivated to provide care for many reasons, by feelings of duty and responsibility as well as of guilt. Doty (1986) identified three factors underlying family caregiving motivations: love and affection, desire to reciprocate past help and societal norms.

Can you name 5 key duties of a care assistant support worker? ›

Care Assistants frequently check up on patients to monitor their vital signs, help them move from place to place, deliver meals, feed patients, help them use the toilet and bathe. They communicate with patients about their symptoms and needs, reporting changes or concerns to other members of the patient's care team.

What are the top 5 things that make a good support worker? ›

We've asked people with disability, and here are the top five things to think about when it comes to choosing a support worker.
  • They know when to step up and step back. ...
  • They know the value of communication. ...
  • Patience and a sense of humour. ...
  • Reliability. ...
  • Respect.

What are 4 things a support worker must be aware of when providing support for an individual? ›

What makes a good support worker
  • A support worker must be able to step back and allow the person they support to be independent. ...
  • A support worker should encourage people to speak to the person they are supporting. ...
  • A support worker should use augmentative and alternative communication aids.

How can I get money with no car? ›

Profitable side hustles that don't require a car or computer:
  1. Babysitting & Senior Care. Babysitting & senior care are the perfect side hustles if you love kids and/or the elderly. ...
  2. Dog Walking. ...
  3. Tutoring. ...
  4. Renting Out Your House. ...
  5. Baking. ...
  6. Hosting Garage Sales. ...
  7. Providing Music Lessons. ...
  8. Become a House Sitter.
16 Sept 2021

How can I get a job without a car or money? ›

  1. You Can Take Public Transportation. Perhaps the most obvious way, but still a great way to access transportation if you don't have a vehicle. ...
  2. You Can Use Ridesharing Apps. ...
  3. You Can Carpool. ...
  4. You Can Bike or Walk. ...
  5. About EG Workforce Solutions.
10 Dec 2020

How do you take a girl out if you don't have a car? ›

Use a ridesharing app, like Uber or Lyft.

Use the app to call a ride to head to where your date lives, or to go to a place that is close to where your date lives. Use Uber or Lyft to pick your date up and take them to a movie. If your date wants you to come spend some time at their home, use Uber and Lyft to get there.

What is GoGo Grandma? ›

When parents die of AIDS, the orphans often go to live with a "gogo," the Zulu word for grandmother.

How do seniors get around without a car? ›

County public transportation services for seniors

Most counties across the U.S. offer free or low-cost public transportation services designed for seniors who need door-to-door rides. The best way to find these programs is to call your county's Area Agency on Aging. They'll connect you with available local programs.

How do I set up Uber for seniors? ›

Uber has partnered with 24 Hour Home Care's operator service RideWith24, which provides public access to Uber via a toll-free number: 800-522-1516.

Why is transportation important for seniors? ›

Transportation is necessary for seniors to remain mobile to keep their social independence with friends and family; to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, and many other life-prolonging benefits. The resources below are designed to help get seniors where they need to go.

Why is transportation a problem for older adults? ›

Older adults experience barriers to transportation. They may drive less frequently or not drive at all. They may lack access to a personal vehicle, and therefore, need to rely on family members and caregivers or public transportation services.

What is a patient transport vehicle? ›

DEFINITION. OF TERMS. A. Ambulance - a vehicle designed and equipped for transporting sick or injured.

What is a patient transporter called? ›

Patient transporters, also known as hospital transporters, are responsible for moving patients to various locations throughout the hospital.

What to do if you have no one to pick you up from the hospital? ›

Ask if the patient might have a neighbor or religious organization that would assist, she says. "Lots of churches have people on call to help with rides," Ogg says. "They might also be able to stay overnight as a caregiver." A private duty nurse might be another option, she adds.

What is a medical van called? ›

Nonemergency medical transportation (NEMT) is transportation by ambulance, wheelchair van, or litter van for those who cannot use public or private transportation. Nonmedical transportation (NMT) is transportation by private or public vehicle for people who do not have another way to get to their appointment.

Who transports patients in a hospital? ›

What is a hospital patient transporter? A hospital patient transporter is responsible for moving patients from one area of hospitals to another, including from the hospital to a vehicle upon discharge. They perform this role using various transport medical devices, such as wheelchairs and stretchers.

Why do you have to assess the patient prior to transfer and positioning? ›

The patient must be positioned correctly prior to the transfer to avoid straining and reaching. May need additional health care providers to move patient to the side of the bed.

Is a vehicle that is used for treating and transporting patients who need emergency medical care to a hospital *? ›

1. Ambulance - a vehicle designed and equipped for transporting sick or injured patients to, from, and between places of treatment by land, water or air, affording safety and comfort to the patients and avoiding aggravation of illness or injury.

What skills do patient transporters need? ›

Patient Transporter Qualifications and Skills
  • Great customer and patient service.
  • Outstanding bedside manner.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Impeccable emotional intelligence and listening skills.
  • A healthy endurance and ability to lift 50 lbs.

Who is responsible for patient transport? ›

For your first referral to the hospital, your GP is responsible for assessing your medical need for patient transport and completing the booking form. If there are any further follow up appointments, the hospital clinic/department is responsible for completing the assessment and booking form.

What does a transporter do? ›

Transporters assist with lifting or placing patients to beds and wheelchairs, strictly adhering to transport schedules and report possible delays immediately, delivering healthcare supplies and laboratory specimen securely, and responding to the patient's inquiries and requests.

Will Uber take me home after surgery? ›

For the safety and protection of all of our patients, we will not release you to a cab or Uber/Lyft driver after surgery, unless you have a friend or family member to accompany you.

Do I need someone to drive me home after a colonoscopy? ›

Our staff will check with you to make sure you have arranged appropriate transportation as you will not be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. You must arrange for someone to accompany you home the day of your procedure.

Can I walk home after colonoscopy? ›

NO, you cannot walk home after the procedure. You will be rescheduled if you have no ride or don't have someone to accompany you home.

What is hospital transportation system? ›

Patient transport is a service that transfers patients to and from medical facilities in non-emergency situations.

What is a litter van? ›

"Litter van" means a vehicle which is modified, equipped and used for the purpose of providing nonemergency medical transportation for those patients with stable medical conditions who require the use of a litter or gurney and which is not routinely equipped with the medical equipment or personnel required for the ...

What is the back of an ambulance called? ›

Type I is based upon a heavy truck chassis-cab with a custom rear compartment that is often referred to as a "box" or "module." Type I ambulances are primarily used for Advanced Life Support (ALS), also referred to as Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) in some jurisdictions, and rescue work.


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