Most of us with aging relatives will eventually face the “how do we stop them from driving” problem. To many people, driving a car equals independence. One reason for that is the lack of convenient public transportation in much of our country. Very large American cities such as New York, plus most of Europe’s large cities, generally have good public transportation, so people who don’t drive aren’t stranded. But across the country, accessible public transportation for elders is hard to come by.
My own high plains state is especially poor at providing affordable public transportation. There’s an “everyone has his own horse” mentality. True, the metro areas have elder commissions that often provide senior vans, but this can be costly for many seniors and doesn’t allow for spur of the moment trips. For most seniors, taxi rides are financially out of reach. Para-transit buses for the disabled are available, but like senior van rides, they often are costly and they must be scheduled. All of these services are better than nothing, but they are hardly ideal.