Life can offer joyful so many experiences for seniors. Spending time with friends and family, participating in favorite and fun activities, volunteering or contributing to your community can all bring meaning and richness to your life.
But if transportation is required to take part in these pursuits, you may be concerned that your life might become less fulfilling if you decide to no longer drive or to drive less.
While the car is the most relied upon form of transportation for many, the good news is that your life doesn’t need to shrink if you will no longer be driving.
Whether you live in an urban or suburban area, you do have options available – and can still enjoy the benefits of taking part in activities without having to fight traffic or search for a place to park.
The advantages of no longer owning a car
You may not have given it much thought but there are upsides to eliminating car ownership, such as:
- You’ll save money
Take a moment to add up the cost of owning a car, including any loan payments, insurance, registration fees, gas and maintenance. The total might be much more than you assumed. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates the average annual cost of new car ownership to be $9,282.
- You may exercise more
If you add walking or bike riding to your transportation options, you may also find yourself reaping the health benefits of an improved memory and immune system, as well as better reflexes and balance.
- You might reduce your stress and anxiety
Driving on congested roads while trying to keep aware of what the other drivers are doing can take a toll. So does the frustration of searching for a place to park. Letting someone else take the wheel allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Giving up driving? You still have choices
Remaining active and involved are two keys to optimum health, both physically and cognitively. So if you do decide to hang up the keys, you’ll want to make sure you still have options to get where you need and want to go.
Transportation has changed over the years and the alternatives have increased. Do a little research to discover what may be available in your area. You might want to visit the Eldercare Locator website or call 800-677-1116 to be directed to the nearest Area Agency on Aging for transit alternatives.
Consider these 5 options if you’ll be giving up driving:
- Public transportation
Depending on the size of city or town you live in, you may have access to a public bus, rail or light-rail system that offers fixed routes and schedules. Check what options are available in your area. There may be free training to help first-time riders and you may find discounts or vouchers for senior passes.
- Private transportation services
You might have access to private services such as shuttle buses or taxis. Instead of being picked up or dropped off at a general location, this option may offer door-to-door service. Ride sharing programs such as Lyft or Uber may also be available from drivers who provide transportation in their own vehicles.
- Family and friends
This option may be used by those who have family or neighbors who can provide rides. Although some older adults hesitate to ask, you might discuss the possibilities of the driver letting you know if they’re headed to the grocery store, mall or other destination. If you can be flexible with your schedule, this can work well.
- Walking or riding a bike
If you’re going somewhere that is within your walking or riding distance, you can’t get a more healthy option than this. Not only will you enjoy the cost savings of using your own power, you’ll also get the benefits from exercising and getting out into the fresh air. If you can navigate a trip safely, you may want to consider this option.
- Scheduled transportation
Senior centers or other organizations may offer transportation. Another option you may not have thought about is the benefit of transportation offered if you move into a senior living community. Just one of the many advantages, you won’t need to worry about getting to your medical appointments, shopping or entertainment and social events.
Senior living: the best of both worlds without driving
If a senior living community sounds like an option that might work for you or your family, you may be surprised to learn about the many advantages they offer, including if your loved one is giving up driving.
Consider these benefits:
- Private residences that can be personalized to make it your own home
- Support for a continued independent lifestyle
- Healthy and delicious meal options
- Planned monthly activities and social events
- Fitness center and other opportunities to remain physically and cognitively in shape
- Many opportunities to meet people and make new friends
Imagine having access to all of this without having to own a car or drive. Instead, you can live a very full and active life and all it requires is walking out your front door.
Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities
We understand the role that driving plays in daily life. But driving less or not at all shouldn’t interfere with the ability to remain active and participate fully in life.
If you’re interested in all the options community life might offer your parents, we invite you to consider one of our Tapestry Senior Living communities, where you’ll find:
- An active and engaged community who supports each resident to live life to the fullest
- Eating well and staying in shape is easy with our chef-inspired meals and fitness center
- A wide choice of activities to challenge your mind – or just to have fun
- Meeting and making new friends naturally at our many activities and social events
- And much more!
Choosing the right community is an important decision and we’re here as a resource. If you would like more information, we invite you to download our complimentary guide which contains helpful information for families, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.