Transportation for the Elderly

Second to Maine, Vermont is the most rural state in the nation, posing a challenge for the non-driving elderly to get to the doctor, the grocery store, the bank, or simply to enjoy lunch with a friend. Fortunately, the non-profit organization, Vermont’s Area Agencies on Aging, provides transportation services to help meet the needs of our elders. Depending on the county in which a Vermont resident who is 60 or older lives, a specific agency under the umbrella of Vermont’s Area Agencies on Aging are available: Champlain Valley Agency on Aging, Central Vermont Council on Aging, Southwest Vermont Council on Aging, Senior Solutions, Area Agency on Aging for Northeast Kingdom.

The caveat is that these agencies require 24 to 48 hours notice. Understandably, the drivers are busy (some help out of the goodness of their hearts and volunteer). But what happens if your elderly mother wakes up with a fever or cut to the leg that needs medical attention, but doesn’t require calling an ambulance? You can’t leave the critical meeting your boss has attended and are leading. Or maybe your five-year-old is home with a fever and you can’t leave him home alone (you’re a single parent and no one is available, or willing to babysit a sick kid). Then what? You could call a cab to pick up your mother, or just tell your boss you must leave.

Of course, no system is full-proof. But what else can we do to ensure the availability of transportation for our elders, even on a moment’s notice?

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