Helping seniors get around town
Communities can use a new toolkit to help develop transportation options for seniors who do not have access to personal vehicles.
Lack of transportation options makes it difficult for some seniors to attend medical appointments, go shopping, do day-to-day errands or attend social activities. This can compromise their ability to remain healthy and active in their communities. The need for alternate transportation is growing as people are living longer.
“Having reliable and affordable transportation options helps seniors remain healthy, active and connected to their communities.”
The University of Alberta’s Medically At-Risk Driver Centre developed the Transportation Toolkit for the Implementation of Alternate Transportation for Seniors in Alberta with funding assistance from the Alberta government. The free kit is a resource for communities that want to set up alternate transportation services. For example, the Toolkit provides guidance on how to set up a handivan program for seniors.
“The lack of easily accessible and targeted information on how to develop and implement this type of transportation service is a challenge that rural and urban communities face in addressing the unmet transportation needs of seniors. This toolkit addresses that need.”
Wainwright started a handivan service for seniors as a pilot project, which provided valuable information and experiences to help develop the toolkit. Since the service began, ridership has increased from 20 trips per month to 150 per month, which means more area seniors are able to attend appointments, take care of errands and take part in social activities.