Just about everyone widely uses public transportation. It is the most convenient and safest way to travel. More and more older adults and people with disabilities opt to use public transit for medical appointments, grocery shopping, and more. According to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, roughly 600,000 older Americans decided to give up driving while others limited driving altogether.
However, public transportation and the elderly can be challenging. More and more older adults live in rural areas where public transit systems are limited. In these cases, relying on family caregivers, family, and friends for transportation services is one option. Organizations like the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are working diligently to improve access to public transportation for people in these communities. Their efforts include working towards extending transportation services and finding ways to raise money to fund them. Offering public transportation in these areas will enable elderly seniors and disabled people to remain independent and self-reliant.
Elderly seniors and people with disabilities living in cities and communities where public transportation options are plentiful have a different challenge. Most people 65 and older experience difficulty getting around as they age. They tend to move at a slower pace. Reasons for this mobility slow down varies. Arthritis in the joints is the most common reason. The pain and stiffness make walking, standing, and sitting quickly more difficult. Is getting on a bus and getting to a seat with arthritis and other medical conditions worth it? Although buses and trains are equipped with special lifts, seats, and other accommodations, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, using public transportation may still be problematic. The good news is, there are mobility devices available to assist if regular accommodations fall short.
Mobility aids for people with disabilities and the elderly, if medical conditions limit their movement, are a must-have. The most widely used mobility devices are wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, canes, and scooters. Below are five mobility devices perfect for helping users confidently use public transportation:
The Cruiser III Wheelchair from Drive Medical features a carbon steel frame, built-in seat rail extensions, and extendable upholstery that can adjust the seat depth from 16 to 18 inches. Other features include:
- an easy-to-maintain silver vein finish
- front and rear sealed wheel bearings for long-lasting durability and maneuverability
- 8-inch swivel front caster wheels for a smooth ride
- Swing away, elevating footrests
- flip back, detachable arms for easy transferring in and out of the wheelchair
- Mag-stye wheels with push to lock wheel locks for safely staying in place
- It folds to a compact size for easy transport and storage
The dual axle allows for an easy transition of the seat height to hemi-level when desired. It’s ideal for non-ambulatory or people needing to rest for longer periods. It easily fits the securement areas on public buses and trains, or users can transfer to a regular seat, fold the wheelchair and secure it in the designated areas.
Public transportation authorities call mobility scooters electric wheelchairs. This 4-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter by Vive is compact and durable for travel. The sleek, contemporary design feature include:
- comfortable padded armrests that flip up to easily get on or off
- a roomy and convenient storage basket
- height-adjustable and rotating seat
- safety headlights
- intuitive control panel to set the speed, turn on the headlights, and move forward or backward
- quick connect battery for longer travel time
- 4 long-lasting grip tires
- supports up to 265 pounds
- a 5-year limited warranty
The Vive 4-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter is easy to maneuver over indoor and outdoor surfaces. When boarding a bus a train, it easily fits in the securement area. Users are asked to transfer from mobility scooters to a seat when riding using public transportation for their safety. Drivers are available to assist mobility scooter users if necessary.
The EZ Fold-N-Go Walker from Stander is the perfect compact walker to use on public transportation. It’s the perfect mobility device for users needing a little support to get around. The unique, patented design allows the EZ Fold-N-Go Walker to fold up to 7-inch diameter with the touch of a finger. Made of high-grade aircraft aluminum, this portable walker is perfect for traveling on a bus or train. Features include:
- A portable, lightweight foldable frame
- It folds up to 4-times smaller than the average walker
- 6″ WHEELS: Locking 6-inch swivel wheels that can be fixed or swiveled
- Adjustable handles from 32 inches to 38.5 inches
- Supports up to 400 pounds
- Weighs 8 pounds
- Available in your choice of Black Walnut, Regal Rose or Cobalt Blue
This bold-looking rollator walker by Comodità offers a sleek, modern design and sturdy construction. Its compact design makes it easy to use getting on and off buses or trains. The Uno Classic Rolling Walker Rollator features include:
- a 16-inch wide orthopedic seat with a coccyx relief contour cushion for maximum comfort
- an easy to clean Comodità Pisa cane and cup holder
- height adjustable handles for users 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall
- a foldable width of 12 inches that conveniently locks for storage and transport
- an extra-wide, removable ergonomic backrest
- Washable, nylon storage bag under the seat to conveniently store groceries and other personal items
- safely supports up to 300-pounds
- available in four attention-getting colors: Metallic Champagne, Metallic Graphite, Metallic Red and Metallic Orange
Finally, the All-Terrain Dynamo Cyclone Cane is another great mobility device. It offers users the extra support needed to walk, sit, and stand while using public transportation. The most attractive feature of this unique walking cane is its cyclone tip. This special foot-like tip safely holds up under all types of weather and security treads over all terrains. It’s built for long-lasting durability. Other features include:
- a comfortable, ergonomic rubber-like grip that is forward-facing to fit the whole hand. It reduces pressure on your wrist and hand.
- an adjustable height to fit users up to 6 feet 4 inches tall
- a premium anodized aluminum frame that will never rust
- supports weights of up to 300 pounds
- the Crossbow Balance Technology, a 12-degree bend toward the bottom that places your weight directly over the cane pole to help with balance.
Elderly seniors and people with disabilities do not have to worry about using public transportation. Metro area buses and trains are equipped to accommodate all of these unique mobility devices. Transportation service operators are even encouraged to offer the following additional accommodations to riders using mobility devices:
- Assist with boarding and exiting
- Allow users with mobility devices to board and exit first
- Ask riders to clear the wheelchair securement space when in use
- Prepare the securement area for mobility devices
- Secure the user and the mobility device if necessary
- Offer a seatbelt for increased safety if requested
Public transportation doesn’t have to be scary or difficult to use. Take advantage of these services and remain leading an independent, social, and active lifestyle! Choose the best mobility device to fit your exact need and follow the link to either TheElderExpo.com to purchase.