Transportation and Accessibility
Difficulty negotiating transportation increases seniors risk of social isolation. If seniors are not able to physically access the resources in their communities they may be at risk for becoming housebound and suffering social isolation. Barriers to physical access are lack of affordable and appropriate transportation compounded by geographic location and weather challenges. Transportation has been identified as one determinant of health by the World Health Organization as it is the means by which seniors access their communities’ resources.
Many seniors who previously provided their own transportation by private car give up their drivers’ license at some point. Where public bus service is available, distance to bus stops may be problematic or hours of service may be restricted (e.g., not available on Sundays). In urban centres specialized transportation services are usually available to individuals unable to access the regular public transportation system. These services provide door-to-door transportation, usually at the same cost as regular buses, and generally allow a caregiver to accompany the senior.