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Caregiver Tips: Using Public Transportation Safely

Family Caregivers in Framingham, MA

As a family caregiver, one of your most important responsibilities is encouraging independence and autonomy for your aging loved ones. Supporting your parents’ desire to be as independent as possible in everything they do while also ensuring that they stay safe, secure, and healthy empowers them to live an active, engaged life. Staying active may mean they are less likely to experience mental and emotional health consequences such as depression, feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and loss of motivation that can increase the rate of physical decline.

One highly effective way to encourage independence in elderly adults is to support their use of public transportation. Whether they use it completely on their own, with you, or with a non-medical caregiver, public transportation is a fantastic way to encourage seniors who no longer drive by themselves to get out and do more things out of the home. This could be going grocery shopping for a few items, attending a club or organization meeting, going to browse a museum, or just enjoying the ride and the social interaction that they can get from the experience.

As with anything in your caregiver journey, it is important that you go over safety considerations when your parents want to use public transportation. Times have changed and it is vital to be aware of potential risks and hazards so that your seniors can utilize public transportation options such as the bus, the subway, or the train securely and confidently.

Share these tips with your aging loved ones so that they can enjoy the fun and independence of taking advantage of public transportation safely:

  • Know the stops. Research the public transportation method you intend to use and find out where all the different stops are. This lets you find the one that is closest to the home and to where you might want to go. Be aware of the different routes that are available and if any of them require transfers so that you are prepared and not confused when it comes to the trip.
  • Check the schedule. Public transportation has set schedules, but this does not mean that they always run on the same schedule or that there are never delays. Have a copy of the schedule readily available, but also teach your parents how to use the transportation’s website, if available, to check for any delays or changes in the schedule so that they know when they must modify their plans for the day. If there are any questions, give the transportation department a call so that they can check to make sure when the bus, train, or subway train will be at the different stops.
  • Know the fare. Make sure you know how much the trip costs and where to get tickets. Looking confused or flustered makes you look vulnerable, so you want to make sure you know each step in using the transportation confidently and easily. Look into purchasing a bus pass or subway card that prepays for trips so all you have to do is show the card and board.
  • Use basic safety rules. Review basic social safety rules, including staying vigilant about yourself and your personal belongings, not getting too close to other people, only engaging in conversation with others in public, well-lit areas, and knowing how to get help if necessary. Equip your parents with a cell phone and a personal alert system for extra confidence.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073