Reliable, safe, and affordable transportation is essential for seniors who want to maintain their independence, stay connected with family and friends, and handle the necessities of their days. Without the means to get to doctor’s appointments, run to the grocery store, or attend an event at a local restaurant, seniors will not be able to enjoy the full potential of their retirement. Not only that, but social isolation can be a big problem for seniors who cannot drive. As the National Institute on Aging reports, the effects of isolation can be quite stressful for seniors.
To help seniors keep their healthy and active lifestyles, we have rounded up five local senior transportation resources based in Fairfax County that can help you or your senior loved ones get around.
NV Rides: A Nonprofit Transportation Program
NV Rides is a nonprofit network that organizes and coordinates a large volunteer driver program for seniors in the Northern Virginia area. Formed in partnership with Fairfax County and local religious and aging-awareness groups, NV Rides pools together the resources of local community and public groups to connect volunteer drivers with seniors who can no longer drive.
Interested seniors can find a local NV Rides partner to notify them of when and where a trip is needed, and the screened volunteer driver will take it from there.
Volunteer Caregiver Networks
In addition to NV Rides, the local Fairfax County government has also partnered with a number of volunteer caregiver networks in the area. Partners include staff and members of the seven Shepherd’s Centers, the Reston Community Center, the Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers program, and the At Home in Alexandria (AHA!) organization, among others. Like NV Rides, these organizations connect seniors with rides at low or no cost.
County Public Transportation Services
Since Fairfax County’s Health Department conducted a large-scale survey to learn about the emerging needs of older adults in the community, the county government has made it a priority to learn about how it can meet them. As a result, Fairfax County has not only found innovative solutions — through caregiver networks and NV Rides — but it also provides a range of transportation options.
The City of Fairfax City-University Energy (CUE) Bus System, as well as Fairfax County’s Fairfax Connector and Taxi Voucher Program, are available to seniors, as are publicly supported nonemergency medical transportation, MetroAccess, and Metrorail programs. Seniors can also connect with resources in their local town, city, or community for additional local public transportation services.
Ride-sharing has come a long way since its startup days, now that each of the major on-demand ride services, such as Lyft and Uber, has established itself as a reliable option for seniors, too. For seniors who are comfortable using a smartphone and can get in and out of a car without assistance, these ride services are convenient, timely, and generally offer lower rates than taxi services.
For seniors who are not as tech-savvy, many local health organizations and community centers can connect seniors with ride services. GoGoGrandparent is another option for seniors, providing a concierge service that handles the confirmation of a trip on a 24/7 basis, monitors the trip, and provides extra driver screening.
Local Senior Living Communities
Exploring a local senior living community, such as Arbor Terrace Fairfax, is another available option for seniors. Senior living communities like Arbor Terrace are known for their proactive and welcoming staff, their abundant and innovative programs, and their experience serving seniors. In particular, Arbor Terrace can help organize transportation through its own transportation providers or connect residents with any of the services mentioned above.
To learn more about senior-friendly resources and transportation options in the area, see what living in a community like Arbor Terrace is all about. And for many senior living tips from the pros, download our free guide, “The Journey to Senior Living: A Step-by-Step Guide for Families.”