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Old 10-29-2018, 11:02 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
Reputation: 15950


Probably due to a diminished sense of balance and coordination, due in turn to a spinal deformity, I knew that driving would pose more of a challenge for me in later life, and a couple of fender-benders last year proved the point (and drove my insurance costs way up there). So in about another two weeks, it will be a full year since I've operated a motor vehicle.

I live in a community with a stable population of 25000, if the surrounding townships are included. Until the late Sixties, we had four local bus routes, but the multi-car family and the desire to move out of, (or maybe just do less business) "downtown" put an end to that.

So how do I get around at an otherwise still-vigorous (and still-single) age 68? (and further subjected to the limitation that I can still walk, but not that far, for that long?) The answer is: Plan ahead, and plan carefully.

We do have a Senior Para-transit program here, and I can use that once or twice a week to get me into an 'anchor" like the Public Library and the YMCA. It isn't completely free, you have to book at least a day in advance, and not abuse or over-use the privilege. Occasional 40-mile round trips tom the regional medical hub are handled under another set of rules.

And this option doesn't go that far when the necessity to pick up a couple of bags full of groceries every week is factored in. Luckily, I bought a good-sized house from a relative's estate some years ago, and I choose my housemates/tenants very carefully. And I don't seek the highest amount of rent, but seek an understanding that I might need a ride once in a while.

But I suppose one of the most important factors here is that I saw a couple of older relatives confronted by this issue, and took Mr. Marcus Tulius Cicero's advice to "practice to be an old man early, if you want to stay an old man for long".

I'd like to hear if others among the regulars here have also found ways to cope.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-29-2018 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:06 AM
Location: North State (California)
39,648 posts, read 2,995,231 times
Reputation: 12949
can you get your groceries delivered? How about a taxi? When I had to use paratransit, there were no limits, are you sure that is legal ( to limit your rides). Also try getting ebooks from the library, so you don't have to go pick them up.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:18 AM
5,429 posts, read 3,452,633 times
Reputation: 13714
Pay your housemates/tenants to buy groceries for you.

Groceries delivered, if possible, from a local store. Or using instacart.com or peapod.com, for example, if available in any nearby larger towns/cities.

Order groceries and household items online delivered from walmart.com and amazon.com. Walmart.com has a TON of grocery items - many are very healthy such as brown rice, brown rice & other rice mixtures, quinoa, Mezzeta roasted red peppers in jars, cans of tuna, a ton of items.

Use of senior and/or para-transit.

Pay your housemates/tenants to give you rides at times, if possible.

Some churches have vans for picking up church members - if you're interested in church and church activities - see if there are any in your area.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:27 AM
Location: NYC
2,916 posts, read 1,590,302 times
Reputation: 7957
I'm single & approaching 67. I'm where I am because I have an elderly parent in the next county (living with my brother) & because I moved back almost 30 years ago when I realized that my job skills were more sellable here in the Big City & I was then broke & jobless & pretty desperate.

One of the advantages to the older, big (northeastern only?) cities is that they were built before autos & there is a good infrastructure of mass transit to get around them & walkable areas. I used to be a contented driver out West but haven't owned a car since I got here. I may not stay here after my parent passes but I'd want to move to a pedestrian oriented city not only for costs but also health, this is one of my primary criteria along with COL & climate.

Honestly Philadelphia is the only one that comes to mind as a bit cheaper than here (maybe) that I'd consider, so I may consider Europe too. I've family over there (but I wouldn't move to that country). But a place with a lively downtown, city mass transit & public areas like parks within walking distance.

It's a riddle & I might just end up staying here after all. My elderly mother is in a very nice town but her house is in a cul de sac where the sidewalks stop & there is nothing to walk to anyway except a supermarket a mile away. I would feel isolated & trapped without a car or something.

Perhaps an over 55 community with a nearby community center would be a less urban alternative?
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:32 AM
2,245 posts, read 1,106,098 times
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Start using Uber. A town near me that is a bit smaller than yours at 20,000 has a ton of Uber drivers, always available.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:32 AM
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Along with the other suggestions, throw in an occasional Uber or Lyft ride for groceries.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:43 AM
Location: North State (California)
39,648 posts, read 2,995,231 times
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Not everywhere has uber. We do not. I was out a few weeks ago & asked the server to call us a cab, the person next to me didn't believe we had to use a cab, so he tapped his uber app lol & was told they have to come from the next town over & it is $6, on top of our fare, to get to us. The cab is cheaper.

In OPs case, I would try & find out exactly how many times a week, the paratransit is allowed. It is a requirement of the ADA that para-transport be provided, so limiting it does not seem reasonable. Unless the regular buses do not run every day either.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:06 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,592 posts, read 17,582,380 times
Reputation: 27677
I'm wowed at the responses.

I live in a small city of about 65,000. We have a pretty good bus system. You can get around most parts of town during business hours and slightly later during the week. Routes are limited on Saturday, with the last bus departing at 4:45, and it's closed on Sundays and major holidays. It will get you to core parts of town and the essentials, but that's about it. There is a special service for those with wheelchairs for "curb-to-curb" service.

There is a paratransit for medical appointments for the truly rural, but has to be scheduled in advance. It's not something you can just pick up and have them out there in twenty minutes.

In a truly rural area, you can't just get an Uber, or it will be very cost-prohibitive. My parents live in a 1970s subdivsion about eight miles from the city limits. A one way Uber to the nearest hospital - about a fifteen minute drive back into town - is $26.33 right now. The estimate to get there is about an hour. The cities here didn't get Uber until around a year ago.

I used to work in a town of 3,000 in the butt end of southwest Virginia. It's thirty miles from an interstate. An Uber from that town to the nearest hospital shows as $45 with "no cars available."

There is no grocery delivery anywhere around here. The regional chain grocer and Walmart offer grocery pick-up.

There's simply no way to live effectively here without driving or someone to haul you around.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:23 PM
8,860 posts, read 5,139,069 times
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I moved last year and am living VERY rural now. We are 7 miles from a town of 2300 with one small grocery store and one small market. If I get to the point driving is an issue for me, I will move. A small apartment or condo a short walk from a grocery store and a bus stop will be my destination.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:30 PM
Location: Western Colorado
11,092 posts, read 12,478,899 times
Reputation: 26117
Gosh I wouldn't call a city of 25,000 "rural". I live 20 miles in the country from a town of 19,000. There's zero transportation to where I live, nothing is delivered out this far, there's zero law enforcement and paramedics would take about 20 minutes. I HAVE to drive. I hope I never get to the point of not being able to drive, I wouldn't know what to do then.

Anyway, is there a senior citizen center there? I would call the local city hall or county courthouse and find out if there's any help available for your needs.

Best of luck to you.
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