Understanding Human Service Transportation

Transportation is especially critical for older adults and people with disabilities. People typically prefer to drive themselves as possible. As one ages, this task can become more daunting, and the need for assisted transportation becomes necessary. There are about 89,500 (2016) older adults in Jefferson County who are 65 and over, which represents approximately 15 percent of the county’s 571,800 people, many of whom currently need or will need transportation support.

People with disabilities often have trouble finding transportation as well. There are approximately 56,800 (2016) county residents of all ages with disabilities. There will be 62,200 people with disabilities by 2040. When we look at those with disabilities who are 65 and older, 18 percent of people live with a disability when they are 65–74. This number more than doubles, to 46 percent, in their mid-70’s.

What we see in human service transportation is the majority of people who utilize assisted transportation services, begins in their mid-70’s. For example:

  • John is a 98 year who attends an Adult Day program, and whose children are now well into their 70’s, faced with their own aging process and getting to a point of desperation due to their health complications. They needed assistance and relief from the daily trips for their father to the day program. They received assistance through Lakewood Rides.
  • Frank was grief stricken over the loss of his wife. He struggled working through feelings of mourning. It was suggested that he return to favorite activities, such as re-engaging in playing the piano, to help with the process. He was having difficulty obtaining assistance for these personal trips for his wellness and healing but was able to receive assistance through Lakewood Rides. He shared that being able to return to play music is like “therapy” in working through the loss of his wife.

Between now and 2040, the over 65 age group is expected to grow to 25 percent of the total population in Jefferson County. With the dramatic increase in the older adult population over the next 20 years, the need for assisted transportation becomes even more necessary and imperative. Capacity and funding is stretched thin now. We know that currently Senior’s Resource Center and Lakewood Rides, the primary providers in Jeffco, both have waiting lists.

For more information on how you can get involved contact us at AgingWell@Jeffco.us, visit us at www.jeffco.us/Aging-Well or connect with us on Facebook: @JeffcoAgingWell.

Aging Well in Jefferson County is a strategic planning project focused on developing and implementing strategies to create inclusive, livable communities through sustainable partnerships and integrated services. The Local Coordinating Council is one of six Workgroups addressing all aspects of life of aging residents in Jefferson County.