How can I find transportation for my mom to get to church and the market?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My mom (89) has suddenly started going "downhill." She has lived alone, drove to church, bible study, and the market for years.  Now she is complaining of aches, pains and make believe heart problems. Now, since her doctor can't find anything really wrong physically, she is in a major depression. Her memory is suddenly failing and I live 45 miles away and try to get there at least every other weekend if not more. My mom doesn't have alot of money, but does anyone know what it would cost, and how to find someone, who could take her to the market, doctors appts, bible study a couple of times a week? I know she won't part with a dime, but if I could assist, maybe this can be done...I am alone and have no way to support her, even If I left my position Any advice? Thanks!

Expert Answer

This is a tough situation for you. Give yourself lots of credit for getting the ball rolling on finding help. My gut reaction is to suggest you start by asking at your mom's church if there's anyone willing or interesting in driving her on a few errands, either as a volunteer or for a small fee, whatever you can afford. You could start by asking the pastor or minister if he knows of anyone in the church community who may be interested in this kind of service. Helping others brings tremendous pleasure to many people -- but they need to be aware of the need. Church communities, in particular, are often committed to helping others, particularly in their congregation (but often beyond). The pastor may know of other options as well. If this fails to find a solution, talk to your mother's doctor about her eligibility for paratransit, public transportation for the disabled. It could be that she would qualify, even if her problems are emotionally-based. Paratransit services vary community by community, but take a look at this article for more information. Finally I would try the Eldercare Locator in your mom's area, a government senior service referral agency. You should be able to talk to a real person who can refer you to local transportation options. Best of luck and I certainly hope something works out.