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Assisted living communities usually provide transportation for residents, including rides to medical appointments, scheduled activities, and more.

Assisted Living Transportation: What's Provided for Residents?

3 minute readLast updated November 29, 2022
Written by Chacour Koop
Reviewed by Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDPLeslie Fuller, a Licensed Master Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner, is the owner of Inspired Senior Care.
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As seniors age, driving often becomes a challenge. But staying connected to their surrounding neighborhood remains as important as ever. Understanding this, assisted living communities usually offer ways for residents to get out and about, including group excursions and rides to appointments. However, communities provide transportation in a variety of different ways, and sometimes the service might cost extra.

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Is transportation provided in assisted living?

Most assisted living communities provide transportation for residents.[01] In fact, some states have laws requiring that this service be offered, including Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Typically, residents can get rides to medical appointments, social activities, and nearby stores, which helps connect them to their surrounding community.

Assisted living transportation services vary depending on the size of the community. Larger communities are more likely to provide transportation than smaller communities are.[01] Additionally, they’re more likely to offer rides to social activities and stores. A comparable percentage of both larger and smaller communities provide transportation to medical appointments. For residents who live in communities that don’t provide transportation, there are several rideshare services that cater specifically to older adults.

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How do assisted living transportation services work?

Assisted living communities typically have a van or small bus to transport residents, and some may even offer private rides for errands or appointments. Oftentimes, transportation to medical appointments is included in the up-front cost of assisted living. Many communities also offer regularly scheduled transportation for social outings and shopping. Residents may need to pay fees for additional transportation needs.

Generally, assisted living communities charge residents using one of three pricing models: a la carte, all-inclusive, and tiered.

  • With a la carte, residents pay for the individual services they actually use.
  • All-inclusive pricing provides residents access to services at a single cost.
  • Under a tiered model, a community charges different prices for different levels of care.

It’s important to understand a community’s pricing model as it relates to transportation services. For instance, if a community uses the a la carte option, consider asking the price per trip or mile. Or, if a community offers transportation in its all-inclusive pricing, ask what the service area is and when transportation isn’t included in the price.

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What questions should I ask about a community’s transportation service?

Being involved in one’s surrounding community provides a sense of connectedness and is a key part of anyone’s health and well-being. If you’re touring an assisted living community, it’s important to ask detailed questions about transportation services so that your family member can take advantage of this important benefit.

Here are some questions to consider asking about an assisted living community’s transportation services:

  • What types of trips (e.g., doctor’s appointments, shopping, or family visits) are included in the cost?
  • How far does the transportation service area extend?
  • Will the community provide escorts? If so, what’s the cost?
  • How far in advance does a resident need to schedule a ride, and on which days of the week can they get a ride?
  • How frequently does the community organize scheduled trips?
  • Are the community’s vehicles wheelchair-accessible?
  • Is the service provided by an employee or an outside agency?

In addition to transportation services, families should assess other important aspects of assisted living communities. A Place for Mom created a touring checklist to help you evaluate communities and make an informed decision.

How can I find assisted living with transportation?

Not all assisted living communities provide transportation, and some may charge residents fees for this service. To find a community with the services to fit your loved one’s needs, consider getting help from an expert to guide your family along the way.

A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors offer knowledge and expertise about local options for seniors. This includes information about services, amenities, and prices. Plus, they can help arrange tours and evaluate your options — all at no cost to you.

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  1. National Center for Health Statistics. (2016, March). Residential care communities and their residents in 2010: A national portrait.

  2. National Center for Assisted Living. (2022). Assisted living state regulatory review.

Meet the Author
Chacour Koop

Chacour Koop is a former copywriter at A Place for Mom, where he published articles focused on Medicare, Medicaid, dementia, and wellness with a hope that other families can use the information to improve their lives. As a former family caregiver, Chacour Koop strives to bring practical knowledge about senior care to readers who are navigating this complex topic. Before writing about senior living, he was a journalist with bylines in The Associated Press, Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, and dozens of other publications. He earned a degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Edited by

Danny Szlauderbach

Reviewed by

Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDP

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