The loss of independence that the elderly experience as they age is particularly acute when driving is no longer a safe option. We take our independence in going somewhere without having to rely on someone else for granted. Everything becomes more complicated such as routine doctor or hospital visits, and simple trips to the grocery store, visiting friends, or going to lunch. Seniors become socially isolated quickly, don’t get out of their house, and even miss appointments.
Easy, reliable transportation is a big factor for our health. Many seniors rely on a shuttle bus, public transportation, or even a taxi, which can be unreliable, costly, and not as safe or practical. But the good news is that there are a few programs out there that are working to improve senior transportation.
Uber for Elders
Uber is teaming up with home care provider for on-demand transportation to seniors so they can get where they need to go, whenever they want. Available in the Orange County, California area, seniors affiliated with Age Well Senior Services, an organization dedicated to providing resources, programs, and critical services to senior citizens will be able to utilize this on-demand transport program. This is just one of the examples of ride-hailing programs surfacing throughout the country, helping senior citizens regain their independence.
The service works similar to Uber except it doesn’t require patrons to have a smartphone or download the app. They simply call home care providers with their pickup location and destination, and a driver is dispatched. It costs about the same as a normal Uber, with a small management fee, and is still more cost efficient than taking a taxi. Drivers are specially trained to handle and accommodate disabilities, wheelchairs, walkers, or even seniors just discharged from the hospital.
Lyft for Seniors
Many other senior citizens programs are partnering with Uber and Lyft, to offer on-demand transportation services specifically catered to seniors. Lyft partnered with CareLinx to offer a ride-hailing program that comes with a certified caregiver if needed. It also allows for someone else, like a family member or friend, to schedule a ride for the senior up to a week in advance.
As our loved one’s age, one of the hardest parts can be losing a sense of independence which is caused by a number of factors. Seniors often have to give up their driving abilities due to health or they can’t afford or obtain a vehicle and thus become more isolated from society, leading to a decline in health overall. These transportation programs that are popping up around the country are a great step towards granting seniors their independence and letting them live out their best possible lives.