The transition from driving to public transportation can be a tough one for older adults. Those who have given up their car keys and don’t have access to reliable transportation almost double their risk of depression due to a lack of independence. Luckily, with advanced technology and a variety of rideshare services for senior citizens, older adults can easily remain independent while still having access to reliable transportation.
*Read our blog How To Get Your Elderly Parent to Stop Driving*
We’ve put together a list of ride sharing services available for senior citizens.
Lyft has partnered with several companies to make Lyft accessible to older adults who don’t necessarily have a smartphone and know how to use their app. For example, they partnered with GreatCall, a company that makes cell phones for senior citizens as well as fall detection devices. People with GreatCall phones can simply dial zero, and they are automatically connected with an operator who will schedule a Lyft for them.
They’ve also been partnering with home care agencies such as Seniors At Home which serves the bay area. Seniors At Home and Lyft’s partnership allows senior citizens to schedule a Lyft ride over the phone and also provides rides to caregivers.
Uber launched an initiative called Uber assist aimed at helping senior citizens or people with disabilities get to where they need to go. The drivers on Uber assist can help their riders get into the car and handle things like walkers or wheelchairs. Riders do have to order their Uber assist on a smartphone, and it’s not always available.
Uber also has a feature where users can order an Uber for a family member or friend. This can be helpful if you are caring for a family member and are willing to quickly order an Uber from your phone whenever they may need a ride.
GoGoGrandparent arranges Uber and Lyft pickups for older adults. Their system is mostly automated over the phone. Users call their number and then press one to immediately order an Uber or Lyft, press two to get an Uber or Lyft to the last place they dropped you off at, and so on. GoGoGrandparent also allows older adults to order DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and Uber Eats over the phone, as well as grocery pickup and medication management.
RideWith24 serves older adults in Texas, California, and Arizona. By simply calling their phone number, senior citizens can schedule a ride or get one on demand. All they have to do is call the number, give their address, and a driver will arrive in 10-15 minutes.
SilverRide is available in the San Francisco area and launched in 2007, well before Uber or Lyft. Their services are directed solely at senior citizens. They offer door-to-door assistance with transportation, meaning they will help the rider in and out of the car, and walk them to wherever they need to go. They will also stick around for extended periods of time to drive the rider back home after a doctor’s appointment, for instance.
Losing the ability to drive doesn’t have to be a loss for a lot of senior citizens. With the technology like the options listed above, older adults can easily get a ride anywhere without having to learn how to use ride-hailing apps or have a smartphone.
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