Roughly 20% of all Americans aged 65-and-over can’t drive any more, but many of them still live at home. Staying active becomes more difficult once a senior gives up their car keys, and finding them some safe and reliable transportation is oftentimes problematic. That’s where ride-sharing comes in.

If you have an elderly family member who no longer drives, chauffeuring them to the store and their doctor’s appointments can be difficult when you have your own job and household to manage. Have you ever considered setting them up with a ride-sharing service?

Not Driving Affects Seniors in Many Ways

Studies conducted on elderly Americans who still live at home have found that there’s a strong correlation between driving and self-esteem. Having to turn over their car keys for good is a major blow to their freedom and independence. Seniors who don’t drive tend to also be less active, which can eventually threaten their health and wellbeing, even leading to depression. And, seniors who don’t drive tend to see their doctors less frequently for routine checkups and follow-up visits. All those factors are a recipe for trouble when it comes to your older loved one.

How Ride-Sharing Services Work

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve heard about ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. You may have even used them without considering their value to your elderly mom or dad. If you’re not familiar with ride sharing services, here’s how easy it is for a senior to get to their doctor’s office, exercise class, grocery store, or luncheon date with their friends:

  • Download the service’s free ride-sharing app onto their Smartphone. If you aren’t very tech-savvy, grab one of your kids and they’ll set it up in a jiffy. What if your senior still uses a “dumb phone” from the 1990s? We’ll get to that shortly.
  • Set up a payment method through the app. This is usually a credit card or PayPal account. If you are trying to help your loved one financially, enter your account information instead of theirs.
  • Type in the address for their destination. The app will automatically notify a driver, calculate the trip’s rate and estimated time of arrival. That way, there are no surprises once the driver arrives.

What about mom or dad’s security? The nice thing about Lyft or Uber is that a picture and description of the driver will be instantly sent, along with the rate and estimated arrival time. When the driver shows up, make sure your loved one knows to verify they are the right person by checking their phone screen.

When your loved one arrives at their destination, all that’s left to do is thank the driver and exit the vehicle. The payment has already been taken care of!

Ordering Rides Without a Smartphone

If your loved one doesn’t own a Smartphone, there’s grandPad, a senior-friendly smart tablet. Lyft and Uber have partnered with grandPad so that seniors can order rides directly, or have another authorized person order one on their behalf. As of November of 2018, Lyft rides can also now be scheduled through Jitterbug cell phones and GreatCall. Using any type of phone, even “dumb” ones, the senior simply presses “0” on their keypad, and then tells the GreatCall operator where they want to go! A Lyft driver will then promptly be dispatched to pick them up.

Reliable In-Home Transportation for Manatee County, FL, Seniors

Finding transportation for a senior loved one who doesn’t drive any more can be difficult, and ride-sharing services are one possible solution. Another option you have is calling First In Care. As a fully licensed home care agency, our carefully screened aides will get your senior to and from their destination safely and reliably, so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. If you prefer a ride-sharing service, once authorized our caregivers can also coordinate transportation for your senior through Uber or Lyft.

While in the home, our highly trained aides can perform tasks like light housework, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders and companionship. And, all those daily living assistance services can be flexibly tailored in an affordable package to put your mind at ease. For more information about First In Care’s transportation services for seniors in the Manatee County, FL, area, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care assessment, please visit: now!