Companies like Lyft and Uber have been revolutionizing the way that we get around and disrupting the taxi industry. These ride-sharing services can be used for a number of reasons such as for a designated driver, for those without a car, for seniors who can’t drive anymore, and more.
Many seniors may neglect what these ride-sharing services have to offer due to the fact that they are run through smartphone apps. While you don’t have to be particularly savvy with this type of technology, you still need to have access to it and be able to use it properly.
While these apps were developed to specifically cater to younger people, many of these companies have created initiatives to help seniors with the application to target a new demographic.
Both Uber and Lyft partnered with service providers to allow customers the opportunity to book rides through a phone operator essentially bypassing the need for smartphones, which was the main reason. The Lyft partnership is with a company called GreatCall.
"As we looked at the challenges older consumers have with staying in their home longer, one of the main issues is transportation," said David Inns, chief executive of GreatCall in an interview with the LA Times. "With a lot of people in the seniors age group, they're not at the stage where downloading an app and using it effectively is a great option."
How It Works
With GreatCall, customers use their GreatCall phones, press 0 to speak with an operator who will book the ride on the customer's behalf. The operator then gets in contact with the respective ridesharing company’s assigned driver to let them know who they will be picking up. Billing for the ride goes directly to the GreatCall balance statement.
Meanwhile Uber’s partnership is with RideWith24. RideWith24 is simple to use as well, their website gives users all the instructions they need:
- Call 1-833-RIDEW24
- Give your address of pick up and destination to a coordinator
- A driver will pick you up in 10 to 15 minutes.
Both Uber and Lyft are trying to expand their markets while also providing an invaluable service for people who need it.
“We believe every senior should have access to great transportation options,” Uber said on their website. “We’re working to make that happen.”
They mention that seniors are the fastest-growing community in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, by 2030 baby boomers will be older than 65 and expand the size of the older population so that one in every five residents will be at retirement age.
“Many members of this demographic might find getting around increasingly more difficult, keeping them isolated from friends, family, and even medical providers. The right transportation options could be critical to maintaining their quality of life.”
Wherever you need to go whether it’s medical appointments, a social activity, or just to the grocery store. Both of these ride-sharing companies can help you get where you need to go.
Driving Tips For Seniors
While ride-sharing options that are available for those who need them, some seniors still have the ability to drive. With that said, there are a number of things that seniors can do to promote driver safety as we age. Physical changes associated with aging can cause problems and make driving more challenging, but there are ways that older drivers can remain safe on the road. The Mayo Clinic recommends many tips for seniors to help keep them healthy and safe as they continue to drive.
Vision And Hearing Tests
Scheduling regular vision and hearing tests are important as those are two senses that tend to decline over time with age. Similarly, there are many age-related problems that occur such as cataracts and glaucoma which can greatly impair vision. Problems can be corrected easier if they are caught earlier, however, a doctor may still recommend driving only during daylight hours.
Avoid Using A Cellphone
This is good advice for anyone on the road because distracted driving is one of the most frequent causes of accidents. When you get in the car be prepared. Have your route planned out ahead of time and no where you’re going so you don’t have to consult your GPS.
Avoid Bad Conditions
As mentioned before, it is best for some to only drive during daylight hours. Similarly, in good weather, on quiet roads, and in familiar areas are all things you can do to promote safe driving. If the weather is bad and visibility is poor it is probably best to find an alternative to driving yourself. This should go without saying but never drive after drinking alcohol or using any mind-altering substances, this includes prescription medications and marijuana.
Take A Driving Class
Some seniors may be opposed to this as they have been driving their whole life, but it would never hurt to take a refresher course and update your skills. Normally, you can find community programs and local organizations that offer courses on driver’s safety and driving skills. Also, some car insurance companies will offer discounts for taking these courses.
With the senior population expected to grow, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have looked to expand their markets by using phone services to help seniors order rides without the use of a smartphone. Using these types of services can help seniors live a more independent lifestyle and not have to rely on family members and friends for rides.
With that said, for some seniors, living independently can be difficult or is maybe no longer a viable option. When this is the case, looking into assisted living facilities can help. Landmark Senior Living is one facility that can offer your loved one the care that they need and deserve at this stage in their lives. Similarly, our staff also sets up social gatherings and events to keep your loved one happy and stimulated during their stay with Landmark. If you want to learn more about what Landmark has to offer, please visit our website today.