Rideshare Options for Seniors

Terry RogersHeadlines, Health, Milford Headline Story

Uber and Lyft offer rideshare options for seniors (Photo courtesy of Delaware Hospice)

According to Delaware Hospice, transportation problems create unhealthy social isolation for many older adults. Rides from family and friends are the first thought, but they aren’t always available, limiting your loved one’s opportunities. And older adults often feel uncomfortable being beholden to others for their transportation—and ironically—for their “independence.”

Ride services offer an alternative in many parts of the country. But what to do if your loved one is not tech savvy? Innovators at both Uber and Lyft are pioneering app-free, phone-based, senior-friendly programs. All three services enable your loved one to speak to a live operator at some point to get a cost estimate for the ride and information for identifying the driver. Ask if help getting in and out of the car is available. Ride hailing is not appropriate if the person you care for has dementia. It’s not safe for your relative and is beyond a driver’s ability to support.

Uber requires that seniors call from a text-enabled phone, and they must set up for payment. This can be done over the phone at the first call for a ride and there is no additional fee for the service. When the senior calls, they can request additional services and are able to leave an extra tip. Confirmation and ride information will be sent via text. Any senior wishing to use Uber can call 1-833-USE-UBER (1-833-873-8237) where they will be connected to a live person.

In order to use Lyft, the senior must have a Lively phone provided by Jitterbug and they can use that phone service as payment. The cost of the ride will be added to the monthly bill as well as a per-ride concierge fee. Extra services can be requested, and Lyft allows an additional tip, but it is not required. Confirmation and ride information is sent via text. To connect to Lyft, press “0” on a Lively phone to be connected to a live person.

 GoGoGrandparent.com also offers services to connect seniors with Lyft or Uber. An account must be set up at GoGoGrandparent.com and there are monthly fees. The call for the ride can be made from a landline or mobile. GoGo pays the ride service plus adds a per-minute fee for concierge service. There are no extra assistance options as the rider is required to get in and out of the vehicle without assistance. Confirmation and ride information is provided verbally with a call made when the driver is nearby. For more information call 1-855-464-6872 and, during the voice menu, select “Talk to an operator.”

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