These days, ordering a ride is as easy as clicking an app – unless, that is, you don’t have a smartphone. Only a quarter of adults age 65 and older own smartphones, according to a Pew Research Center study. That makes taking advantage of the vast number of ride sharing options out there a little trickier.
Ironically, older adults who may have impaired mobility and need assistance making it to regular appointments greatly benefit from easily accessible ride sharing. That’s why it’s so important there are services out there that cater to people without smartphones. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we often get calls from seniors inquiring about transportation services. Transportation services are included in our hourly rate (plus .55/mile), but oftentimes, seniors are looking for a ride only.
Here are two local options:
1801 West Central Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005
The Wheeling Township
1616 N. Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004
It’s no surprise that older adults who do have smartphones are significantly more likely to choose “connecting,” rather than “distracting,” as the best descriptor for the phones. Take a look at the article below detailing some other car services and apps for seniors:
Go Go Grandparent works like a modern day middle man. Seniors can call a 1-800 number and speak with an operator, who then sets up when ride with drivers from ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Users say Go Go Grandparent gives them greater independence, and family members who are concerned about an older relative’s mobility can stay in the loop with text alerts. The service also allows users to set up automatic rides for fixed medical appointments. What’s more, voice prompts and a touch service make it easy to use for those who might be visually impaired.
is part of a phone service package targeted to older adults that comes with a basic Jitterbug phone. Simply by pressing “0” users can access to a live operator who can assist users in various ways, including requesting a Lyft or helping in emergencies. The fare (tip included) is added to the monthly phone bill, making payment simple. The service is easy, but it does require subscribing to this particular phone service.
Drivers with Uber assist are specially trained with the Open Doors Organization, a Chicago-based nonprofit disability advocacy group. Drivers help seniors and people with disabilities get to and from the car, and they also allow service animals.
In March 2018, Uber launched a new service, UberHealth, which allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need. Rides can be booked for immediate pickup, or up to 30 days in advance. The service caters to people without smartphones, and riders can receive a call with trip details to their mobile phone or landline. The company has already partnered with various hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care facilities to test this innovative service.
A third service, UberWav, allows users to select cars that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. However, there have been some issues with the service in the Chicago area, and users with wheelchairs might want to think twice about this option.
Limitations of ridesharing
- Seniors and caregivers living from cities might find that ridesharing is expensive, or difficult to access if there are simply not enough drivers in their area. In large urban areas, rides might be subject to surge pricing or more difficult to order quickly during peak times.