Ride hailing for older adults

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.