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What Seniors Need To Know About Ride Sharing Services With the Help of Lyft

Seniors can take Lyft—a ridesharing service to get them to and from where they need to go. Ridesharing is safe & allows seniors to maintain their independence

What Seniors Need to Know About Lyft & Other Ridesharing Services

Many seniors and older adults can no longer drive themselves due to injury, disability, or fear of getting behind the wheel. Rideshare services, such as Lyft (www.lyft.com) can get these individuals wherever they may need to go, safely and securely, without any hassle.

We were fortunate to have Lyft’s communication team answer our questions when it comes to seniors using ridesharing.

What is ridesharing?

Ridesharing is a service that arranges peer-to-peer rides on-demand. Passengers are matched with a nearby driver who picks them up within minutes and takes them where they want to go.

Is ridesharing Safe?

At Lyft, safety is our top priority. We have policies and features that protect both drivers and passengers. All drivers undergo a criminal background check, a driving record check, a vehicle inspection and an in-person screening.

When passengers request a ride with Lyft, they get a text that includes the driver’s name and photo and the make, model, license plate and color of the car. We also have a Trust & Safety team available 24/7 for emergencies.

How are the background checks/screening completed?

Applicants undergo rigorous screenings such as criminal background and driving-record checks (including queries of local, state and federal databases), social security traces, and a vehicle inspection.

According to the CDC, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as you age.

  • An average of 586 older adults are injured every day in crashes.
  • Age-related declines in vision, physical changes and cognitive functioning, may affect older adults’ driving abilities.
  • Fatal crash rates increase starting at ages 70–74 and are highest among drivers age 85 and older.

How do you maintain quality drivers?

Passengers and drivers rate each other on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) after each ride. If you rate someone 3 stars or below, you’ll never be matched with them again. Consistently low ratings can put drivers at risk of deactivation.

Seniors might need wheelchair accessible vehicles, is that supported?

Drivers should reasonably accommodate passengers with wheelchairs or walkers. If seniors require a wheelchair-accessible vehicle we can accommodate this in certain markets where we have partners who specialize in this level of transport.

How does the ride sharing avenue compare to owning a car both in experience and financially?

A senior might fear driving but do it anyway, resulting in an accident. Then their family drives them but that isolates the senior and puts stress on the family. Since the average household spends $9,000 a year on car ownership, their car becomes an expensive ball and chain that is very rarely used.

What makes Lyft uniquely different for seniors?

We understand the unique challenges and needs of our elder population and build partnerships that will enhance their independence and reduce isolation.

We’ve partnered with senior care communities, nonprofit groups, and home care providers, such as Brookdale Senior Living, Whistlestop, Avenidas and many others to help seniors get where they need to go.

We also have a dedicated healthcare team and group of individuals who have 10+ years of experience in elder care.

Any other ‘must knows’ that are relevant for seniors, caregivers, and home care agencies?

We build custom solutions for each partner of ours in eldercare. Over the last five months, we have built dozens of partnerships with companies that directly serve our elder population and are giving tens of thousands of rides to our aging population every week.

Top 5 things to consider with ridesharing:

1. Look at background check procedures. Lyft has some of the best in the industry.

2. Compare costs. Ridehsaring often costs less than a taxi and/or the cost of keeping a vehicle with limited use.

3. Adult children can order a car for their loved one, making it a breeze for seniors to get a ride.

4. Keeps older adults independent and able to attend appointments, social functions, & church activities.

5. Gets seniors where they need to be safely and securely.

Home Care Tip:

Caregivers can download the Lyft app to schedule and pay for their older adult’s ride.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.