Are Lyft and Uber Safe Choices for Aging Adults?

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Are Lyft and Uber Safe for the Elderly in Portland, ME

Uber and other ride-sharing programs are an asset for people who need a temporary source of transportation to get them from one place to another. However, they do have some drawbacks, since many older adults are nervous about getting into a car with a stranger. As you help your aging loved one explore transportation options, keep these safety tips in mind for using ride-sharing services.

Always Verify the Driver and Vehicle

Ride-sharing programs provide important information your loved one can use to make sure he or she is in the right vehicle. Tell your loved one to always verify the name of the driver and the license plate of the car he or she is getting into. Your loved one should also never get into a car with someone claiming to drive for a ride-sharing program unless your loved one ordered a ride through the appropriate company. 

One great transportation option is to hire a professional caregiver, which is perfect for families who cannot drive their loved ones to medical appointments and social engagements. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Portland, ME, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Wait Inside Whenever Possible

Seniors who request a ride may feel tempted to wait outside for the driver, but they’re safer indoors. Encourage your loved one to wait for the ride inside because it keeps him or her safe from the weather as well as potential criminal activity. Since most ride-sharing apps allow customers to track the vehicle’s location, your loved one can wait while knowing approximately when he or she needs to head toward the door.

Protect Personal Information

Your loved one should also be wary of sharing personal information with a stranger. Make sure your loved one uses a ride-sharing program such as Uber that allows riders and drivers to call each other and arrange for payments without sharing contact information. This added safety protocol reduces the risk of identity theft.

Consider the Need for Accessibility

Seniors may need special accommodations that aren’t always provided by ride-sharing vehicles. Depending on the service, your loved one may be able to request special accommodations, such as a wheelchair-accessible van, but it’s not always possible to receive them. If your loved one has specific needs, find out beforehand if it’s possible for him or her to be met by the ride-sharing driver so you can make other arrangements if necessary. 

For your loved one’s long-term needs—including safe, reliable transportation—consider hiring a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Portland, ME, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Know When to Use Professional Transportation Services

There are times when ride-sharing isn’t the best option for a senior. For instance, seniors with specific medical needs that may arise during the ride should only ride with a professional caregiver who can provide assistance. Many ride-sharing drivers are simply regular people who aren’t trained in what to do during an emergency. Seniors who need transportation services on a regular basis also benefit from having a caregiver drive from one place to another simply because they can receive assistance from their front door to the destination, which protects the safety of seniors with mobility challenges and memory loss.

A trusted professional caregiver can provide your loved one with safe transportation and much more. Portland senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.