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Taking Advantage of Lyft for Seniors

Discover all the ways that Lyft is reaching out to aging adults to offer senior-friendly transportation to medical appointments and more.

By Seniorly Editor · Updated Sep 28, 2021
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The ability to travel within one’s community is crucial to maintaining social connections, health, and independence. Unfortunately, according to the Community Transportation Association, millions of seniors have to rely on others for transportation as they grow older. In some cities, this problem is made worse by limited or inadequate public transportation. If your parents are unable to drive, it’s not only difficult on their self-esteem, but it also has the potential to affect their physical health. A report released in 2004 found that seniors who are unable to drive make fewer trips to the doctor. However, transportation network companies like Lyft make it easy to get a reasonably priced ride from a friendly driver in minutes, offering an excellent solution for seniors who are no longer driving. Here’s a look at how your parents can use Lyft to make transportation easy. 

Using the Lyft app

One of the ways that your parents can use Lyft is through the Lyft app. To do so, your loved one will need to be a bit tech savvy. If your parents have a smartphone, you can help them download and set up the app to get started. Once their phone is equipped with the app, it’s easy to use. You’ll need to have a payment method set up, such as PayPal or a credit card, and then it’s as simple as typing in the address of where your parents want to go. The Lyft app calculates the rate so your parents know the cost upfront. They’ll be provided with a description of the car and driver and an estimated time of arrival so they know who to be looking for. Transactions are dealt with online so your parents won’t need to deal with cash when they reach their destination. 

No need for a smartphone to use Lyft

Even if your parents aren’t tech savvy, they still can enjoy the benefits of Lyft. The LA Times reported that it’s available for seniors to book their rides through a phone operator instead of via smartphone app. Lyft partnered up with Great Call and other senior housing operators to provide ride-hailing services without the need for credit card info or a smartphone, and Great Call members and residents of communities that partner with Lyft can request transportation to medical appointments and other destinations. If your parents use the Jitterbug cell phone, Lyft has also been testing a service that allows seniors to request a ride through these devices as well. 

Lyft Concierge 

Lyft Concierge is another option that makes it easy for family members or senior care managers at assisted living communities and other types of senior living properties to request rides on behalf of seniors. Lyft has partnered with many different home care providers, nonprofit groups, and senior care communities to ensure seniors are able to get to places they need to go, such as essential medical appointments. 

Using Lyft Line 

If your parents want to enjoy cheaper rides, they can take advantage of the Lyft Line. With the Lyft Line, your parents can carpool with other people who are riding the same route and then split the tab, offering significant savings. This can work well if your parents live in a senior community and they want to share the cost of transportation with neighbors and friends. 

Lyft takes safety measures 

Are you worried about your parents using on-demand transportation like Lyft? You’ll be happy to know that Lyft takes some important safety precautions. First, they make sure that drivers have a valid driver’s license. Drivers also have to undergo a criminal background check and a DMV background check. They have to carry up-to-date insurance coverage on the vehicle, and they’ll need to have a general car inspection before they’re able to work with Lyft. Drivers also have to be 21 years old or older, must have a car that is a 2001 model or newer, and must drive a four-door vehicle. Beyond this, Lyft has a rating system that’s used to eliminate unprofessional or poor drivers. 

Lyft has been focusing on reaching out to aging adults by offering senior-friendly services, and not only do seniors enjoy using this mode of transportation, but Lyft drivers also report enjoying senior customers as well. Don’t let a lack of transportation options keep your parents from making it to medical appointments or social events. Get them started with Lyft and you can rest assured that they’re in good hands while they enjoy a bit more independence.  

This piece is part of our Healthy Aging Handbook, read the next one to learn more about helping aging parents: How to Celebrate the Holidays with Seniors in Assisted Living Communities
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