ridesharing is a convenient alternative to rigid public transportation schedules

You are probably familiar with the recent phenomenon of ridesharing, a form of on-demand transportation service similar to a taxi cab. It provides an alternative to public transportation and cabs at times and locations that those services are not accessible or convenient.

Ridesharing has gained its popularity through the ease with which almost anyone with a car can become a driver, choosing their availability at their own discretion. Typically, the projected image of a rideshare user is that of a young, urban professional tapping on their phone to request a ride through a mobile app. That image is changing. More and more senior citizens and older adults are utilizing the services as a means to travel.

The Eldercare Locator is a U.S. service that can be accessed through phone or internet and is designed for older adults and caregivers searching for aging-related information and resources. According to the most recent Eldercare Locator Data Report, the number one reason for contacting the service was difficulty with accessing transportation. Many locations, like suburbs and rural areas, lack sufficient access to public transportation. Those without personal vehicles or who are unable to drive must become dependent on infrequent bus schedules, the timetables of friends or family members, or may simply become stranded at home.

Other motivators for accessing the Eldercare Locator included requests for in-home personal care and grocery and meal delivery services. Both of these needs are related to transportation. Someone who is able to travel to the grocery store or to the doctor is less likely to need those things delivered to the home.

With ridesharing, even your neighbors become potential chauffeurs, solving the problem of the limited availability of cabs and buses. Although ridesharing services are primarily accessed through cell phone apps, they are becoming increasingly accessible and many can now be telephoned. One California ridesharing company, SilverRide, is designed to meet the needs of older adults and those with special needs. Drivers with SilverRide escort riders from their door to the vehicle and have transportation that accommodates wheelchairs and walkers. As ridesharing services become more widespread, they can provide much needed assistance to the elderly and others who have struggled to find speedy, reliable transportation.

If you have questions about elder care, check out our video “What is an elder care attorney?” or the rest of our Elder Care Whiteboard Videos here. Contact Glenn R. Matecun about Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Benefits, Estate Planning, and Special Needs Planning by calling (517) 548-7400 in Livingston County and (586) 751-0779 in Macomb County.

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