Solving Senior Transportation Concerns with Uber Health

At 10am, we receive a call from Mary, looking for home care for her mother, Patricia. Patricia lost her driver’s license about a year ago. Since then, she’s experienced increasing balance and mobility issues due to declining vision.

Mary lives out of town but is visiting. She recognizes Patricia’s need for care at home. Our representative drives to Patricia’s house for an assessment. She gets a better understanding of her needs, one of which is a caregiver who can drive her to appointments.

Senior Transportation Limitations

Around Washington DC, we’re lucky to have ample public transportation. But balance and cognitive issues can remove those options. As a result, transportation access is a primary reason seniors move into assisted living facilities. AARP found that over 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes, even if that means less social interaction and sometimes dangerous driving.

How Uber Health and Georgetown Home Care Work Together

In the assessment for Patricia, our representative shares our new partnership with Uber Health. Using Uber Health, our caregiver can go with Patricia to her appointments and errands. We pay upfront for the Uber then include the charges on Patricia’s bill.

This eliminates the need for a smartphone (a device seniors are far less likely to own). The price is also similar to what Patricia would pay for mileage reimbursement and parking. So, why not opt for the added convenience?

For many, using Uber for seniors is an easy decision. But, tech-based options for seniors can actually be complicated and bothersome. Many seniors are intimidated by smartphones and anxious about getting into a presumably unmarked car, such as an Uber.

In fact, only about 40% of seniors own a smartphone. Even fewer seniors – 30% – over age 75 are smartphone owners. But, older seniors are more reliant on dependable transportation options and more hesitant to use mobile features like the Uber app.

In the last decade there has been a fundamental shift in health care from a fee for service system to a fee for outcome system. The health of the patient is now the focus, rather that the individual procedure. Making follow up appointments and regular doctor visits are critical to the health of older adults. Yet, 1 in 5 seniors citizens do not drive.

Patricia voiced her concerns about Uber but ultimately gave it a try. The following day Tina, her caregiver, arrives. After getting Patricia out of bed and ready for the day, Tina sends a text message to our office to request a ride. They need to get to a doctor’s appointment and then meet up with one of Patricia’s friends.

We use our Uber Heath platform to send the Uber. Tina gets a text message with the Uber driver’s information and within minutes they’re off to the doctor’s office. We call Patricia that evening to check in and see how Tina’s first day went.

Aside from positive reviews about Tina’s caregiving, Patricia said “the convenience of Uber is just wonderful. I love it. Some of my friends don’t use it and I have no idea what that is about. The experience was very positive and I will definitely be doing this again”.

Impact of Uber Health on Transportation Services for Elderly

By the time our clients use our services, they need more than just a ride. This partnership provides the best of both worlds. It allows our client to feel confident in their ability to get around town as well as the security of a helping hand.

“Speaking with our clients, I know they feel secure when using Uber with their caregiver,” said Zelda Ferguson, one of our scheduling coordinators. “A lot of our clients do not want to be left alone.” We explained to Mary and Patricia that because the driving is handled by Uber, our caregiver can be with Patricia at all times.

Mary won’t have to drop Patricia off at the front of the building and spend 20 minutes parking. Patricia doesn’t have to wait alone and then walk 5 blocks to the car or wait another 10 minutes after the appointment.

It really takes the hassle out of driving. It also gives good caregivers the chance to work with someone they couldn’t help in the past due to their own transportation restrictions. Uber Health has removed a major pain point for our clients and their family members, as well as our employees.

The job market in senior care is really tough for someone who cannot drive or can’t rely on family. And non-emergency medical care costs are through the roof. At Georgetown Home Care, we realize this and we’re thrilled and thankful to have a partner like Uber Health to chip away at both issues.

Find out more about Georgetown Home Care’s senior care services.

Read the press release: Georgetown Home Care Announces Partnership with Uber

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