Ride Sharing and CaregivingMarch 21, 2019 | Transportation
When we were kids, we could not wait to get behind the wheel to be free to go where we wanted. Now ride sharing is becoming increasingly popular.
As we get older and become better drivers, we rely heavily on driving to reach our destination. But driving comes with responsibility, too. Driving can potentially be dangerous; a simple accident can be deadly for someone within age and with a few health concerns.
So what can individuals do to maintain their freedom as they age?
Thanks to modern technology, companies like Uber and Lyft offer the convenience of ride sharing services at the touch of our fingertips. And the best part is, we can do the simple task of ordering a car ride for our elderly family members, too!
For example, my grandfather, who can no longer drive due to his eyesight, still has things to do and places to be.
I don’t want his health problems to interfere with his active lifestyle, so I call and order a ride for him that takes him to wherever he needs to be. For me personally, I will happily pay a $20 ride for my grandpa to get to the store, or church, and back home safely, as opposed to him having to walk down the street with groceries in hand or having to wait until a family member can get to his house to pick him up.
Night driving: Glaring lights at night can become a problem. If you are still driving during the day, these services will allow you to get around to places at night.
Driving in bad weather: Not all vehicles can drive in the snow and on ice. Ordering a car that can is smart for anyone at any age. Why have the stress of dealing with the weather if you can get someone else to do it?
Bad Drivers: Let’s be honest, as we age, car wrecks become more and more life-threatening. Having a good driver can save yourself the trouble of possibly encountering a bad one.
Family is not in town: Since I am in Reno and my grandparents are in Utah, I cannot easily pick them up. I order them a car ride service to get from point A to point B.
Help carrying things: Uber and Lyft drivers work on tips! My grandmother who is at most 80 lbs. often gets her groceries carried in for her. She loves it because she gets to enjoy her shopping trips.
Costs: use of these services once or twice a week is not bad and quite affordable. I have personally found it to be cheaper than a taxi on non-holidays. Holidays can get a lot more expensive. If it is a whole day of driving and you keep the same driver the entire time, it can add up to a few hundred dollars. So be sure to complete the drive each time you are dropped off to save some cash.
Small towns: Small towns may not have a full-time driver. I know South Shore (Lake Tahoe) during the daytime has a lack of drivers. So if you find a driver that you like, it might be worth getting to know them to see if they will “log on” to help you with day trips.
Lastly, your old car: My grandfather refuses to give up his car that he cannot drive, which means he still pays for insurance and maintenance on top of Uber and Lyft. If you are in a state where Uber and Lyft make the most sense for you, I would consider selling your car. It can be hard to do, I know, but think about it. If you take the money you would spend on insurance, gas, maintenance, and put that in your account to get rides instead, it can save you so much more in the long run.
The last thing we want to do is be a burden on our kids and family. No one wants to be trapped in their home, not see friends, or be able to care for themselves. Having a chauffeur-like service allows all of us to get around our towns.
If you or a family member does not like to drive, or put their lives potentially at risk while driving, consider these services and other future technologies to maintain a safe and healthy social life.
I personally cannot wait for self-driving cars so I can nap on my way to Utah to go see my grandparents.
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William Palmer III