A thousand rideshare options for older adults

News briefs

Published: March, 2020

Catching a ride to the doctor or grocery store has never been easier, thanks to rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. You simply download an app to your smartphone and enter your credit card information. Then you can just tap a button whenever you need a ride. But if you're not comfortable with the concept, take heart: the United States now has about a thousand rideshare services that cater to older adults, according to a CDC-funded study conducted by NORC, a nonprofit research organization based at the University of Chicago. The results were released Dec. 5, 2019. Researchers found more than 900 individual nonprofit rideshare services and three for-profit rideshare companies (with a total of 888 locations) available for older adults in the United States. The rides weren't just for doctor or grocery store visits. Many rides were for other errands, work, or fun (an important point, since older adults are at risk for isolation). Also appealing: about two-thirds of the rides were free, and about a third of the services provided help in and out of the vehicle. Want to give it a try? Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (www.health.harvard.edu/aaa) to find groups that offer rides for older adults.

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