In my role as special events coordinator, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with and getting to know many older adults in my community. They make up the core of our volunteer program, as well as faithfully attend our weekly programs.
One challenge we are running up against as our dedicated group of seniors grows older is transportation. Many are giving up or limiting their driving, and we are having a tough time finding transportation for them.
For 2018, our goal is to try to find a solution that is affordable and reliable. Safety is also a concern.
Do you know of any options that we can share with our seniors?
First, it sounds like you have a very fun job! I know from experience working with seniors that nature programs are always a big hit. We even find this to be the case with older adults who have dementia.
I can see how transportation might be tricky for the older adults who are so dedicated to your park system. While many seniors stay active and on the go well in to their eighties and nineties, fewer are comfortable continuing to drive. We have a partnership that might be of interest to you.
While we have very comprehensive in-house transportation services at Benchmark Senior Living communities, we also found the need for on-demand transportation for busy residents. We partnered with a company called Lyft to fill the gap.
Through this partnership, residents have the flexibility to make a quick, unscheduled trip to the local mall, join a friend for lunch, or run errands. Our concierge makes the arrangements, but it is easy for a senior with a smartphone to do it on their own. (And there are other options for requesting a ride for those without a smartphone.)
Lyft drivers undergo background checks and their vehicles are inspected for safety. This might give you peace of mind about creating a similar partnership for the Metroparks.
One feature Lyft offers that might be of interest to your seniors is that riders can get an estimate on how much their trip will cost. Lyft’s Fare Estimator allows a prospective rider to enter their current location and final destination to receive a quick quote. This might help older adults feel confident they aren’t being overcharged.
I hope this helps you keep the older adults in your community active and involved with the Metroparks, Tina!
Until next time,