Think of Uber and Lyft, with a twist.
“Well first of all, it's easy, it's very easy,” says Euclid, Ohio resident, Diane Millett. She and her partner use something called Go Go Grandparent.
“As you get older, your enthusiasm for getting in the car and driving downtown becomes more difficult,” her partner Susan Dean said.
More difficult and more of a hassle. That’s where Go Go Grandparent comes in.
It’s a third party, on a mission to bridge the gap, by creating a hotline seniors can call if they can’t or don’t want to use a smartphone to get a ride.
It’s been ideal for women like Dean and Millett, who still want to have a night out on the town.
“We might be old, but we're not dead yet. And we still want to be out there having a good time," Millett said.
Here's how it works:
Instead of downloading an app, they simply call the 1-800 number. Then using their touch-tone phone, pressing the number 1 for pick up or 2 for drop off, operators organize and get the qualified Uber or Lyft driver for them.
Drivers are carefully screened, making sure they’re wheelchair and walker accessible.
“We do a lot now to make sure that these trips are tailored for older adults,” said Justin Boggard, Creator and CEO of the company.
And it’s just one company that’s making headway in the industry. Some medical facilities and health insurers have started trying to pick up the burden themselves. According to AARP, older patients miss subspecialty doctor appointments as much as 30 percent of the time, which can lead to costly emergency-room visits and ambulance rides.
For Diane and Susan, they say they don’t need to use it for doctors visits just yet, but it's been an almost permanent replacement for most of their nights out.
“The thing that Go Go Grandparent has done for us, is given us the opportunity to be able to choose to go to the theatre, to concerts, out to dinner, where otherwise we might have said no,” Millett said.