Uber for the elderly offers transport with friendly care
Sport & Fitness
Lift Hero has created a peer-to-peer lift service that uses trained or studying medical professionals to drive the elderly safely to their destination.
It's a lot harder for older people to get around, especially if they have mobility problems or medical conditions that take public transport out of the question. Even startups such as Uber, which offer individual door-to-door lifts at an often inexpensive rate, simply can't cater for the needs of some seniors. Instead, Lift Hero has created a peer-to-peer lift service that uses trained or studying medical professionals to drive the elderly safely to their destination.
Founded by Jay Connolly, who saw his grandmother lose some of her independence when she lost the ability to drive, the service operates much like other citizen taxi services — with one difference. Those signing up to be a driver must be a health professional or student with first aid knowledge and experience in providing care. Each driver is vetted and trained to work with Lift Hero's elderly passengers to make sure they can help customers out of their home and into the taxi and be able to respond quickly in the case of an emergency.
Seniors or their caregivers can book a taxi like any other service, and the initiative serves to provide a friendly, caring transport option when a family member isn't there to provide it. Passengers can set up alerts to remind them when they're due to be picked up and caregivers can track the vehicle in real time. Although each trip costs slightly more than a typical cab — at a minimum of USD 35 — the extra spending can guarantee peace of mind. Users can also pay for accompaniment in between trips or for the driver to standby while they go about their activities.
Lift Hero provides a way for elderly citizens to travel not just door-to-door, but safely from their armchair to wherever they need to go with the helping hands of a skilled carer. At the same time, medical professionals and students can make some extra money. It's currently operating in the Bay Area of San Francisco but hopes to expand to other locations soon. Are there other ways to tailor new business models to those on the fringes of society?
6th October 2014