Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

How do I get Mom to the Doctor and Not Take Time Off Work?

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Doctor visits. How to get there when you can no longer drive?

 

 If you area baby boomer helping care for an aging relative, you know this is a big issue.  Because you are probably spending a lot of your time driving to and from doctor appointments. Squeezing them in between work and your own family responsibilities.

 

The current economy has made that a bit tougher.  It’s harder to take time off work or looking for work.  But, the solutions are few.  I think this is one of the large issues facing our aging society – spread out as we are in suburbs and exurbs.  But, what’s the solution today?

 

There are some volunteer groups that can help.  Check with your local Office on Aging or senior center for possible resources.  Taxii?  An option but for the frail elderly not a solution since they need assistance getting to and from the vehicle as well as often help checking in the doctor’s office.

 

There is a new business in San Francisco that holds hope for those of us trying to figure out how to be in two places at once, and keep our loved one in good hands.  The business is called SilverRide.  And, they just won business of the year award from the American Society on Aging.

In addition to providing transportation to older adults, SilverRide enables its clients to have a more connected, fulfilling, dignified and independent lifestyle after their “driving retirement,” while providing peace of mind to those who care for them. It can even positively impact long-term health and quality of life.

 

The relationship between the client and the driver distinguishes SilverRide from other transportation services. SilverRide conducts an extensive interview with its clients ahead of time to better understand their particular needs. It also trains its drivers in senior sensitivity and safety on an ongoing basis. This process forges a rich relationship between the client and their driver companions, who bring their own unique personalities to the table.

SilverRide also provides ongoing communication with its clients’ families, whose work and familial responsibilities or distance from their aging parents may prevent them from caring for them full-time. SilverRide’s on-going communication and breadth of services help reduce this anxiety.

Susan Steiner Saal and Jeff Maltz, Co-Founders of SilverRide, said, “We both watched our parents struggle to manage the needs of our grandparents. When we hear from our clients that SilverRide has solved a real problem for them, it is a reward in and of itself!”

 

And it’s about more than doctor’s visit – it’s maintaining social interaction and activity.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, when older adults stop driving there can be a number of serious negative consequences. They make 15% fewer trips to the doctor and 65% fewer trips for social, family and religious activities.

In fact, The Journals of Gerontology reports that elderly non-drivers are four to six times more likely than their driving counterparts to pass away during the subsequent 3-year period. This devastating outcome is due to the fact that for older adults, their ability to drive provides independence that leads to underlying health and well-being.

So if you are in San Francisco, look them up.  Elsewhere?  Any one have any recommendations for solving the transportation problem?

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Written by Laura Rossman

April 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

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