Transportation in the New York City metro area can be a challenge for any one...let alone for seniors. Even with all the public options senior transportation can be difficult depending on location, the cost involved, etc. Steps In Home Care tries to alleviate as much of the day-to-day problems our clients face, and one of the biggest issues we have tackled for many of our clients and employees is transportation.
RideConnect is a not-for-profit program of Family Services of Westchester. Their mission is "...to encourage independence and mobility by providing accessible and responsive transportation options to those in need". There are several local senior transportation services that can get you to the doctor's office, but RideConnect goes above and beyond by getting you to anywhere that you need to go, whether it be shopping, a movie, or anything else.
We have starting using RideConnect for several of our patients in both Southern and Northern Westchester. Northern Westchester provides its own challenges from a transportation perspective due to the lack of public options. Therefore, we have used RideConnect to both help patients with errands and help aides get to and from their cases.
One patient of ours lives in Somers, NY. He has his own car, but is unable to drive it at this point. Initially we only hired aides that drove for this case, but he wasn't clicking with one of the aides. He really got along with an emergency aide that we placed for him, but she didn't drive. We started to use RideConnect for errands and his doctors' appointments, which allowed the non-driving aide to remain with him. Now he couldn't be any happier.
Southern Westchester has better transportation options, but still has its own issues. Any cross county trips are very difficult logistically. We have one patient, who lives in Larchmont, NY. Her doctor is in an area of White Plains that makes it difficult to get to from her house. Her daughters were making trips with her several times a month, but that wasn't sustainable long term. They also wanted someone to go with her to help process the information the doctor was giving her. So, we set up rides through RideConnect for her and her aide, which solved the problem.
We generally hire aides that drive to make it more likely they get to work on time as well as to provide the transportation service patients that no longer drive really need. The pool of aides that drive is a very small one though, and it limits the choice of aide for a particular case if driving is necessary.
By partnering with RideConnect, it allows us to place excellent, non-driving aides on cases that would have required a driver before. Not only does it help get patients to where they need to be, it increases the quality of care by allowing us to place the best aide on a case regardless of whether, or not, they can drive.
This wouldn’t be possible without RideConnect’s ability to…given prior notice…pick someone up at a particular time and location, pick them up individually versus multiple patient trips, and transport clients and aides for non-medical errands. This flexibility and convenience is very easy to coordinate with our patients.
RideConnect is a major convenience in our patients’ lives as well as the coordination of care for those patients from our perspective.