This June, Lyft is joining the Alzheimer’s Association® for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month — an opportunity to join a global conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, while over 15 million are caring for them.
During the month of June, Lyft is raising awareness and taking action with the Alzheimer’s Association. New Lyft users can receive $5 off their first ride when they use the code ENDALZ. When users redeem the code, Lyft will also make a $5 contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association throughout the month of June.
Lyft is focused on providing transportation technology that better meets the needs of an aging population, and one way is through our Concierge platform.
We’re also partnering with organizations such as Comfort Keepers and CareLinx to work directly with caregivers who are critical in supporting those with dementia. Lyft has also become a vital tool and solution in helping family members who care for those with dementia to get to and from destinations.
On September 1, 2016, Lyft began our partnership with Whistlestop and IOA. Using a combination of Whistlestop vans, drivers on the Lyft platform and proprietary software, the partnership allows Whistlestop to transport more seniors to medical appointments while reducing travel time, keeping rides on schedule, and maintaining cost efficiency.
Prior to the collaboration, Whistlestop provided transportation to approximately 100 older adults every weekday to and from IOA’s campus on Geary Street in San Francisco, CA to attend health, wellness, and nutrition programs. Under the new partnership, Whistlestop has expanded mid-day transportations options for IOA clients with a combination of Whistlestop vans and drivers on the Lyft platform. To date, over 900 successful rides have been completed under this partnership.
Whistlestop had provided daily transportation for a longtime client to and from IOA for medical services. When this client developed dementia, she began feeling anxious on her regular bus service to and from IOA. The small bus filled with people she perceived as strangers caused her much agitation, and she routinely began to get out of her seat. This created unsafe conditions for both her and drivers of the bus.
When Whistlestop initiated its partnership with Lyft, a new option arose: a simple, safe way to schedule rides for this client in a private vehicle, where her husband could accompany — reducing her anxiety greatly. Thanks to the partnership between Lyft, IOA, and Whistlestop, this client is able to maintain her critical health appointments without also disrupting service.
“You can have the greatest healthcare system ever built, but if patients are unable to get there, it makes no difference and has no impact. It truly warms my heart that our creative partnership with Lyft and IOA has enabled this patient to maintain her vital medical services while feeling safe and secure,” says Whistlestop CEO Joe O’Hehir. “That’s exactly why we do what we do!”
“What we strive to do at IOA is help older adults stay engaged and to safely live at home with their loved ones for as long as possible,” adds Kristina Lugo, program director." Thanks to this innovative approach, our clients and their families get the care — and respite — they need.”
Lyft has also been playing a crucial role in assisting patients who need to get to and from clinical trials that are valuable in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. According to clinicaltrials.gov, there are approximately 250 clinical trials investigating answers to Alzheimer's. More than 25,000 patients will be needed to complete these trials.
Transportation is a significant barrier to recruitment and retention of patients in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s.
“Studies have shown that of patients considering participating in a clinical trial, up to 50% list transportation as a barrier,” says Nariman Nasser, VP of Site Optimization at Continuum Clinical, a global healthcare research and communications company. To get to and from clinical trials, people living with Alzheimer's often rely on family members or caregivers.
Without the ability to get back and forth from study visits, patients may be forced to drop out of the trial. In partnership with Lyft, Continuum Clinical is hoping to reduce this transportation barrier that patients often face when deciding to participate in a clinical trial, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and neurological and chronic conditions. Lyft is able to provide the transportation to safely get these patients, their caregiver, or family members to their study visits.
Please visit the Alzheimer’s Association to learn more about our partnership and let’s work together to end Alzheimer’s and Go Purple for the month of June.
If you are interested in finding out more about Lyft's work in healthcare, please head to lyft.com/healthcare.