Moving into a senior living community is a life-changing decision, which is why it’s important to take the time needed to research and visit the community to ensure that you, your parent or senior loved one make the best choice.
Many seniors understandably want to visit their potential residences and retirement communities multiple times, but this isn’t always an option for seniors who don’t drive, especially those who don’t want to burden family members or friends. Thankfully, Envoy America has a solution for seniors who can’t get to a senior living community to do a tour on their own.
Envoy America is now partnering with senior living communities across the United States to offer driving services and rides to prospective residents.
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Unlike many other services, Envoy America drivers won’t just drop off potential residents at the curb of the senior living community they’re considering. One of their compassionate, well-trained drivers will accompany prospective residents into the building. They will then help the potential residents find their way around, assist with walkers or wheelchairs, carry bags, and if the prospective resident chooses, act as a companion to make the trip comfortable and productive.
Director of Operations for Envoy America, Monica Escalante, says the response from seniors has been overwhelmingly positive. “They love it,” Escalante says. “They’re empowered. They don’t have to wait on loved ones or go on someone else’s time. They can get up and go whenever they want to.”
Envoy America is a versatile service that is also being used by hospitals, medical offices and religious organizations. Escalante says that Sunday is their busiest day, as they help seniors get to church services and family gatherings.
Although seniors living at home might use Envoy America to complete any kind of trip they wish, the service offers unique advantages to those who are touring senior living communities.
Each Envoy driver is carefully screened to ensure they understand seniors and their needs. All drivers have CPR and dementia training. In fact, Envoy America received the SMART award from the Dementia Association for this unique training.
Not only are they highly trained, but Envoy drivers also have the right personality for the jobs. These are people who genuinely want to help and can make the process of choosing a new home much more comfortable.
According to Escalante, the company’s drivers truly enjoy their work. “The work is so rewarding and wonderful,” she says. Many of the drivers are retired; 30% are veterans and 60% are women. Most pursue the work part-time not because they need the money, but because they want to serve their community.
Not just a driving service, Envoy America has built a reputation for offering companionship and transportation services that go above and beyond. This service isn’t just limited to touring senior living communities either.
Reserve the service, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and drivers will take seniors anywhere and help them every step along the way:
If a senior needs to run errands, the driver will help him or her get everything they need. Or, if a senior prefers to run errands on their own, they can do that too. The driver will wait in the car while their passenger is out.
If a senior need to go to the grocery store, the driver will come in and help with heavy items. They will help pack bags and make sure the senior gets everything he or she needs.
A senior can also make multiple stops throughout their service and pick up other people along the way if they want.
Plus, if a senior makes a connection with an Envoy America driver, they can request the same driver next time.
At the moment, Envoy America serves 12 major cities and several smaller cities across six states. The company is only three years old, but it is already working on expanding into more cities and two additional states.
Experts in senior care believe that Envoy America has changed the way ride share programs operate. What starts as a smart way to tour senior living communities might turn into a complete lifestyle change for seniors, helping them be more active, independent and social.
Sevy Gambs is the vice president of operations for Surpass Senior Living, which owns and operates eight senior living communities. At any of these communities, residents can request an Envoy ride. Gambs argues it is life-changing.
“For many seniors, preserving their independence is vital to living a full, active and healthy life,” Gambs told Senior Living News.
“Because of this, using a ridesharing service like Envoy America is becoming less foreign to them and they now see it as a way to enhance the quality of their lives on so many levels including promoting community, family and social engagement to grow a healthy and positive mental outlook.”
Seniors don’t have to be living in a senior living community in order to reap these benefits, however. In fact, those who can’t drive may be able to stay in their home longer if they are using Envoy America’s services, which allow them the same quality of life they’ve always had, with the freedom to head out to the grocery store or meet up with friends whenever they like.
The service is also a solution for sandwich generation caregivers who are balancing the needs of their children and their parents. Using a ride service for some of a parent or senior loved one’s appointments can help them better handle their day to day schedule.
What starts as a simple ride to help senior loved ones to tour senior living might just become the life-changing service they’ll use to visit you.
Have you used the Envoy America transportation service before or would you plan on using it to tour senior living communities? We’d like to hear your stories and thoughts in the comments below.