It’s important that we look to guarantee the safety and respect of senior citizens and parents, wanting the best for their children.
There are options out there for a highly personalised, affordable driver service that transports clients to and from medical appointments, grocery shopping and social outings, school pick-ups to and from sports and other extra curricula activities, ensuring their safe and secure home delivery. “It’s like having your very own affordable chauffeur” says Richard, from Freedom Companion Drivers, with a warm smile
Services embrace personal interaction and support between driver and client while maintaining the dignity and independence of each customer. The service is expected to come as welcome news to senior citizens.
Richard noticed changes in how family members and people around him approached getting behind the wheel as they aged. They’re no longer confident while driving at night and often need assistance lifting or carrying items from the grocery store to their car. What were once simple errands started to become chores that could be dangerous.
“It’s a real concern for the entire family and they’re not always available to help,” he said. “A report from NZ Transport Agency a couple of years ago said that the total number of road fatalities over a 9 month period for 60+ is nearly twice that of the 15-19 and 20-24 year groups which are normally regarded as the highest risk groups”. Obviously as this senior population in NZ booms (expected to nearly triple in the coming years) so too will the fatality rates.
“It’s not that we’re suggesting older people should stop driving” says Richard “but often many older drivers are literally forced to stay behind the wheel just to be able to perform basic functions such as going to the doctors, taking pets to the vet, shopping etc. because public transport is so limited and traditional taxis are expensive (with variable costs) and provide extremely limited support services to the elderly.”
Add to that the high costs of just maintaining a vehicle on the road for pensioners these days and people are realising that a service like Freedom just makes sense but still allows them to retain their independence.
“So there is a real need in the community. Unless you’re experiencing it, you don’t understand how difficult it is,” he said. “Car keys are a symbol of independence and freedom for Kiwis and it can be a devastating experience for those who lose the ability to drive.”
Another concern for families is how to get children safely to school or to after school care or activities when Mum and Dad are busy at work. To know that the same trusted driver will be there every time is a great reassurance for parents, and the children he said.
Health-care appointments and regular visits such as dialysis or beauty appointments are among the common reasons senior citizens need transport Richard said. Going to church, attending family gatherings and running weekly errands also rank highly.
“We take all the stress out of the outings – providing a very affordable familiar friendly face, on time every time, and a helping hand when required”. It’s important that any drivers you look to work with, have been Police checked and have the necessary specialist license endorsements.