Through this partnership, Brookdale residents will be able to book a Lyft ride, on-demand or pre-scheduled via a concierge in their community, no smartphones or apps required. The rides will be billed to their rooms, and they won’t have to give out personal credit card information to book them.
According to Andrew Smith, Brookdale’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, Lyft’s app will also be included in tech education courses for seniors living in Brookdale communities. Seniors who do use smartphones, or web-enabled feature phones, will be able to learn how to book Lyft rides on their own from Brookdale tech educators.
The partnership is the latest indication of Lyft’s strategy to gain users in the massive, aging boomer demographic. Uber has pursued a similar strategy, partnering with cities to and senior groups and facilities within them to offer tech education and services.
In January, Lyft announced it was launching something called Concierge, a service that lets a “requester” book non-emergency medical transport for seniors.
Via Concierge, a requester puts in a passenger’s name, pick-up and drop-off locations and Lyft dispatches a driver with a vehicle that can accommodate their needs, including wheelchair-friendly vehicles.
Brookdale does run some transportation services of its own to take seniors on a regularly scheduled basis to shopping centers, museums and other cultural or social hubs, as well as medical appointments.
But Smith said Lyft will give residents more personal freedom in between those scheduled rides, and can help Brookdale tap into a network of Lyft drivers and avoid having to navigate all the mom and pop transportation services in every market where they operate.
Brookdale is currently facing a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a nurse, Marjorie Prather, who previously worked there alleging $35 million worth of Medicare billing fraud. The case was recently reopened by the U.S. Court of Appeals after previous dismissals.
The Lyft service is currently being piloted at 10 Brookdale communities around the San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix, Arizona.
If it proves a success, Brookdale will consider expanding it across their 1,114 facilities across 47 states, where more than 100,000 seniors live today.
Both companies are slated to discuss innovation and technology design for and with seniors at the Aging 2.0 OPTIMIZE conference in San Francisco on Friday October 14th.
Aging 2.0 seeks to improve the lives of older adults through media and events that bring senior care professionals together with tech entrepreneurs, and connect both to senior communities who can inform the design of their products and services.
Updates: After publication we added information to this post about a lawsuit Brookdale is facing for alleged billing fraud.