Free Workshops on Using Ride-Hailing Services Hosted by Smithfield Senior Center

The Smithfield Senior Center will be hosting four sessions of a one-hour tutorial workshop, “It’s Uber Easy to Get a Lyft, on using ride-hailing services. The training aims to educate seniors on how to order up a ride with a smart phone. Transportation can be a challenge for seniors who have limited their driving or “retired” from driving. Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft offer a convenient alternative enabling individuals to maintain full independence – getting where they want to go, when they want to go – without the limitations of adhering to a public transportation schedule.

The workshops have been made possible through an AARP Community Challenge Grant awarded to the Rhode Island College Foundation. The program will be conducted by Age-Friendly Rhode Island, a coalition based at Rhode Island College of community and state agencies, healthcare and social service providers, individuals of all ages, advocacy and faith-based organizations, businesses, academic institutions and municipal leaders who are committed to healthy aging. The Smithfield Police Department and AAA will also provide information.

“If an active senior is educated and comfortable using ride-sharing services, they have taken a proactive step in safeguarding their independence when the time comes that they are no longer able to drive. People of all ages are using ride-sharing, many prefer this option as a matter of convenience or due to the expenses related to vehicle ownership,” said Diana Imondi, Age Friendly RI’s Transportation Committee Chair and Manager of Traffic Safety Programs at AAA Northeast.

The Smithfield Senior Center is happy to offer the venue for this training available to all Rhode Island seniors. Kate McAdam Prickett, Program and Activities Coordinator at the Center, shared this observation, “One of our 94-year old members recently started using Lyft to get out more. Her son helped her set up the app and taught her to schedule rides. She’s an inspiration and not ready to slow down.” Kate’s enthusiasm about preserving mobility for seniors dovetails perfectly with the mission of Age-Friendly Rhode Island. “Thanks to AARP for the generous support that made this program possible to help make this community a great place for all ages,” said McAdam Prickett.

For convenience, five workshop dates will be offered at 1:00 p.m. at the Smithfield Senior Center, 1 William J Hawkins Jr. Trail, Greenville, RI 02828.  Anyone interested in attending should choose one the following dates: Friday, September 14, Wednesday, September 19, Monday, October 15, or Thursday, October 25. Additional dates may be added. Please call Kate McAdams Prickett at 401-949-4590 to register. Smithfield Senior Center members are encouraged to invite friends and family.

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