A retirement community stakes its reputation on how it caters to its residents and cares for their needs. For any business, customer satisfaction is vital, but particularly in the case of seniors who may be living with physical challenges and pressing needs. It is forecasted that by 2030, 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65, making community aging and retirement services extremely important.
Amenities are essential for full-service retirement communities trying to attract potential residents. Easy access to reliable transportation, whether it’s to go food shopping, to get to a doctor’s appointment or for social activities, is of primary concern to seniors, as it enhances their feeling of independence and their quality of life. For many, it allows them to stay connected to the community. Transportation is one of the most important of the retirement community services that your facility can offer.
Having a professional shuttle service at your retirement community is a smart business decision in terms of resident satisfaction, and it can also have other benefits, from reducing traffic around the facility to minimizing liability as residents get into and out of vehicles.
How Many Seniors in a Retirement Community Still Drive?
According to a 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities, only 4% of retirement community residents were still driving. This means that most residents will need another mode of transportation.
And what about the seniors who are still driving? In a study of retirement community residents who still drive, it was pointed out that many older adults “experience changes in health, function and mobility that affect their driving ability.” Not surprisingly, there is a greater risk of a fatal car crash as one ages. Although there is no set retirement age for drivers, it’s found that older adults will outlive their ability to drive safely by 7-10 years. The researchers, who looked at 287 senior drivers, emphasized the need for regular driver screening at retirement facilities and the importance of providing transportation alternatives.
Is Having Transportation Options Important for Potential Residents?
In a consumer survey conducted by MyLifeSite.net of more than 5,500 prospective residents of full-service retirement communities, it was found that a flexible transportation service ranked high (4.14 on a 5-point scale of importance) among attractive features of a facility and retirement community services.
There are several benefits of a retirement community shuttle service for residents.
- An “after dark” shuttle is invaluable for seniors who need to run errands or attend events and do not drive at night or have certain restrictions.
- Shuttle service is very important for mobility impaired seniors.
- Even seniors who drive may feel more comfortable not having to worry about navigating busy streets or finding a parking space.
- Having access to a shuttle service increases a senior’s feeling of independence, as they don’t have to rely on family for transport.
- A shuttle service adds an element of trust that isn’t found with unfamiliar drivers like taxis, Ubers and other ride hailing services.
The CDC National Survey found that not all facilities (just 81%) provided residents with transportation to medical and dental appointments, and only 75% took them to stores and other locations. Also, transportation was provided by employees at the facilities, rather than by a professional company.
Can Shuttle Services Reduce Costs and Increase Revenue?
There are other important reasons to use a shuttle service for retirement community transportation. Having this service can reduce costs and increase revenue, as it:
- Frees up workers from driving residents around so they can focus on other essential duties, which reduces man-hours
- Saves on maintenance, fuel, insurance and other vehicle costs that arise when using a company vehicle
- Allows workers to park offsite to keep limited spaces near the facility open for guests, visiting doctors, maintenance workers, etc.
- Shows concern and care for the residents, leading to work-of-mouth recommendations and positive online reviews from residents and family members, which can generate new business
- May reduce liability that can come into play with facility workers who might not be experienced in transporting seniors and those with disabilities
At FC Valet, we offer premiere professional shuttle services for retirement communities, with a wide range of vehicles to suit your needs. We integrate our services seamlessly into your organization and culture.