Driving a Rider with Memory Impairment

Driving a Rider with Memory Impairment

Published On: September 2, 2020|Sarah Pontier Ackerman

Our riders trust Onward Rides in large part thanks to the caliber of our drivers. Not only are our drivers compassionate, helpful individuals, but they’ve been trained to care for the unique challenges faced by older adults.

Preparation is the key to great service

During driver onboarding, all drivers receive training on what to expect from riders who may suffer from memory impairments like dementia and Alzeihmer’s Disease. These training sessions include better understanding memory impairment conditions, how to remain especially cautious and alert to these conditions, and how to best communicate with these riders to respect their condition.

We also ensure that our driver is alerted to any rider with a memory impairment condition. This allows drivers to prepare appropriately for the rider prior to starting the trip and ensure the rider receives personalized care that fits their needs.

Our riders have taught us a lot

Beyond our standard driver training, our riders facing memory impairments have taught us a ton about how to best care for them. Through our service, our drivers and Concierge team have learned many insightful tips to help ensure our riders with memory impairment have a great experience riding with us.

  • We recommend always reviewing trip details with the rider prior to heading out for their destination. Reminding them of where they are going, how long it will take to get there and any other relevant details about the trip, help riders with memory impairments orient themselves.
  • If you’ve driven with the rider before, let them know you’re glad to see them again! They may not remember your previous trip but it always feels good to have someone excited to spend time with you.
  • Offer to play their favorite music - something familiar, like a favorite song, can put riders at ease and show them that you care.
  • If you’ve learned something new about the rider - especially a personal preference of theirs, like the temperate they like the vehicle - let the Concierge team know and their rider profile can be updated so all future drivers can ensure we extend exceptional care.
  • If the rider is trying to alter their ride last minute, get in contact with their custodian to ensure these changes are okay. You’ll notice within the Onward Driver App that we designate whenever a custodian must be contacted prior to making any ride alterations.

Other helpful learning resources

There are so many incredible resources available today to better understand an often misunderstood portion of our community. If you’d like to learn more about memory impairment conditions - especially early signs of which to be mindful - check out the resources below!