Aging in Place the Uber Way

Disruptive Tech and Services Allow People to Stay at Home Longer

concierge services for seniors
As more people choose to age in place, services and technologies are emerging to help them do just that. Just ask Alfred!. Getty Images

People often talk about the "Uberization" of America, citing the taxi service as an industry disruptor. Through a partnership with AARP it is now expanding it services to seniors. As more and more people are choosing aging in place as their long-term care plan, more services and technologies are emerging to help people stay in their home longer. Let's take a look at some of them.


Instacart is a grocery delivery service that connects you with Personal Shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores.

Senior hunger is something that impacts 9.3 million people in America. Isolation and loneliness contribute to the problem. People can simply not get out to a store. So bring the groceries to them!

Uber / Lyft

Uber allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. Another similar service is called Lyft. Seniors represent the ideal customer for both. A senior citizen who has no means of transportation might need a ride or two every single day. That adds up. Lift Hero, another San Francisco company allows seniors to book a ride online or over the phone with a live operator. Seniors who can’t drive actually miss 15% of their medical appointments. Twenty-five percent of the drivers at Uber are 50 or older.


Airbnb began in 2008 when two designers hosted three travelers looking for a place to stay. Now, millions list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world.

My mom has a friend in Philadelphia who still lives in the three-story town home that has been in the family forever. She is only able to live on the first floor because of health reasons. She could use a service like AirbNb to find people to use the other two floors. Likely these will be young adults who can also provide social benefit for a senior.

More than half of Airbnb’s hosts are older than 40, and 10 percent of them are older than 60.


While there are a myriad of non-medical home care companies emerging, Honor is following an Uber model, allowing people to use an app on their phone to select, schedule and monitor care from anywhere. Their value proposition is being able to better match a caregiver with a patient, a kind of consistent assignment that can help meet unique needs of culturally diverse populations.


Alfred is a weekly subscription service that handles your grocery shopping, laundry, dry cleaning and house cleaning. It takes "home care" to an all new level and it too is powered by an app. Company employees are carefully vetted and held to the highest standards.


TaskRabbit also automates your ability to find people to do everyday chores and errands such as delivery service, handyman, general cleaning, assemble furniture, general moving help, heavy liifting, yard work, wait in line, organize closets and more.

The services above are complemented by tele-health services. According to AARP, half of people age 50+ use or are interested in using mobile technology to support their health.

About one in ten (11%) currently uses a mobile technology to track their health measures and another four in ten (42%) say they are either very or somewhat interested in doing the same. Among caregivers, one in six (17%) say they currently use mobile technology to help track the health of the person they help. About three percent currently use a mobile technology to be informed about health indicators of the person they assist and nearly four in ten (37%) say they are very or somewhat interested in using these technologies.

Rounding out all of this is the smart home. A smart home is one with many features that are automated and devices that communicate with each other creating a system that enables normal activities of daily living. With a smart home, you can control just about any element of daily living. Some prototypes in existent today allow the owners to monitor and control lighting, sound, heating and air conditioning, sunshades and more from remote locations.

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