OK, getting a little carried away there. But I’ve also been thinking of all the other applications Uber might be used for with the elderly. On your 65th birthday – as soon as that Medicare card is laminated and tucked into your wallet, the dementia anxiety attacks – and jokes – begin. We laugh, of course, to hide the fact that we’re completely terrified. Watching the 11 o’clock news about the elderly person who has wandered off from his facility truly puts fear in your heart. You can’t help but super-impose your face on the screen. And you just know your hair would look like hell.
But back to Uber. I think Uber has huge possibilities for the senility set. It could have your address installed in the app so that if you got lost and couldn’t remember where you lived, you just press the Uber app and the driver shows up and takes you home. That, of course, is assuming you can remember to push the Uber button but that seems inherently easier than remembering your address.
But I had some even better ideas after my younger son, the nice one, told me that over the holidays, in the process of extricating themselves from three tiny kids, he and his wife arrived at a dinner party without the chocolate soufflé they’d promised to bring for dessert. Dismayed at the prospect of going all the way home to get it, my son had the brilliant idea of sending an Uber car to his home where the sitter handed off the soufflé to the Uber driver, who delivered it to the party. It was automatically charged to the credit card without their ever getting in the car themselves. (For the record, the soufflé rated the driver very highly.)
So, I’m thinking, if soufflés, why not Mom?
Letting my ever-overamped imagination run wild, I was thinking that Uber could develop a sub-application called “Find My Mother.” Mom wanders away from The Home and son is alerted by the Escape Alarm on his phone that she is no longer tied to her bed. Son presses his new Uber-GoGetHer app which immediately gives a GPS location on Mom who presumably has her phone in a little velvet carrying case around her neck. (OK, you may have to microchip her.) The Uber driver swoops in, puts mom in the car (hopefully she goes quietly) and returns me, er, her to The Facility, courtesy of the “If found, please return to” app on Mom’s phone. Avoids that whole embarrassing evening news thing. Never mind that son didn’t even have to blink during his Power Point presentation.
Now, as a senior, I think these Uber applications should go both ways. Don’t like the nursing home your kids have stashed you in? Before you make a break for it, you install an override app on your phone with special instructions to the Uber driver: DON’T TAKE ME BACK TO THAT PLACE. LEAVE ME AT THE DOWNTOWN RAILROAD STATION AND CHARGE A ONE-WAY TICKET TO SAN FRANCISCO ON MY CREDIT CARD. THEN THROW THE PHONE IN THE BAY. Like, we have rights too.
Now that I’m on Medicare, issues of aging occupy a lot of my brain cells. Olof thinks they would probably be better spent on memory exercises. The important thing is, I’m pretty sure I have a car.