By Connie Adair
Driving Miss Daisy, a caregiver with a car service, is a great service for agents who want to give their clients the gift of independence, says Julia Fox-Revett of Driving Miss Daisy Toronto East.
After downsizing and moving, Driving Miss Daisy is a way your client can visit friends and attend activities in their old neighbourhood, Fox-Revett says. The service can help clients get to a medical appointment, the theatre or other social events that they may not be able to get to own their own.
Driving Miss Daisy can also provide invaluable help to real estate agents. Going out during an open house, getting to the lawyer’s office to sign paperwork and getting to other appointments (such as at the bank) when they’re buying or selling a house may be more challenging for some clients than others.
Seniors who are downsizing, or people with disabilities, will appreciate the door-to-door-plus-care service. The Driving Miss Daisy caregiver will pick up your client, help them gather their things, put on shoes and coats and escort them to the vehicle. The caregiver will help the client into the vehicle and load a wheelchair or walker into the trunk and will then not only transport the client to their destination, but be available to accompany them into the appointment and to take notes if requested to do so by the client or family members.
“It’s a relationship-based service,” says Tara Armstrong, vice president, sales and operations for Driving Miss Daisy’s head office in British Columbia. “We work with customers. We’re not a taxi. We’re caregivers with a car.”
“We can also assist in getting adult children with special needs to programs or grandchildren to school, which may not be as close or as conveniently located following a move,” Fox-Revett says.
Driving Miss Daisy was started by president/owner Bev Halisky almost 15 years ago. Halisky had worked in health care and saw people struggling to get to appointments. These people needed an advocate, so Halisky bought a car and Driving Miss Daisy was born.
“People wanted to come on board and she was franchising within one year,” says Armstrong. The company has franchises in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and continues to expand to meet the needs of an aging population.
Driving Miss Daisy drivers must pass a background check, have a clear driver abstract, a first aid certificate and general liability and legislated auto insurance so they are properly insured to carry passengers. Services are competitively priced, Armstrong says.