Behind the Wheel with InnovAge Drivers
Transportation is an essential part of helping people age independently and at home. Read on to find out what it takes to be a driver for InnovAge PACE.
Rules of the Road
InnovAge drivers are direct care providers. They are highly trained and important members of the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) care team.
With 11 years’ experience driving for InnovAge, Raquel Saldana knows what it takes.
“As a driver, you have to be focused and very devoted to your job because people are depending on you,” she says.
A typical day as an InnovAge driver can include navigating about 200 miles of unpredictable city routes, delivering medications and medical supplies to participants’ homes, and helping to make sure participants have everything they need for a medical appointment or day at the center.
Before becoming certified at InnovAge, each aspiring driver must prove that they know how to tie down a walker, secure a wheelchair, carefully handle participants as they get on and off the vehicle, parallel-park a 14-passenger bus, and more.
Drivers also keep an eye on both the road and participants’ faces in the rearview mirror. They need to be able to sense what’s happening behind them by listening for nuances like the click of a properly secured seatbelt or the natural rhythm of a participant’s oxygen “sip,” even as they change lanes.
Driving with Care
Trust is the key to success for an InnovAge driver. And to build trust with PACE participants, InnovAge drivers must be caring.
“You’re not just transporting a package, you’re actually taking care of somebody’s life,” says lead driver at our Lakewood PACE center Heather Bryce.
“I think it’s a life-saver for participants and their families. We really become part of their lives, and they become a part of ours.”
Hear more from Bryce about her experience driving for InnovAge and explore open positions on our careers page.
Transportation is one of many coordinated healthcare services provided through InnovAge PACE. Find out if PACE may be right for you or someone you know by completing this brief self-assessment.