Thursday, 19 March 2020

Transportation Options for Older Adults

As we age, it becomes inevitably harder to get around without help. This is particularly true if medical issues necessitating special attention crop up. Fortunately, there are numerous ways for seniors to move around nationally, internationally and even just locally.

To begin with, senior citizens who do not feel comfortable driving can depend on family members. In case family is not around, there are many other options. Some of the examples include non-emergency medical transport, public transportation, senior shuttles and volunteer services to name just a few.

NEMT Service


Home Care Aides and Caregivers:

If someone does not have any family close by, they can think of having a home care aide or a caregiver to provide the required transportation, whenever needed. A lot of at-home caregivers also agree to chauffeur. Apart from home caregivers, one may also hire people who are specialists in transporting senior citizens. One can seek out such professionals by getting in touch with dedicated local agencies offering home care. In case you decide to take this road, make sure that the agency you choose holds proper background checks and screens every employee before hiring them. This is extremely important for your safety and for avoiding potential conflict.

Public Transportation

Another very popular way of moving around, particularly for those who reside in crowded cities is by using public transport. You may have access to light rails, buses, subways, shuttles and more. A benefit for older people is that local transportation systems, a lot of times, offer discount coupons or discounted fares. The cost of transportation may vary depending on the distance. However, it is normally subsidized. Buses can typically accommodate mobility scooters and wheelchairs. Some will also permit non-disabled persons to accompany elderly with no charge.

If public transportation seems a bit overwhelming, do not worry. There are several other options you can consider!

Non-Emergency Medical transportation services

In case you suffer from mobility issues or have a disability, non-emergency medical transport is your best bet as it is designed to handle seniors and their problems. Numerous agencies offer such transportation to seniors and those suffering from disabilities. They are equipped to handle all kinds of needs, even wheelchairs. Non-emergency medical transportation services can be scheduled beforehand. They offer pickup and drop off services.

Volunteer Programs

Such programs are normally run by non-profit organizations with a team of volunteers providing transportation for older people to visit the doctor's office, go shopping and more. Reservations are needed, but normally the service is extremely cheap, if at all there is a charge. The organizations encourage donations from users, if their pockets allow.

There are numerous things you must consider when picking the right transportation mode for yourself and also your loved one. The decision should depend on a range of different factors such as the residence location, age, disability and the like. When choosing a private transport make sure you choose wisely after going through the track record of the company and its reputation in the market.

Monday, 17 February 2020

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Using Crutches After Surgery or Injury

Medical conditions of the leg are among the most common. They range from sprained ankles to damaged ligaments and tendons, joint replacement and fractures. Whatever be the cause, in most cases doctors tell patients to start walking as soon as possible after surgery/treatment. This will help to strengthen the injured leg and speed up the recovery. Walking support is usually required for a few weeks after any major leg surgery or injury. The most convenient way to get this and maximize mobility is for the patient to use crutches.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation

Walking

Walking with crutches takes a little getting used to. These tips will make the process easier:

• Adjust the crutches to your height. The handles should be alongside your hips and the top should be about an inch below your armpit.

• Let your forearms and hands carry your weight, not your armpits.

• Keep your elbows bent so there is no excess pressure on the elbow joint.

• Except on stairs or uneven surfaces, keep your eyes focused ahead of you and don’t look down at your feet.

• Keep the tip (bottom) of the crutches around 3 inches away from your feet at all times so you do not trip over them.

• Place the crutches about 1 foot ahead of you, lean on the handles and move your body forward. Let the crutches take your weight. 

• Move your strong leg forward and then bring up your injured leg.

• Do not step forward with the injured leg first as this will place a strain on it.

• Repeat this motion to continue moving ahead.


Driving

Walking with crutches becomes easier with practice. However, when it comes to traveling long distances, the crutches can only get you to your car door. They cannot help you to drive. Even if you can clamber into the driver’s seat and are able to use your right leg for the pedals, any sudden movement or jerk could cause pain in the injured leg which could make you lose concentration. This could, in the worst case, result in an accident. The bottom line is that it is safer to avoid driving until you can discard the crutches.

So how do you travel? Taxis may not always be available when you need them. Using public transport can be unsafe because of the problems in entering and exiting buses and trains while on crutches. But you may need to travel to see your doctor, for work, for social occasions, or even just to go to the movies. The right way to move around town is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT is a special service for those who have medical conditions that affect heir mobility and do not permit them to drive themselves. This is not an ambulance service which is only for an emergency. NEMT provides specially equipped vans and drivers to transport those with medical conditions where they want to go. Getting in and out of the vehicles is easy and the drivers are trained in transporting those with mobility issues. You can call for an NEMT vehicle when you need it or schedule a trip in advance. The availability of doorstep pickup, event standby and other conveniences make this the best way to remain mobile until you can safely drive again.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Has Age Affected Your Driving?

For almost everyone, driving is an essential part of life. The ability to go where you want, when you want to, is important, but perhaps even more so is the feeling of independence that it creates. As long as we feel we can function independently, we are strong and confident. Take away this feeling of independence, and we feel weakened and insecure because we are dependent on others to take us where we want or need to go. Buses, taxis, and subways may not be workable alternatives because of mobility or other age-related problems, and the passenger does not feel he’s in control he when he’s not driving. This is something that many seniors feel when they stop driving.

Medical Transportation


While there is no defined age at which a person must stop driving, there is no denying that increasing years and health issues affect a person’s ability to drive. The eyesight, strength, and reflexes of an 80 years old are not the same as when he/she was 18. Going to the DMV and getting a driving license renewed does not automatically mean that an elderly person is able to drive safely. Medical tests and checkups are not 100% accurate and often there are health issues that they do not detect that could make driving dangerous.

Warning Signs

In addition to a normal checkup, if you notice any of these signs of driving issues, you should discuss them with a health care professional who will be able to advise you if you should continue to drive:
  • Increased frequency of close calls, fender benders and scrapes against other cars or stationary objects.
  • An increased volume of traffic tickets or citations
  • Difficulty maintaining focus on traffic
  • Difficulty in accelerating or braking smoothly
  • Difficulty in viewing distant objects which was not an issue earlier
  • Problems in hearing sirens, car horns, etc.
  • Problems in remembering frequently traveled routes
  • Increasing anger and irritation when driving in traffic
  • Confusion in using the various controls – not just brakes and accelerator but turn signals, lights and so on.
Independence With Driving

If you, or a loved one, are no longer able to drive, the world does not come to an end. For those with health or age-related issues, there is another way to remain mobile and independent. Even if health does permit the comfortable use of public transport, it may not be available when you want it to take you to where you need to go. A far more convenient, safe and comfortable option is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT is not an ambulance service so there are none of the negative connotations of ambulance travel. NEMT companies provide specially equipped vans to transport people with health, mobility problems or physical conditions caused by advancing years thus providing them a way of maintaining their mobility independence. A professional NEMT company will have specially trained drivers and offer doorstep pick up and drop, event standby and other services that will replace the need to drive. Whether it is to meet all local travel requirements or only on those days when a person does not feel physically or mentally up to driving, NEMT is the right way for those who are physically unable to drive to maintain their mobility independence.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

You Don’t Have To Drive Everywhere

We Americans are mobile people and the urge to be able to move around freely is built into our genes. A key factor in this desire to be mobile is being able to drive. It means that you are able to go where you want, when you want, without needing the help of anyone. In fact, being mobile is part of being independent. We often take it for granted that we can jump into a car and drive anytime to run errands or to meet a friend for a meal. That is, we do so until it becomes a problem. Often age and/or medical problems can prevent a person from driving or severely limit the amount and type of driving that are safe and possible. An example of this is vision changes that come with increasing age. That is why so many of the elderly do not drive at night. Or it may be a case where for age or medical reasons, some days are just difficult for driving.



What Are The Alternatives?

Not being able to drive does not mean being able to go out. There are a number of alternatives available. The first and most obvious option is to use taxis or rideshares. The problem with these is that they are more expensive than driving yourself and equally, if not more importantly, that you may not always get a ride when you need one. Imagine going out for dinner and not finding transportation to get home. Another alternative is using public transport – buses and subways. While these are more economical, the issues that make it difficult or impossible for you to drive may also cause problems when using the bus or subway. The third option is to ask family and friends to drive you around or to schedule your trips to coincide with their movements. Asking others for rides on a regular basis is awkward and embarrassing because no one wants to feel like they are a burden on others. Trying to adjust your movements to those of others will never work in the long run. If you are a millionaire, you can employ a driver to take you where you need to go.

The Right Solution

For those with health issues that limit or prevent them from driving, there is only one viable option for retaining their mobility independence. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is a service that serves the transport needs of those who, for medical reasons, cannot drive themselves or use taxis or public transportation. NEMT offers specially equipped vehicles to transport those with medical conditions safely and comfortably. The drivers are trained in the special transportation needs of those with medical conditions and will provide all possible assistance to passengers. The best companies offer doorstep pickup and event standby so that you can be sure of getting to your destination in time but also of returning home safely and comfortably. The large vans that are also available make this a great transport choice for groups where one or more people are wheelchair-bound or have other health issues. To be sure of traveling in safety and comfort, contact a professional NEMT service with an established track record.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

When You Can’t Drive After A Stroke

Suffering from a stroke is serious with consequences that can often be life-altering. However, advances in medicine have made it also a medical condition from which it is possible to recover to the extent that the patient is able to resume normal activities in a reasonably short period of time. However, there are several precautions that need to be taken during the recovery period and not driving is one of them.



Why You Should Not Drive

Driving, no matter how comfortable you are doing it, is a strain, both physical and mental. This is not something you should be subjected to while recovering from a stroke. In addition, the stroke could leave you with the following factors that could affect your ability to drive safely:
  • Vision problems including difficulty in judging distances
  • Confusion about road rules
  • Fluctuating ability to focus and concentrate
  • Slower reactions
  • Possibility of dizzy spells or blackouts
  • General physical and sensory debility
These are issues that will fade away over time, with the right care and medication. In most cases, the patient will be able to resume driving with complete safety, once approved by the doctor.

The typical time before resuming driving is about 4 weeks, but this will vary from case to case. Once the doctor’s clearance has been obtained, and the medical certificate confirming the ability to drive safely has been issued, it is still important to check with the DMV to know if there are any restrictions on driving or any formalities, assessments, and checkups that have to be completed.

Transportation Problems

Unless the doctor has advised bed rest or staying at home after returning from the hospital, a person recovering from a stroke should be able to leave the house for medical appointments, social visits, and light domestic chores. The problem is in being transported to the place that he has to go to. Waiting for a taxi is a huge hassle when recovering from a stroke. Using buses or subways can be too much of a physical strain. Expecting friends and relatives to be a personal limo service is both embarrassing and unreasonable, but staying stuck at home after being medically cleared to go out is frustrating and that is not something that will help in the recovery process. It is here that Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) offers the solution.

What NEMT Does

As the name says, NEMT is a service that provides transportation to those who have medical conditions that prevent them from driving themselves. NEMT should not be confused with an ambulance service which is meant only for emergency medical transportation. NEMT can be used for any purpose from going to the doctor, visiting the library, social visits, routine chores, going to special events and so on. A NEMT company will have specially equipped vehicles for those who may need to use wheelchairs or walkers. The best companies will offer services such as doorstep pickup, event standby and more. The drivers will be specially trained to transport those with medical conditions.

Being able to go out and be active, with medical approval, can help the recovery process and enable a patient to return to normal activities quickly. If you are recovering from a stroke or other medical condition that prohibits you from driving, use the services provided by a NEMT company to stay mobile and begin your return to normal life.