Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Overcoming Mobility Problems in the Sick and Disabled

Advances in medicine have resulted in the sick and injured having to spend less time in the hospital than in the past. This coupled with the increasing cost of in-hospital care means that patients and their families have 2 reasons to be happy about an early return home – the patient can continue his recovery in comfortable familiar surroundings and the burden on the wallet is reduced. However, the change from being an in-patient to an out-patient presents some problems of its own. One of the biggest of these is the issue of transporting the patient to the hospital or clinic for checkups to monitor the pace of recovery and follow up treatment.

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The Problem of Transport

Traveling by car for checkups may be all right for those with minor injuries or sickness, but it can be a major problem for those who are not mobile or unable to get in and out of a car. The issue is not just one of discomfort. The act of getting in or out of the vehicle, even with assistance, could make the problem worse. In addition, if the journey is anything more than a few minutes, the stress of travel could have an adverse effect on the patient. Often, the deterioration may become apparent only after the patient returns home, necessitating another stressful trip to see the doctor. A patient may try to put a brave face on and not show the pain or discomfort he feels both out of embarrassment and a feeling of guilt at being a burden on caregivers. This will only exacerbate the problem.

For this reason, it is essential that only an appropriate means of transport be used – something that is specifically designed to meet the special needs of the sick and injured. What springs to mind immediately is an ambulance. However, these are typically used for emergency situations and trying to arrange for one for routine medical visits may not only be impossible, but there is also a possibility that it may be viewed as an attempt to misuse emergency services.  The solution lies in the use of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT).

Another factor to be considered is that the pain and discomfort of travel may result in psychological problems. The patient may become depressed about his condition or may develop a fear of traveling that could result in hiding a change in his condition that he feels could result in another painful journey to determine what is wrong. In addition, not knowing of the stress being felt by the patient, caregivers will continue to use normal transport presuming that the patient is comfortable with it.

What Is NEMT?

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation is exactly what the name says. It is a service that offers special vehicles for transporting the sick and injured, in non-emergency situations, in safety and comfort. The vehicles are designed to make it as easy as possible for the sick, injured and those with mobility issues to travel in them. The drivers are specially trained in the transport of patients. NEMT is not just the most comfortable way for those with mobility issues to travel, it is the safest and most convenient.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Day Trips for people with disability

If you are a caregiver for someone who has permanent or temporary mobility problems, you know how important a change of scenery is for them and how it can boost their spirits. It is also a nice change for you and gives you a break from the monotony of doing the same thing every day. An occasional day trip is a great way to stimulate the mind and body and it makes coping with the condition easier for the patient. However, these types of trips require careful planning to ensure that they go off smoothly and do not cause any physical or mental stress to the patient. Here are some key issues to check out before planning the trip.




Planning the Trip

  • Get the doctor’s approval. Obviously, you will not go on a trip if the doctor says no. At times the answer is not so clear cut. You may be told that it is okay, but with a lot of special precautions to be taken. It is up to you to decide if you, as the caregiver, can manage or not. If in doubt, arrange for additional help to travel with you.
  • Decide where to go. Involve the patient in the process and find a place that is not too far away and which excites the patient’s interest. Make a short list of possibilities.
  • Check on how disabled friendly the places on the list are. For example, are there disabled parking access, wheelchair access, disabled toilet and accessible restaurant facilities? Avoid places that do not have these facilities but say that can make special arrangements for the patient. Most people do not like being made to feel as if they are a burden and require special facilities that are not normally available.
  • Check if any advance booking or payment is required. It will be terrible for the patient to reach a place he has been looking forward to and then finding that entry is not possible.
  • Once you find the right place, complete all the formalities.
  • Before starting the trip, make sure that any special equipment (i.e. an oxygen tank) is ready and that you are carrying any medications and food supplements that may be required.
  • One of the most critical aspects of traveling with a person with disability is finding the right form of vehicle for the journey. The wrong vehicle can ruin the trip. For example, a wheelchair bound person may be able to manage sitting in a normal car for a short journey, but a longer one could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The safest way to travel is by using a specialized transport service.Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is the best option. A professional NEMT company will have specialized vans for transporting people with varying mobility limitations. The drivers will also be experienced in driving people with disabilities and will be able to provide you with any assistance you may require. An often overlooked aspect is that of using an NEMT with excellent local knowledge. This will ensure that you do not get lost, take the shortest route and, in some cases, find the smoothest roads.
Remember, a well-organized short trip, even for a few hours, is good not only for the one you are caring for but for you too.





Monday, 28 August 2017

Traveling After Cardiac Surgery

Modern lifestyles have caused the incidence of cardiac problems to rise across the globe. Luckily, an advance in medicine has resulted in effective treatments for these problems. Often surgery is the best course of action. A major issue for those who have undergone cardiac surgery is that of traveling during the recovery period, which can, is some cases, be an extended period of time. While rest and relaxation are important, the patient will have to travel for regular checkups. Also, with a doctor’s approval, outings and social visits may help in the recovery process.


Traveling Safely

·         Do not travel alone, no matter how well you feel. A sudden attack of fatigue, dizziness or any of the common after effects of surgery could put you in danger. Always have someone with you who knows how to deal with these situations.

·         Do not carry anything even slightly heavy. Ask the driver of the vehicle you are traveling to do the carrying.

·         If you are going on a long trip, try to stop every hour and walk for a while. After surgery, the body is inflamed and more likely to develop blood clots if it remains immobile for too long.

·         Carry water with you. If the body is dehydrated, the risk of developing blood clots increases.

·         Unless the doctor has advised wearing tight fitting clothes, wear those that are loose fitting. These will not restrict the circulation and reduce the chances of blood pooling the lower extremities.
·         Check with the doctor if it would be advisable for you to carry supplementary oxygen with you, especially during the early stage of recovery. If so, travel in a vehicle where an oxygen tank can be easily transported and where it will be easily available if you should need it.

Overconfidence Is Dangerous

Doctors encourage patients to be positive about their health and the recovery process.  Needless worry and imagined problems can hamper the process. On the other hand, it is also easy to become overconfident and start to do too much too soon. Even if you think you are well enough to hop into a taxi when you need to go out, your body may not be ready for it, even if there are no obvious signs of distress. Check with the doctor about when you can start traveling and how much you can do.

Finding the Right Way to Travel


In the early stages of recovery, when the patient is in a wheelchair, travel by car is not advisable. Transferring from the wheelchair to the car and then back again at the destination should be avoided. It is much safer to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) which will provide special vehicles for those in wheelchairs and other mobility assistance devices. The drivers of these services are specially trained in transporting those who are unwell or recovering from surgery and will be able to provide any special assistance that may be required. When choosing an NEMT, it is important to check the company’s experience, credentials, the types of vehicles available and references from other users. A person recovering from cardiac surgery should not have to worry about the quality of the transportation service he is using.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Managing Life after a Fracture

After suffering a fracture, it’s tempting to take the easy path and lie on a couch all day, waiting for the cast to come off. That could be a big mistake. If your doctor has told you to stay as active as possible, that is exactly what you should do. There are 2 aspects to this. The first is to be active at home and the second is to go out and resume your normal activities as far as possible. Of course, everything must be done with your doctor’s approval.

Staying Active At Home

Make your home compatible with your mobility restrictions. Get your friends and family to help you.


  • Rearrange furniture to create comfortable pathways and movement spaces throughout the house.
  • All homes have clutter. Clear away all the non-essentials, especially things that can cause a fall.
  • Remove rugs and carpets and if that is not possible, tape down the edges so you do not trip on them.
  • Add lighting to any dimly lit places in the house and keep nightlights on at night.
  • Install handrails on stairs and grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Always keep a phone in your pocket so you can call for help when you need it.
  • Keep mentally active. Watching TV is fine, but there is a reason they call it the “idiot box.” Read, do crossword and jigsaw puzzles or play online games to keep your mind stimulated and active.
  • Use your phone to stay in touch with friends and relatives. Social interaction, even if only verbal, will keep you bright and cheerful.

Going Out

No matter how much you can do at home, staying indoors all the time can make you bored and the dullness and lassitude that sets in can affect you both mentally and physically. Travelling with a fracture is not easy – besides the problems of mobility that arise from being in a wheelchair, on crutches or a walker, having an arm in a sling and other restrictions, you need to be able to travel in safety and comfort to prevent making the injury worse, Trying to board public transport can be not just difficult but also dangerous. Contorting yourself, cast and all, into a taxi or a friend’s car can be extremely uncomfortable. Falling or stressing the fracture could do serious damage and affect your recovery. The best way to travel with a fracture is by using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). The special vehicles available will reduce the stress of getting on and off and you will be able to travel in comfort. Additionally, the drivers are trained in the special requirements of medical transportation so you do not have to worry about the injury during your trip. Whether it is an essential trip, or just going on a social visit, NEMT allows you to travel in comfort and safety. Before choosing an NEMT provider, check out its qualifications, reputation, the range of services and whether the types of vehicles available contain those that meet your specific needs. If you are a senior citizen, check to see if seniors’ discounts are available.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Change of Scenery is Good Medicine

Being immobile after sickness, surgery or injury can be very depressing. Being stuck in the same place, often in the same room, day after day can suck the strength out of a person as much as the reason for being immobile in the first place. There is a reason behind the old saying “variety is the spice of life.” The mind and body both need the stimulus of change to stay alert and gain strength. Without this “spice” life can be bland and dull which could cause the patient to become withdrawn and inward looking. As any doctor will say, a positive attitude is an essential part of any recovery, from any kind of sickness or injury. A change of scene can be the stimulus that hastens recovery or, if the condition is a permanent one, makes life happier.

Transportation can be a Problem

There are two factors that limit mobility and the ability to travel. The first, of course, is the physical condition of the patient. Some conditions may not allow for excessive movement or traveling even short distances. This is beyond the caregiver’s control. The second issue is that of finding the appropriate transport.  Many medical conditions do not permit a person to sit in a regular car seat. Even if there is no apparent pain or discomfort, travel could exacerbate the condition, the signs of which will only appear later. However, if there is no medical reason for the patient to remain in only one location, there is a safe, convenient and comfortable way to transport those who cannot travel by normal car or public transport. That is by the use of Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT). NEMT is different from an ambulance which is meant only for transporting patients to and from a hospital or other medical facility. It cannot be used for transporting a patient to a social occasion, a visit to a park or another place that makes them happy, or any of the other outings the healthy take for granted but which mean so much to those for whom going out is a problem. NEMT can take patients to where they need to go and, equally importantly, where they want to go.

Finding the Right NEMT

When looking for an NEMT service, the key factors to keep in mind are:


  • Being fully insured, licensed and bonded
  • The availability of the right type of vehicle - one that meets the special requirements of the patient
  • Experience in transporting the elderly and those with mobility limitations
  • Drivers who are trained in the special requirements of medical transportation
  • Familiarity with the area to find the most convenient and comfortable route to the destination and back
  • Punctuality – keeping a patient waiting for a trip that he or she is looking forward to is not a good thing
  • Reasonable pricing. This is important because once the benefits of the ability to go out are seen; there will be more need to use the service.

A Non-Emergency Medical Transportation service that offers all this and more is the one to use.  The patient will benefit from the travel and be happier and healthier. This, in turn, will make the job of the caregivers an easier one.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Taking Grandpa to the Doctor

Medical checkups and regular visits to the doctor become increasingly important as a person ages. Taking an elderly relative with mobility limitations to a doctor or other medical appointment can be a problem for family members and caregivers. Since they cannot drive themselves, someone has to take them and then bring them home. This responsibility typically falls on a family member. However, in an increasingly time strapped world, dropping a long standing commitment to transport Grandpa can be a major problem. In addition, there are the special needs. For example, if Grandpa is wheelchair bound, using a family car can be a huge challenge, not to mention the discomfort to him, the tension for you and the safe transportation issues. It’s not really a good idea to do it yourself.

The Transportation Options


  • Driving Grandpa yourself is not, for the reasons mentioned, the best option.
  • You could use the standard yellow cab. But cab drivers are not trained in dealing with and transporting the elderly and mobility impaired. Even if they want to, they will not know how to help the person into the taxi, carry the wheelchair and at the destination, help grandpa out and back into the wheelchair.
  • Ridesharing is a possibility, but here too the same problems as with the yellow cab will arise. Rideshare companies screen their drivers’ background and driving records, but they are not given any training in transport those with limited mobility.
  • Ambulances are typically meant for emergency situations and taking Grandpa to a doctor’s appointment or out for a social visit does not fall into that category. You can’t call 911 for help taking Grandpa for his scheduled checkup or to go to a granddaughter’s wedding.

It is because of the problems that arise when transporting the mobility impaired for non-emergency travel that the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation came into being.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)

NEMT is the best way to take Grandpa to the doctor. It is also the best option for those who have temporary mobility issues like patients recovering from surgery or an injury. NEMT vehicles are specially modified to transport the mobility impaired so they are able to travel in comfort and safety. Air conditioning adds to the comfort levels. NEMT drivers are trained in transporting the mobility impaired and can do a much better job of it than a layman. When it is a loved one’s safety and comfort involved, you cannot afford to compromise on quality. Use only an NEMT service that has the experience and a proven track record of transporting people in the best possible manner. Look for one that is available 24x7 and that offers domestic service as well as event standby. Of course, it should be fully insured. With the right NEMT, you are freed from the responsibility of ensuring that Grandpa is taken, in the right manner, to where he needs to go.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transport

In 2015 the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released a report on the importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) and why the need for it is growing. According to the report, around 3.6 million Americans miss or delay scheduled medical care appointments because they do not have appropriate transportation.

The Changing Medical Care Scene

Advances in medical treatment means that an increasing number of those who would earlier have been treated as inpatients are now able to return home and come back for care only as required. The need for NEMT is not only for those recovering from sickness, surgery or injury. Those with chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cardiac conditions, pulmonary disease, diabetes and so on need medical services on a regular and frequent basis. In a 2009 study, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that over 75% of the adult population of America that is over the age of 55 has at least one chronic condition that needs regular medical supervision and care. The 66% of the 20 million adults with chronic kidney disease who need dialysis on a regular basis rely on others for transport to go to their appointments. For many these people, the stress of travel for medical consultation or treatment is a major issue that could have a negative impact on their health. Because of this, the benefits of the shift from inpatient to outpatient care are often diluted.

NEMT is not a luxury. It is an essential component of modern medical care and must be viewed as such. NEMT is a specialization that is an important to a patient’s health as treatment by a doctor specializing in the condition being treated.

Comfort, Convenience and Safety

If you have a friend or family member who has mobility problems and who needs to travel for medical care or rehabilitation, it is tempting to try and transport them yourself. It is a gesture of the affection and regard you have for them. However, the question to be asked is – is it the right way to do it? Mobility issues mean special transportation needs, both in terms of the type of vehicle to be used and the special care that needs to be taken when carrying them. Your friend or loved one may not complain about the pain and discomfort that traveling in a normal car causes. You may not be aware of the risks to the person’s health. That is why using a specialized NEMT service is the best thing to do. There is no need to feel that you are letting your friend or loved one down by not taking them where they need to go in your own car. You are using NEMT because you care and that is what you need to explain to them. Of course, you can travel with them in the NEMT vehicle. The comfort, convenience and safety of NEMT will make life easier for you and the one you are helping out.