Wednesday, 23 May 2018

How to Find the Right Medical Transportation Company

Life can be difficult for those with mobility issues, either caused by the after effects of surgery or illness or of a more permanent form. The ability to travel away from home and resume as much as possible of normal social and professional activities goes a long way towards building up the quality of life.Unfortunately, driving is often not an option and the use of public transport is not a practical or viable alternative, for a variety of reasons.This is why the availability of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) has become both so important and so widespread. NEMT, to put it simply, is a service that uses specially equipped and modified vehicles and trained drivers to transport those who are unable to use other forms of transport or for whom it may be unsafe. As the name says, the service is not meant for use in emergencies but for all kinds of other transportation such as doctor’s appointments, visiting friends, going to events etc. As anyone who uses NEMT knows, using the right NEMT company can make the difference between a safe and pleasant trip and an unsafe and bad one. Finding the right NEMT is a matter of know what to look for. Here are some questions which can help in identifying a good, professional NEMT with whom you can travel in safety and comfort.

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What to Ask

  • Check on safety – ask about the drivers’ qualifications. What are the procedures to deal with emergencies? Ask for references. A good NEMT company will not hesitate to give you the information you want.
  • Licensing – Is the company licensed and bonded? If not, it may not be professional or reliable.
  • The time factor – is the company known for being prompt and on time? Waiting for them to come can be a pain and if you get delayed you will miss an appointment for something that could be very important.
  • Specifics – ask about their experience in transporting people with your kind of medical issues. If they have only limited experience, are they willing to listen to you and accommodate your special needs?
  • Doorstep service – Is the service door to door? Will you be picked up from home (or wherever you are) and taken to the door of your destination?
  • Long and short distances – Your traveling may vary from short trips to longer ones. A single dependable company that will handle both is the best. Find out about any distance limitations on their services.
  • Are the drivers trained in the care and transportation of those with mobility issues? This is not the same as transporting people in a taxi or limo – drivers need special training to ensure passengers are safe.
  • Does the company have different types of vehicles so that they can give you one that is best suited for your needs?
  • Returning home from an event can be a problem. Is event standby available?
Of course, you should go to the company website to check out who and what they are. The more information provided the better. Look for references that will provide and insight into the experiences of other users. Don’t compromise on the NEMT service you use. Find and use the best – it is often much more economical than you may think.

Monday, 23 April 2018

New Wheelchair Technologies

Although wheelchairs offer a form of mobility to those who would otherwise be confined to a very limited area, their functionality is basic. Ask anyone who has been confined to a wheelchair for any length of time and you will be told that while it is useful, it is far from perfect. Only a wheelchair user will know the obstacles that have to be faced everyday. However, advances in technology have made new designs possible which in turn offer much greater comfort, mobility and flexibility of use.


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           ·         Carbon Fiber Wheelchairs: The use of carbon fiber has transformed the bicycle from a humdrum means of transport to a high tech piece of equipment that can be used for everything from daily transport to world class sports. The same now applies to wheelchairs. Carbon fiber wheelchairs are very tough, light and offer much cycle like features, including lights for night time use.
         
                 ·         Off Road Wheelchairs: Motorized, using tank like tracks and with precision controls, including joysticks, these offer wheelchair users the chance to enjoy the outdoors like never before. From beaches to snow cover hills, they are like ATVs and can go to places that an ordinary wheelchair cannot.

                 ·         Workout Wheelchairs: Made from high grade industrial materials and using special design features, these wheelchairs offer users the opportunity to work on their core, back, shoulders and arms to build up strength and stamina. Most offer a range of seating position options each of which enables strengthening of a specific part of the body when the wheelchair is being used. A seating position for normal use without placing stress on any one part of the body is also available. This can be selected for normal daily use.

                 ·         Power Assisted Wheelchairs: There are now power units available that can be attached to a normal wheelchair to provide the extra power needed to climb hills or cover long distances. These are wheeled, independently powered units that are attached to the front of the chair and controlled by handlebars like a cycle.

                 ·         Sports Wheelchairs: These have been around for some time and are a common sight in marathons and other sporting events. These are special chairs and are not suitable for daily use. Now, there are sports wheelchairs available that combine the best of both worlds. With some minor adjustment, which the user can do themselves, the chair can be converted from sporting use to normal indoor functionality.

           
There are Still Limitations

Even with the best of wheelchairs, traveling for any distance can be difficult, if not impossible. That means that motorized transport is needed. While some wheelchair users are able to drive themselves using specially adapted vehicles, other are dependent on public transport (if available) or friends to take them where they need to go. This can often be difficult or awkward. That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) plays a role. NEMT provides special vehicles with trained drivers to transport wheelchair users and others with mobility problems to where they have to go. Reliable, reasonably priced and always available, an NEMT is an ideal way for those with mobility limitations to enjoy the freedom of movement that means so much to everyone.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Entering and Exiting a Car after Knee Replacement Surgery


Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common, not only among the elderly but with younger people too. The causes range from medical conditions like osteoarthritis to injuries. Among all joint replacements, those of the knee are the ones most frequently performed. Prior to the surgery patients suffer from pain and limited mobility. Once the replacement has been done, and the recovery completed, they can expect to resume a normal life free from pain and with full mobility. A common mistake that many people make which could cause injury is doing things the wrong way during the recovery time. Getting in and out of a car in an incorrect manner is one of them.

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Traveling by Road Is Fine, But…..

After years of pain and movement limitations, patients are eager to live their lives in comfort. Being able to travel without hinderance is something most look forward to. But car journeys can be a problem. It is not the trip itself that is an issue; it is getting in and out of the vehicle without stressing the knee which is still recovering from the surgery. If too much stress is applied the new joint could be damaged. On the other hand, the frustration of being cooped up at home can be depressing and have a negative impact on the pace of the recovery. Here are guidelines on the proper way to enter and exit a car after knee replacement. If your doctor has given you different advice, follow that as your case may require special consideration.

      ·        Sit in the front passenger seat.
       
      ·        Ensure that the seat is fully pushed back.
      
      ·        Have the driver park the car on a hard flat surface so you can get to it easily.
      
      ·        Move towards the car using your wheelchair or support device.
      
      ·        When you are near to the car, turn and begin backing up towards the seat.
       
      ·        If you are in a wheel chair stand up and have the wheelchair pulled away.
      
      ·        Use your right hand to hold the door frame and place the left hand on the dashboard or the car seat.

      ·        Using your arms to support you, gently lower yourself on to the seat.

      ·        Slide into the seat.

      ·        If the seat fabric is sticky, placing a plastic sheet on it can make sliding in easier.
      
      ·        Swing one leg at a time into the car, using your arms to lift the leg if needed.
  
      ·        Never cross your legs while in the car.

   That’s it – you are safely in the vehicle. Reverse this process to exit the car.

  The Safest Way to Travel

While traveling by car is fine if the doctor approves, the safest way to travel by road when you are in the wheelchair or crutches stages of the recovery is in special vehicles designed to carry those with your condition. These are known as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Vehicles and have ramps and other design features that make entry, exit and travel in them comfortable and safe. If you have had a joint replacement or other surgical procedure done and are tired of sitting at home while recovering, contact an NEMT company that serves your area and become mobile again.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Make the most out of your visits to the Doctor

Visiting the doctor can be a pain at the best of times. However, it is something that you cannot avoid. When you are recovering from injury, major illness or surgery, regular visits are a vital part of getting well again. These visits allow the doctor to review how the recovery is going and, if needed, make any changes to medication, therapy etc. to ensure that the progress continues as it should. The problem is that when you are in the recovery stage, you are far from your best, both mentally and physically and that could lead to situations where you are unable to give the doctor the inputs he needs to monitor your progress. Additionally, the strain of the trip to the clinic could leave you feeling worse than you should. Here are a few simple strategies to overcome these problems.

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List out Medically Relevant Information

Keep a daily diary of how you feel during the day and how you sleep at night. Any changes in the pattern are important – it could mean that you are improving or that your recovery plan needs a little modification. Make a note of all the relevant facts so you don’t forget anything when you meet the doctor. Rehearse what you are going to say with a friend – that will help you to be as clear and concise as possible in conveying the important information.

Email In Advance

If you can, email your questions and any concerns you have to your doctor before your visit. This will enable him to be ready to give you the answers you need.

Take a Friend with You

If you are nervous or feel insecure about going to the doctor, take a friend with you. Having someone who cares accompany you will make you feel better and boost your confidence levels.

Do Your Own Research

If possible, use the internet to do your own research on your health issues. Keep in mind that a lot of the information available online is biased or inaccurate. Use what you learn to form questions to ask your doctor, but remember that he is the expert. So follow his instructions, not what an unknown person says on the net.

Travel In Comfort

After a major illness, injury or surgery, traveling by car may not be permitted. Even if your doctor okays it, the strain could still be a lot and take a toll on you. Arriving at the doctor’s office in a tired and tense state is not the best way to have a checkup done. You could forget some important information (even if you have taken the precautions mentioned here) or the stress of the trip could cause the doctor to think you are not as well as you should be. That is why using a safe and comfortable means to travel that allows you to arrive at the doctor’s relaxed and stress-free is so important. The best way to do this is by using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). These companies have special vehicles to enable the sick and injured to travel in comfort and drivers trained in taking care of their passengers.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Returning Home after Surgery

Surgery is never a pleasant experience, but one that has to be endured. Recovering from the procedure may take a long time and if that is the case, a large part of the healing process will be done at home. How you get home from the hospital, how you manage at home and how you travel when you need to during the recovery phase all contribute to how fast you return to your normal lifestyle.

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Going Home

How you travel home depends on the type of surgery you have undergone. Even if you are mobile, doctors often advise against travel by car as the stress of getting in and out and sitting upright during the journey could at the least, leave you overly tired and at the worst, cause complications to your condition. The best way to travel home, if car travel is not advised, is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) service. Their special vans are designed to carry those in wheelchairs or stretchers in safety and comfort. You will be picked up at the hospital entrance and dropped at your front door.

Setting Up Your House

      ·        If you know you can’t climb stairs after the operations, rearrange the house before you go to the hospital. Make sure that everything you need is on the lower floor – sleeping area, bathroom, food preparation space, entertainment, communications, etc.


     ·        If you know you can’t climb stairs after the operations, rearrange the house before you go to the hospital. Make sure that everything you need is on the lower floor – sleeping area, bathroom, food preparation space, entertainment, communications, etc.


     ·        If special equipment like oxygen tanks, shower seats and so on will have to be used when you return home, have all these in place before you go in for the surgery.


     ·        Remove all carpets, rugs and other items that may cause you to trip and fall or obstruct the movement of your wheelchair.


     ·        Remove all carpets, rugs and other items that may cause you to trip and fall or obstruct the movement of your wheelchair.


Traveling

There will be times during your recovery that you may have to travel to go for checkups, tests, or other things that you must be present for. Travel by car or public transport such as taxis may not be advisable. This is another instance where you should use NEMT. They will pick you up from your home, take you where you need to go, be on standby till you are done and then take you home. In case you are traveling alone, the specially trained drivers will be able to provide you with the assistance and support you need during your journey.

NEMT is not as expensive as many people presume so there is no need to hesitate about using it. And anyway, your health, in the form of your recovery, is your first priority. Finding the right NEMT can make your recovery a lot easier for you and your caregivers. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Holiday Activities for Those with Mobility Limitations

The festive season is around the corner and families all over the country are planning outings, shopping trips and all the other activities that the season demands and offers. It is a time for togetherness and letting go of solo pleasure in favor of activities with others. But not everyone can participate in them. Spare a thought for those who are dear to you who find it difficult to leave the home to be part of the fun. The reason may be old age, physical infirmities and disabilities, recovery from a major illness or surgery and so on. It is depressing for them to be stuck at home while others are out having fun.


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The Season for Companionship

If you have family members or friends who are stuck in the house, you probably make it a point to go and see them at this time of the year. While that is thoughtful and considerate and helps to fill the void that mobility limitation cause, is it really enough? They know all the fun they are missing by remaining at home while others are going out. Why not take them with you? It will really make a difference to them.


It Helps Them in So Many Ways

Those with permanent mobility problems may appear to have adjusted to their lives. But accepting limitations is not the same as being happy. Being left out can be depressing. The same is true of those who are recovering from medical problems that cause them to be temporarily immobile. There is light at the end of the tunnel – full recovery will allow them to resume their normal lives. But a long recovery can cause psychological problems that may slow down the return to health or even result in other medical problems. Being able to go out, even if only for a few occasions, can make a world of difference to the well being of all of these people.

How Can They Travel?

For those in good health; going out is a matter of jumping into a car and driving off. For those with health issues, car travel may not be possible. It may be unsafe or too uncomfortable for them. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) offers a safe and convenient way for them to move out of the home and be a part of what is happening in the outside world. NEMT should not be confused with ambulance services. Those are meant for transporting people with serious health issues for medical treatment. NEMT is a service that offers specially equipped vehicles that are designed to carry those who cannot travel by normal means of transport to places they want or need to go. The drivers are specially trained to transport those with special needs.

What an NEMT Offers

You can book an NEMT vehicle to come to the mobility impaired person’s home at a given date and time. The driver will be able to provide the help the person may need to get in and out of the vehicle. The van will them carry the person to the destination and if required, stand by to carry them back home.

You can book an NEMT vehicle to come to the mobility impaired person’s home at a given date and time. The driver will be able to provide the help the person may need to get in and out of the vehicle. The van will them carry the person to the destination and if required, stand by to carry them back home.


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Traveling With a Spinal Cord Injury

Recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be long and tedious. There will be pain and discomfort, worry and frustration about the lack of mobility and fear about the long term recovery prospects. On top of that there are the side effects of the medication that may be prescribed and the physiotherapy that has to be done. All in all, recovering from SCI is not a good time in a person’s life. A positive attitude and finding ways to relieve the stress can relieve the tension and worry and even help to facilitate the recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to travel. That does not mean hopping on a plane and flying off to distant places. All you need to do is move out of the home to get away for a day or two. It is not as difficult as you may think.



Check with Your Doctor

Being spontaneous is fine when you are well, but with an SCI, you need to be sure of what you can and cannot do. The first step is to consult your doctor and get clearance to travel. Tell him about how you are feeling, physically and mentally, and why you want a break. Give full details about your travel plans. If you get the go ahead to travel, follow all the instruction you receive to the letter, including the means of travel. If you are told not to travel, there is nothing that can be done about it – you don’t want to slow down your recovery or cause complications. Do not presume to know more than the doctor.

Find the Right Destination

Make a list of possible destinations and then check to see if the facilities in each place are what you need. Choose the destination that best fits your needs. These include:

 ·         Wheelchair accessibility

 ·         Disabled friendly bathrooms 

 ·         Whether any special foods that you may need are available

 ·         Activities that you will be able to participate in.

 ·         Anything else your doctor may have advised.

 ·         Things you want and can do. Remember that this is a getaway for you and not a temporary change to another care facility. Within the bounds of your medical limitations, looks for activities that will be a change from the regular routine and which you enjoy doing.


Plan for Contingencies

Check to see if the place you are visiting has:

  ·         A hospital you can go to in an emergency.

  ·         Medicines available nearby.

  ·         A wheelchair repair facility in the area.

  ·         Anything else that you can think of that you have needed as part of your recovery.

  ·         Any special services that you doctor had advised should be available if you need them.


The Right Transportation Is Critical

The right vehicle is essential to a safe and comfortable trip. Car travel may not only be uncomfortable, it may be dangerous. The best option is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Service (NEMT). This service will have special vehicles that are both safe and comfortable to travel in and drivers who are specially trained in transporting people with health and mobility issues.

With the right planning, a few days away from home can be a rejuvenating experience that will help in working through your recovery.