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.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Is It Time To Stop Driving?

A major problem with advancing years is the increasing difficulty in driving. Vision issues, reflexes, pains and infirmities all collude to make this essential part of life increasingly difficult. Besides the practical problems that not driving presents, there is also the depression that often sets in as you feel that your freedom has been curtailed. Continuing to drive when it is no longer safe to do so because of age-related issues is one of the major causes of accidents among senior citizens.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
The Risk

•  Vision provides approximately 85% of the inputs a driver needs to drive safely and by the age of 60, eyesight is generally weak.

•  At the age of 60, a person needs ten times more light to drive than a person aged 20.

•  At the age of 55, the time required for the eyes to recover from glare is eight-time longer than for an 18-year-old.

•  Older drivers need twice as much time to react to the flash of brake lights as compared to younger drivers.

The Problems

A study conducted by the Department of Transportation says that seniors continue to drive for as long as possible because of the unavailability of or inconvenience related to using public transport. The sad fact is that 50% of Americans over the age of 65 do not have access to public transportation. Depending on relatives and friends to take you where you need to go is awkward and often embarrassing.  Also, those you depend on may not be free at times that work for you. Using taxis or limos is not just expensive; there are practical issues too, especially for those using walkers or wheelchairs: Some questions that might arise.

• Is getting in and out of the vehicle easy?

• Can the wheelchair or walker be carried?

• Does the driver understand your age-related issues and needs?

• Will the driver help with any luggage or bags you may have?

• Do you have to book the transport in advance?

The Department of Transportation study also says that “Next to health, transportation is the most important issue for seniors.” There is no reason to allow not being able to drive to affect to quality of your life.

The Solution

When driving is no longer safe or viable, and public transport is not available or is a problem (i.e. getting in and out of taxis), there is a safe, convenient and cost-effective alternative available to seniors, including those with health and/or mobility issues. A professional Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) service that is dedicated to providing users with the best care and transportation services, is the ideal solution. A company of this kind will have specially equipped vehicles to carry those with health and mobility issues to where they need to go when they want to go. The drivers are trained in caring for their elderly or mobility-impaired passengers. Offering doorstep pickup, event standby, and other services, this is the best way to retain independence when driving is no longer possible. If driving is a problem for you or for a loved one, check out a NEMT service in your area.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Too sick to drive?

Being sick or injured is never fun and being stuck at home often makes a person feel even worse. At times, being able to go out, even for a short while, can make for a refreshing change and result in the patient feeling better. Of course, if it is a major illness or injury, a doctor should give the okay for traveling, even if only for a short while. And of course, leaving the home while suffering from an infectious condition is a big no-no.

Image Courtesy: Pexels
If you are allowed to go out, driving yourself can be a tempting option. It does give you a feeling of independence that your illness or injury has taken from you. But driving when unwell is not just unsafe, it can be dangerous to you and to others as well. A recent survey revealed that when people thought they were too ill to go to work, a large number of them still thought they were well enough to drive. That is always a big mistake. Safe driving demands both concentration and fast reactions. Both of these can be negatively affected by even a minor illness. Additionally, medications, even over the counter ones, can cause drowsiness and affect concentration. Among the most common illnesses and injuries that people mistakenly think they can drive with are:

•  The flu: The overall discomfort and body ache of the flu is common and it is easy to think that it is something that will not affect the ability to drive. Flu medications, tiredness, body ache, dizziness and the other signs of the illness all combine to make driving very dangerous.

•  Ear infections: These are not just very painful; they can affect your hearing and sense of balance and even cause vertigo. Any of these symptoms can come up suddenly and if it happens when you are driving, an accident is waiting to happen.

•  Migraines: Migraines are not just bad headaches. They cause incapacitating bouts of pain that can cause the body to spasm or even lead to fainting spells. There is no need to spell out what the result will be if this happens while driving.

•  A broken arm: One arm may be able to turn the steering wheel but that does not mean the car can be controlled. 2 arms are required to maneuver a car and trying to do it with one is going to cause an accident.

If you are too ill or your injury is such that you cannot drive, the chances are that even traveling as a passenger in a car will be uncomfortable. An uncomfortable journey will counter any benefits that may come from being able to leave the house for a while. That means using taxis is out – finding one and then traveling in discomfort is not worth it. The same applies to getting a ride from a friend – the discomfort and strain could make you feel worse. Public transport in the form of busses or subways is just too stressful when you are unwell. That leaves only one option for safe and comfortable travel when you are ill or injured - using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). These vehicles are specially modified to provide those who are unwell, injured or have mobility issues with a safe and comfortable form of travel. A top-class professional NEMT service will have trained drivers who understand the needs of those who are unwell and injured when they are traveling by road. Such a company will offer special services like doorstep pick up and event standby so you can go where you want when you want and come home in comfort. The cost is reasonable. All these factors make using a NEMTcompany for your transportation needs when you are not able to travel by car the best option.

Friday, 23 August 2019

The Many Benefits of NEMT

Well qualified doctors, attentive support staff and the very best of medical services around you, but alas just out of your reach due to transportation barriers. This is the core issue that Non - Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) addresses. According to the AHA, 3.6 million people miss out on medical care because they do not have proper transportation means. Children not accessing healthcare due to transport issues constitutes 4% of the 3.6 million.  This is where NEMT comes into the picture. When a person is unable to meet his/her medical appointment, it affects the patient as well as the hospital which loses its revenue. Consequently, the patient’s health deteriorates and the final cost of treatment would be much higher than what it would have been if the appointment had been kept. Thus NEMT meets the needs of the elderly, the needs of children, those suffering from chronic illness and the physically and mentally disabled as well.


  •  Servicing the Elderly:
Senior citizens need regular access to healthcare. While children and friends might be around to help, the elderly when given a choice might prefer handling things on their own. NEMT does just that by taking care of the elderly citizens’ transportation needs thus giving them a feeling of independence. NEMT scores over regular cab service as it ensures the comfort of the elderly people by providing more legroom in the vehicles as well as trained staff for assistance.
  • Meeting Children’s Needs:
Children are as dependent on their parents as the elderly are on their children for keeping up medical appointments. Especially for children born with congenital diseases as well as those suffering from long term diseases, access to healthcare is vital. Parents of children afflicted with such diseases would indeed like a back up if due to some unforeseeable circumstance they are unable to keep their child’s medical appointment. NEMT offers this backup and ensures safe transport of the child to and from the medical service.
  • Servicing Patients with Chronic Illness:
Patients suffering from kidney problems need dialysis at least once a week. In the same way, 
diabetic wound cleaning also requires regular healthcare access. These patients cannot drive themselves and public transport too would not be feasible. NEMT aids these patients by helping them keep up their medical appointments. 
  • Making Life Easier for the Physically and Mentally Challenged:
For the physically and mentally challenged it is just not possible to drive their own vehicle, yet they need continuous healthcare access. Their requirements are met by NEMT which while ensuring their comfort also meets other needs like wheelchair compatibility and trained personnel who know how to handle patients with these disabilities.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Comfortable Wheelchair Travel

Being in a wheelchair all day can become very uncomfortable. And discomfort is the last thing you need when coping with the challenges that wheelchair life places before you. Being uncomfortable affects your ability to focus, concentrate and to function to the best possible level. This is bad enough at home or work, but it can be much worse while traveling. Whatever be the distance you need to go or the reason for the trip, being comfortable and secure will enhance your ability to function at your destination. When compared to what was available a century ago, the modern wheelchair is very flexible and comfortable. That does not mean that it cannot be made more user-friendly. Every person’s physique is different so what suits one user may not work for another. That is why using the right accessories is so important in making your wheelchair more comfortable.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

  • Lumbar Support: Lower back pain is a very common problem for wheelchair users. The most common cause is the lack of proper lumbar support. If a small rolled-up towel placed at the bottom of the backrest does not help, you can buy special lumbar support attachments.
  • Adjust The Backrest: Sitting bolt upright for any length of time can result in a tendency to lean forward which could affect your balance and make the wheelchair unstable. Most chairs have adjustable backrests– try reclining the back a few degrees and see if that does not make you more comfortable.
  • Comfortable Armrests: Hard armrests can cause painful forearms and sore elbows. You can either fix some foam to them to create padding that will make them more comfortable or buy padded armrests.
  • A Cushioned Seat: A hard or otherwise uncomfortable seat not only makes using the wheelchair for any length of time painful, but it can also lead to back and other posture-related problems. Using a cushion to make the seating more comfortable will usually resolve this. Consider using a ROHO cushion that is made up of a number of inflated nodes which adapt to the way you sit in the chair.
  • Adjust The Footrests: Back pain could be caused by improperly adjusted footrests which keep your knees too high. This causes a downward force to be placed on the thighs which then transfers to the back, causing the pain. Adjust the footrests so that the knees are only marginally higher than your hips. That will keep the pressure off.
Check with a wheelchair users’ group for more tips on how to be comfortable when traveling.

No matter how comfortable you make your wheelchair, traveling can still be a major hassle if the right form of transportation is not used. If you are traveling long distance you can check with airlines about the facilities available to you. Short road trips are another matter. Getting in and out of regular taxis is a problem. Public transport is not a viable option. However, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is the solution to your road travel needs. A NEMT service will have special vehicles for wheelchair users so entry and exit is hassle-free. The drivers are trained in transporting those with mobility issues. With doorstep pick and event standby, a good NEMT company will solve all your transportation problems.