For many patients with a disability, the inability to travel or see their healthcare provider without assistance is a real problem. Whether they are traveling by public transportation or private vehicle, they must be cared for and able to travel in comfort. Not only do many patients need special equipment to accommodate them, but not every vehicle is set up for them to ride in, nor do many people have experience caring for them when in transit.
If you or a loved one is living with a disability, you may be wondering what measures you can take to ensure everyone is comfortable and safe while in transit. Here are some travel safety tips for traveling with a disabled patient.
When Using Public Transportation
Depending on the severity or type of disability, public transportation may or may not be a viable means of transport. If you or your loved one plan to use public transportation, you must figure out where the accessible bus stops or train stations are. Additionally, you may need to determine whether there is accommodation for wheelchairs and other equipment if necessary.
By planning out your route in advance, when you are finally out and about, you waste little time and energy getting from one place to the next. Having the foresight to plan your trip, even a relatively simple one, can make a huge difference in how comfortable the experience is for a disabled individual.
Look for Paratransit
For many patients, public transportation may not be an option due to a lack of accommodations for their disability or limitations with mobility that prevent them from traveling on their own. For such cases, public transportation services must offer paratransit that can accommodate patients with disabilities and seniors who cannot travel via standard means.
Paratransit services are required to operate within a mile of a fixed route public transportation service and be available during the same operating hours. While it may be more expensive and require documentation proving a need, paratransit is a safe and reliable means of transport for anyone suffering from a disability who cannot travel without special accommodations.
Adapted Motor Vehicles
Depending on the severity of a disability, it is possible to drive on your own with an adapted vehicle, thanks to advances in technology. Many vehicles can be modified with wheelchair lifts and ramps, four-point tie-down systems, hand controls, steering aids, and modified seating to accommodate a variety of disabilities and empower patients to travel on their own or at least in their own car.
However, due to the specialized nature of such vehicles, you must visit a qualified dealer to install any upgrades for your vehicle after you have been approved by a driving rehabilitation specialist to outfit your car.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)
For patients who need specialized care or equipment while in transit, NEMT may be the most suitable means of transport. NEMT services allow patients who are unable to travel due to medical conditions or disabilities to travel safely from one location to another while often overseen by medically trained staff.
Additionally, these vehicles can come equipped to accommodate patients in stretchers, wheelchairs, and other equipment, along with ventilators and tools for monitoring patients during the ride. If a patient has difficulty leaving their home without aid, NEMT services often offer door-to-door pickup, where they assist patients from their bedroom to a hospital bed at their destination. If you or your loved one is living with a severe disability, this is a safe and reliable means of transportation.
Stellar Transport offers state-of-the-art equipment and staff who are medically qualified to make sure your loved ones arrive safely and on time. Contact them today to schedule a ride with a NEMT vehicle.