Transportation for Loved Ones 101
Just because your loved one has a disability or illness does not mean you’re stuck inside the house. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or a bucket list trip, there are ways for everyone to travel.
Available services will depend on both where you’re going, and how much assistance you require to get there. Here’s just a few transportation options:
For folks who can ambulate and get in and out of a car independently
Medical appointments – if your loved one has Medicaid, then they are probably eligible for Medicaid to pay for transportation to medical appointments. However, your rides will have to be scheduled in advance.
For non-medical appointments – anyone who can get in and out of the car can use Uber or Lyft, if they are comfortable using technology/apps. However, if they are not tech savvy, they can access Uber and Lyft services via GoGoGrandparent, a service that helps users access those services with using an app. For more information on GoGoGrandparent click here.
Some larger communities have volunteer drivers available to take seniors to scheduled appointments. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to get more information. To find your local Area Agency on Aging click here.
For folks who use wheelchairs or scooters
Medical appointments – Again Medicaid recipients will likely be eligible for Medicaid to pay for travel to doctors’ appointments but they will need to be scheduled in advance and will require specialized vehicles. These services are usually scheduled through your local Medicaid office or your city’s department of public transportation.
Cities with public transportation for non-disabled people are required to offer comparable transportation for people with disabilities. For more information on ADA complementary Paratransit click here.
For non-medical trips: Uber and Lyft are slowly getting rides in place for wheelchair users, find out more about Uber’s WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicles) program click here and Lyft’s Accessible Vehicle Dispatch click here.
There are many companies that provide private pay wheelchair transportation, and they can be easily located in most cities. Charges can vary dramatically and are affected by a number of factors including time of day, area of transport, and the amount of assistance needed.
Long distance travel
The Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) requires airlines to provide needed assistance to travelers with disabilities, including assistance with boarding, seating, changing planes, and stowing equipment. To find detailed information click here.
Traveling with a driver
For those who want to travel with another person who will do the driving (whether friend, family, or attendant), there are companies that rent out wheelchair vans for short and long-distance trips. To find more information click here.
Or consider converting your current vehicle to a wheelchair accessible one. To learn how to do that click here.
These are only some of the options available, everyone’s situation is different. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Cariloop coach!
By Julie Coats, LBSW, JD, CCM
If you are caring for a loved one and need some assistance and guidance, a Cariloop Healthcare Coach would love to walk you and your family through whatever you may be dealing with. Become a member or call 1-844-790-5667 to get started.
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