The Importance of Mobility for the Elderly

One of the biggest problems with aging is the effect it has on a person’s mobility. Travelling for important appointments or for social and other commitments is not something that can be stopped. But driving can become progressively more difficult with age and the risks to both the senior who is driving;the passengers and others on the road will increase. Among the many factors that contribute to this are:

  • Vision weakens with age but it provides over 80% of the information needed to make the right driving decisions.
  • A person over 60 needs 10 times more light to drive safely as compared to a 20 year old.
  • The reaction time of older drivers can be twice as long as that of younger drivers.
  • Deciding that one is too old to drive safely is difficult. Being told so by others is hard to hear and accept. But the need to stop driving will arrive sooner or later. So what are the alternatives?

The Alternatives

Staying at home and cutting oneself off from the outside world is neither healthy nor safe. Busses and subways are not advisable. Getting to the bus stop or subway station is not easy and boarding the transport can be difficult, especially if there are mobility limitations. Taxis are not always available when they are wanted. As a matter of fact, a recent survey says that half of Americans over the age of 65 do not have access to public transportation.

If driving is not safe and public transport is either difficult to use or simply unavailable, what is left? The answer lies in non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). NEMT can be defined as a type of transportation service that is available to those who are not in an emergency situation and are in need to transportation but are not in a position to use taxis or public transport. Depending on the needs, vehicles which are equipped to transport those in wheelchairs, on stretchers or with other special needs are available. Drivers are specially trained to assist users enter and exit the vehicles, to drive in a manner that suits their special needs and to provide other assistance that may be required.

Finding the Right NEMT

When choosing an NEMT, ask the following questions:

  • Are the vehicles suitable for wheelchair users and those with other disabilities?
  • Will the driver assist with bags and other items to be carried?
  • Can family members or friends come along as escorts?
  • Is the service door to door?
  • If the rides are not available 24/7, what are the timings?
  • What are the charges?
  • How much advance booking is required?
  • What are the payment options?

Finding an NEMT that is professional, caring and suits the needs of the passenger will allow for mobility and by doing so, improve the quality of life.

If you or someone you know is facing the problems in moving around town, making use of an NEMT service is the best and safest option. A professional service will go the extra mile to transport people in safety, comfort and get them to where they need to be on time.

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