How Can You Get to the Doctor When You Can’t Drive?
Many people, of course, can ask their spouse or a family member to take them to the doctor’s office. Or they may be able to ask a friend for a favor.
But the majority of elderly people with chronic health conditions who can no longer drive themselves to the doctor need help getting to and from their appointments. And the options that work when you are young and generally healthy are not available to people facing serious mobility issues.
Uber and Lyft are great for able-bodied people, but they expect you to meet your ride at the curb. They usually can’t or won’t help you in and out of the car (although there are exceptions to the rule), and they can’t accommodate you if you are in a wheelchair.
The same problems arise with taxis. Some churches and service organizations sponsor medical transportation for seniors, but they have similar limitations, since usually it is a volunteer who is driving you in their own car.
So, What Options Does That Leave for Getting to Your Medical Appointments in Person?
- Call 211 and ask about paratransit services. These services can take you even if you use a scooter or a wheelchair (usually), but they follow a fixed route. They pick up passengers at fixed locations and drop them off at a limited number of clinics and hospitals. They aren’t available on your schedule. You have to ride with them on theirs.
- If you are on Medicaid, call Community in Motion at 360-377-7007. Your Medicaid insurance includes transportation to and from appointments at doctors, clinics, and treatment facilities that provide you with services covered by Medicaid. This service does not cover Medicare, however, and it is not available for people who have other insurance policies, either.
- Ask your doctor’s office if they can help. If you need transportation to get to the hospital for major surgery, for example, your healthcare provider and the hospital have a strong financial incentive to make sure you can arrive on time. Similarly, the hospital will have incentives to help you get home safely.
When these options aren’t available, there is another one that will be. Around the Sound Medical Transportation is available 24/7 to provide scheduled non-emergency medical transportation anywhere you need to go in western Washington.
Around the Sound accepts passengers of all levels of mobility. We can accommodate passengers who use wheelchairs or scooters, and we are equipped to transport patients on gurneys. Our buses are large enough for you to travel with your spouse, a family member or a friend, or an attendant, or sometimes all three.
All of Around the Sound’s drivers have multiple years of experience. They are familiar with all the clinics and hospitals in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, and they know how to take alternate routes when they are needed. Every Around the Sound vehicle gets a safety inspection before each trip, and we have a long track record of getting patients to their destinations safely, quickly, comfortably, and at a very reasonable cost.
Around the Sound is Western Washington’s leading transportation provider for passengers who have special transportation needs. Call us at (253) 858-7088 to discuss your options or Reserve a Ride Now!
This post was written by Steve Hutchins