Change is a constant, even as people reach the golden years of life. Caring for our seniors often falls to family members who may feel overwhelmed by the amount of time and attention it takes to manage all the details of their elderly family members’ lives. This includes the need for medical transport.
While the term non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) may not sound exciting, it’s a significant help in empowering families to better handle the needs of their loved ones as they navigate the challenges that come with aging. NEMT supports families in all areas of senior transportation, ranging from visits to medical professionals involving ground transportation or commercial airline flights to senior relocation services.
In all cases, safe and reliable transportation is a fundamental requirement, as is having experienced medical professionals on hand to manage medical services and provide care when and if needed.
The Importance of Medical Transport in Caring for Our Seniors
Transportation challenges can pose significant barriers to seniors, affecting their ability to access healthcare services. This issue is especially prevalent for those with chronic medical conditions or illnesses that impact mobility. That’s an important issue, as 19 million Americans report having some level of mobility problems, and 32% of those say those challenges started after the age of 50.
One key element of empowering families in medical transport is to provide them with the necessary education and resources. Many families may not be aware of the various options available to them or may feel overwhelmed by the intricacies of arranging medical transportation.
NEMT Provides Solutions for Senior Who Must Travel
Non-emergency medical transport plays a pivotal role in addressing the specific needs of seniors requiring assistance during travel. These services provide trained professionals who understand the challenges associated with age-related conditions. NEMT can help families who are caring for seniors in a variety of ways.
An RN flight coordinator makes all the arrangements for a trip, a significant benefit for families who are not used to making flight arrangements for someone with mobility issues. Flight coordinators make use of their connections with both airlines and airports, ensuring that all arrangements are made in advance to accommodate seniors, such as getting through security and getting the best seat on an airline early.
A flight nurse then travels with the patient from the moment they are picked up until they arrive at their destination. At Flying Angels, nurses travel to the patient’s home to pick them up, using a customized reclining wheelchair to carry them from their home and into a wheelchair van. At the airport they ride through until they get to the aircraft where they are transferred to a first-class seat, often using a customized transfer sling.
Services During Medical Transports
When flying on a commercial flight with a flight nurse, patients have the peace of mind of knowing that they are with an experienced nurse. At Flying Angels, for example, flight nurses not only have experience in providing emergency care but also have been trained specifically in providing medical care at high altitudes.
They also provide a pre-flight medical assessment so they can provide the highest level of care during the flight. They monitor the patient’s vital signs and overall condition during the flight, addressing any immediate medical concerns or responding to changes in the patient’s health status. They also collaborate with the airline staff to ensure a smooth and coordinated travel experience.
The dedication and expertise of flight nurses contribute to the safe and comfortable transportation of those who otherwise could not fly on their own. They are key to the NEMT services that allow families to better care for their seniors during medical transport.