Resource for Those Who Need Medical Transportation
As my father has slowly lost his ability to be independent, I and my family have had to scrounge for resources that can help him in our absence. We have yet to find the biggest resource yet - the cure for Parkinson’s - but in the meantime here is one resource that has helped us immensely - medical transportation!
Comfort Care: A medical transportation company
In our area of Texas, medical transportation is operated by a company called Comfort Care. Comfort Care is a one-way or roundtrip medical transportation company that will transport my father to and from his doctor’s appointments, free of charge. As my father has Medicare, he is granted up to 13 roundtrips a year. However, if the PCP writes he needs more than 13 roundtrips (which he does), then Medicare will cover for more.
The cons of this resource - their schedule fills up quickly. This means if my father needs a last-minute appointment, it is unlikely we will be able to find a driver. We have to call two weeks in advance, minimum. Even if the appointment is last minute though, we still call! Sometimes they have a cancellation. They also might be able to accommodate with a taxi. Having a taxi driver drive my father to his appointments is not ideal as they are not trained to handle him as the Comfort Care drivers are - but when you’re in a pickle, you’re in a pickle.
Another con, they might be late on pickup. It has only happened once or twice, and my father just sits in the waiting room to be picked up, but it is a con. I did not like knowing my father was waiting for his ride for 45 minutes while I was at work. I remedy this situation by having the doctor’s front desk receptionist call Comfort Care a few minutes before the appointment ends to ensure a driver is on his way at least by the time the appointment is complete.
Why Comfort Care is a great option for us
The pros of this resource! A free ride to doctor’s appointments! This is a necessary and valuable resource especially for people with Parkinson’s. Losing the ability to drive is very hard but it does not have to mean one has to be stuck in the house all day long.
It also removes some of the responsibilities from family members. It takes some time to get used to the system of scheduling the ride but I just scheduled like ten rides for the next ten doctor’s appointments my father has scheduled. It helps stay on top of his doctor’s appointments without missing a beat at work.
Another pro, the drivers, when the ride is not a taxi, are medically trained to handle people with illnesses and old age. If the person needs assistance walking, if they have a wheelchair, if they need assistance in and out of the car, the driver will do all of that. Uber and Lyft drivers do not do that! The driver will also walk my father all the way inside to his doctor’s appointment and let the front desk know he is here for his appointment.
These are great reasons why I really appreciate using this resource whenever I can and as much as I can. This resource can be also used by people with PD for scheduling rides for themselves.
There are tons of more resources for people with Parkinson's, but for now this is the one I am truly thankful for. It is a bit tedious to call so far in advance and make sure appointments are being scheduled so far in advance, but when I’ve got a handle on my father’s medical schedule, this really comes in handy.
Do you think there is enough awareness of Parkinson's disease?