“It’s no longer enough to call a taxi or regular car service and hope that frail seniors can get in and out — or through the entrance of a doctor’s office on their own as the driver speeds off.”
by Janet Morrissey
“As America’s baby boomers are hitting 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, and healthier lifestyles are keeping them in their homes longer, demand is escalating for a little talked-about — yet critical — health care-related job: Transporting people to and from nonemergency medical appointments.
“‘It’s going to become a massive phenomena,’ said Ken Dychtwald, founder and chief executive of Age Wave, a consulting firm specializing in age-related issues. ‘This is an unmet need that’s going to be in the tens of millions of people.’
“It’s no longer enough to call a taxi or regular car service and hope that frail seniors can get in and out — or through the entrance of a doctor’s office on their own as the driver speeds off. For people requiring oxygen tanks and wheelchairs, it’s an even bigger challenge, and long waiting periods are often required to arrange for specially equipped vehicles. Those needing transportation and specialized drivers covered by their insurance often have to wade through another labyrinth of red tape.
“Many older people require sensitive, skilled or specially certified drivers who know how to deal with someone who’s frail, uses a wheelchair or has mild cognitive problems. ‘It’s more than pick up and drop off,’ Mr. Dychtwald said.”