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Question DetailsAsked on 10/18/2013

What's the best way to transport an elderly person across states?

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Depends on their condition, medical needs, fraility, etc. I would get doctor's advise on how travel they can drive at a time between sleep periods - and figure all time going to/from public transportation as travel hours. If this is to/from medical treatment at a specialty center/doctor, of course chekk with insurance company well in advance about what they will pay for, and the treating facility might be able to help arrange transport.

If need medical care and access to emergency medical support en route, then ambulance (for not more than a day away) to medivac plane (mega $$) might be only way - hospital discharge coordinator can usually help with this. If need nursing support only, there are medical transport companies (many associated with major nationwide ambulance companies), and of course commercial air or chartered aircraft or Amtrak (compartment recommended) might do with a family member and accompanying nurse or care aide (if needed).

If just older and frail, commercial air or Amtrak compartment with a family member or two, or charter a twin-engine fixed wing for more privacy and less time en-route - typically about $500/flight hour, about 250-350 mph for economical ones.

On a very few routes, one-way tickets on a tour boat or cruise ship might be a possibility.

If want/need privacy but no medical care en route (other than normal meds) then some people rent an RV, allowing en-route bathroom, place to sleep, food and drink, etc - just plan on short travel days, and be prepared for unexpected delays and know where nearest medical facilities are at all times (GPS navigation system).

All in all a lot of choices - discuss with primary care provider and the patient about preferences and what he/she can handle or wants, and plan contingency plans for missed flights or departures, excessive tiredness en-route, whether flying (fear or ear problems) is viable, possibility of needing medical care en-route, etc.

A suggestion - in addition to a variety of snacks and drinks en route, book, knitting or such, and take along a iPod or equivalent with their favorite music or old time radio shows on it with COMFORTABLE earbuds or earphones - so they can tune out from the surrounding noise and bustle and transportation noise and such.

Be sure to have primary doctor prepare a current medical summary with all drug information, be sure travel documents are in order (ID, passport, etc), be sure they understand the current security procedures, and inspect their packing and what they are wearing to be sure there are no inadvertant or unknown instruments (nail files, scissors, knitting needles, medication or personal care items or cosmetics and such not in original containers, etc) that could cause problems. Also sure accompanying person(s) have medical power of attorney and any Living Will / Medical Care Instructions on them at all times.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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