For Individual Participants: Getting a Ride


Family, friends and paid care givers play an important role in supporting veterans and wounded warriors - and transportaiton is a service provided by many caregivers. Is anyone familiar with communities supporting caregivers that provide transportaiton? what are they doing to support these unsung heroes?


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    Wadaduga ~ Dragonfly

    We faced this situation in Ohio, where my Veteran dad had alzheimers. He was denied the use of the county transportation van, because they would NOT permit a caregiver to ride along, claiming the reason was it would deprive a veteran of a seat. Most the time the van sat there every week unused & when it was in use, they had 1-3 veterans in a 12 seat van. My dad was unable to be accountable for himself, not able to find his way around the VA hospital on his own, & would have been unable to make it to or from the van pickup/dropoff points at either end. So instead, my mother had to place them both in harms way to get my dad an hour away thru rush hour traffic to get him to VA appts, with her trying to control the car, control my dad, & safely make it thru city traffic. If there was ever a situation that cried out for a rural community need for Veteran transport that covered the disabled vet & their caregiver, I'd say this qualified ... it was heartbreaking to live halfway across the country & be unable to help in any fashion, & being a disabled homebound vet myself, I felt even more helpless.

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    @ Wadaduga ~ Dragonfly - So sorry to hear of your experience. One way to tackle the caregiver capacity issue with social service transportation providers is to lobby for policy changes. I know of a small non-profit transportation provider that recently changed their policy to read "Caregivers may travel with customers provided there is capacity". With the addition of this language there is flexibility to provide services for those who require additional assistance beyond the capacity of the transportation provider.

    Another option would be for your mother to meet your father at the VA clinic so he does not pose a threat or risk to either of them during transport.

    Operators sometimes make policies without consideration as to how it impacts the end user. Often times policies are written to mitigate risk and minimize operating costs. End users should be a part of policy development to the extent it is practicle.