5 Ways To Transport Your Loved One With Dementia

When it comes to our loved one’s medical appointments, we all tend to feel a little flustered over transport arrangements. Which services are reliable? Do they understand the needs of our loved one?

By Jaclyn Tan

Fortunately, there has been an advent of transport services catered for seniors over the past few years. This gives us plenty of options to choose from…maybe too many. To make things easier, we have shortlisted a few dementia-friendly services that you might find helpful to start with.

Those aforementioned provide door-to-door transportation, with trained staff to meet the needs of a person with dementia.

1. Medical Escorts and Transportation Services

Cost: $62-90 per round trip (before subsidies)
If your loved one needs to attend a medical appointment and you can’t be there for them, consider employing escort services. You no longer have to worry as your loved one will be accompanied to his/her appointment, have the administrative matters settled, and will be sent back home thereafter.

2. SilverFleet

Cost: From $45/trip
SilverFleet is a wheelchair-friendly transport service with trained caregivers attending to your loved one. In addition, the service prides itself for employing regular drivers who become familiar with a client’s personal preferences and schedules. A sense of familiarity with someone does make seniors feel more at ease!

3. Handicaps Welfare Association – Dial-A-Ride

Cost: $25/trip
With a fleet of 20 wheelchair buses on hand, the Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) offers more affordable transport services between 9am to midnight. Services provided by HWA are catered to the needs of people with physical disabilities (PWDs), especially if they have found the use of public transport challenging. Note that it is advisable to book this service in advance.

4. GrabAssist

Cost: Variable
If you are booking a last-minute ride, companies like Grab might do the trick. What distinguishes GrabAssist from their regular service? GrabAssist drivers are all trained by the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) to equip them with the skills necessary to make your loved one feel safe and comfortable throughout their journey. The service can be booked via the same Grab app, under the list of available economy rides.

5. UberWAV (Not available in Singapore) 

Cost: Variable
Although Uber is unavailable in Singapore, if you are travelling abroad in countries with Uber services, consider UberWAV . Their drivers are trained and certified to attend to the needs of your loved one. In addition, the company claims that the price of an uberWAV ride is comparable to a regular uberX ride. Note that most GrabAssist and UberWAV vehicles are not equipped with hydraulic lifts or ramps for wheelchair-bound passengers, although they can accommodate foldable wheelchairs.

When booking the services, it is important to mention that your senior has dementia and to include any additional needs.

Although these transport companies offer door-to-door services, it is recommended that you accompany your senior. This is because most of the services do not provide escorts to the actual medical appointment. Your senior may feel disoriented and confused if there was no one to guide them in the clinic.

What about public transportation? As part of the Forget Us Not campaign, SBS Transit and SMRT have trained selected staff members to be dementia-aware. Before commuting with your loved one, it is best to approach a staff member at the station and inform them that you are accompanying a senior with dementia. Assistance will be offered during your commute.

Of course, there are plenty of alternative transport services that you might have employed. If you would like to share them with the community, add your review at the bottom of this article!

A medical student based in London, Jaclyn enjoys sharing her knowledge through her articles and poetry. She is a strong advocate for mental health and can lend a great listening ear to anyone in need. During her free time, she works as a freelance writer and blogs about her personal journey through medical school on Instagram (@jacthemedic).

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