Medical Transportation for the Elderly

As a family member you have to start your research on how to move your mom or dad as they get older. Here’s a summary on the various vehicle options and the medical scenario they are best suited for.

Emergency Transportation - 911

This is when an accident or incident has just occurred. You should not spend time searching the web for ambulance providers. Instead, immediately call 911. They will dispatch the nearest ambulance right to you.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation - NEMT

These businesses provide a variety of services to the community. They often have transportation programs with local assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. The NEMT providers can take you to your elderly parent to their doctor appointments and medical appointments.

Providers focused on Medical Appointments


At age 65 your loved one needs to have more frequent check ups. Rideshare providers like Roundtrip are a new door to door option for helping senior citizens quickly book on-demand and scheduled non-emergency medical transportation.

As a patient it can take a little bit of setup. A good place to start is making an account in their patient portal. Mention your interest in the program to your local medical providers. After they register the entire process will become more efficient.

Para Transit

Para transit service is usually public transportation program funded via public dollars. These services focus on assisting senior transportation with home care pickups and door to door service to appointments.

NEMT Medical Vehicles

There are many types of NEMT vehicles. Here’s a sample of the various types.

Personal Car - Your basic car service for when your loved one is mobile, but can’t or shouldn’t drive.

Private Ambulance - This is the same ambulance you see in an emergency setting.

Private Ambulance Van - This van is equipped to be an ambulance, but lacks the space of its counterparts.

Stretcher Van - This is a van with a stretcher, cot, or gurney located inside.

Gurney Van - This is the same vehicle as a stretcher van. Same vehicle different name.

Wheelchair Van - This van is equipped with a wheelchair lift for quicker entry and exit of the vehicle by an adult with limited mobility.

Long Distance Medical Transportation

Local expertise only goes so far. Traveling to see a specialist in a different state poses significant challenges. These are the top elderly transportation choices.

Ground Transportation - THE NEMT MEDICAL Vehicles

The private medical transportation options mentioned above can also assist in moving your loved ones longer distances (>150 miles). For better and for worse the vehicles are identical to the local transportation options. They are not the most comfortable but do offer the safety and possibly necessary equipment.

For these longer trips, especially when your loved one is in a fragile condition, people often look to two other specialized services.

Air Medical Transport - An Air Ambulance

This transportation option is exactly like it sounds. You are chartering a private plane, ie fixed wing to transport your loved one to another airport state to state. These providers can facilitate moving your parent from their facility via a ground transport vehicle and then onto the plane. The planes are staffed with medical personal and monitor your parents condition.

The advantages are that the process is more stress free than flying commercially. They are also available on demand and for cross country trips the flight itself is time efficient. The disadvantages are that it is a costly choice and certain medical situations should avoid flying.

Medical Coach - A Rockstar Motorcoach

This specialty vehicle is similar to what rockstars use to move across the country. The difference is that these vehicles are more focused on luxury medical transport. These vehicles come with more amenities than the other providers, with more space, comfortable stretchers/beds, entertainment, and a bathroom for older adults.

Head over to our medical transport page to learn more about luxury medical transportation.

Find Your Medical Transport Fit

There are many different types of ways to transport an elderly parent. The best fit always depends on your medical circumstances and immediate needs. If you want more of a break down on the costs and benefits head over to our other article.