Taking to the Skies

file0001305960191Travel is possible in a Time of Need

By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice, MSW

Getting All the Way Home
Working in a part of the country where individuals flock during the winter season, quite often situations can present where a case manager has to broker services to clients who are a long way from home. In this year alone, it has been necessary to provide case management services for several clients who needed to get back home after a spell of illness while vacationing or during their scheduled “snow bird” visit. It is quite common; among the older adult population to be presented with a unplanned physical challenge that can cause a mountain of choices. Should I stay in the vacation spot to receive medical care and services? How can I do this alone, away from my support system? If I want to get back home, can I fly in this condition? What if I can’t get on a standard airline due to equipment or the need to remain on a stretcher?
All is well, one can get back home and here are a few services that are available if you or your loved one finds themselves far away from home and in need of a way home.

Top Providers in A Pinch All is well, one can get back home and here are a few services that are available if you or your loved one finds themselves far away from home and in need of a way home.

  • Angel-Flights – This is a worldwide Air Ambulance service that frequents the friendly skies for over 30 years. They have Center Flight Dispatch Center that is monitored and phones are answered 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year.by experienced medical flight coordinators who will assist patients in need of air ambulance transportation anywhere in the world. Visit them at their web site at www.angel-flirhts.com or call 1-800-327-3004. In some cases insurance can be bill and they company states they accept ALL insurances.
  • Federal Air Ambulance – This Company offers Private Ambulance service along with Commercial Assistance and International Commercial Assistance on flights from major city to major city. A Medical transport team member can accompany yourself or your loved one. They will make all arrangements, oxygen and equipment needs are coordinated with the airline to make to fight and transition as smooth as possible. You can find more information on their service by visiting their web site at www.federalairambulance.com or calling 1-800-821-0541.


When You Land
In some cases it might be necessary to go from one medical entity to another, for example, an event like a broken hip does require some post surgery rehabilitation. Usually under insurance programs, especially Medicare the recipient has up to 100 days of insurance coverage to receive physical and / or occupational therapy. If you or your loved one finds that they have suffered from an event and have been hospitalized and they transferred to a rehabilitation center it is possible to transfer to another state with the help of the facility Social Worker or Case Manager. The Medicare plan is a federal plan so the benefits are the same no matter what state an individual receives their therapy services. Many times I have helped individuals transfer from one state to another as soon as they are stable enough to fly. I arrange for a wheel chair transport company to pick them up at the rehabilitation center and take them directly to the airport where they are escorted directly to their standard commercial flight, taken from the front door all the way to the seat on the plane. Check with the individual airline to see what their requirements are regarding items like taking oxygen on the fight or the storage of a wheel chair. Once safely on the plane the other rehabilitation center Social Worker or Case Manager can arrange for transport from the airport to the facility. Most of the time all the recored are transferred electronically prior to the trip and the details are ironed out Social Worker to Social Worker, leaving you and your loved one with the task of only having to focus on the trip and your return back you your home town.

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you might need medical help when away from home, don’t despair there is a way to get back home.

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