Highlights from this week’s conversation include:
Abundant Aging is a podcast series presented by United Church Homes. These shows offer ideas, information, and inspiration on how to improve our lives as we grow older. To learn more and to subscribe to the show, visit abundantagingpodcast.com.
Michael Hughes 00:07
Hi, and welcome to Ask a NaviGuide which is part of the Abundant Aging podcast series. I am Mike your host and on the show, we tackle subjects in aging and family caregiving that can be stressful to work through. And we do this with tips and advice from United Church homes nav a guide team, our NaviGuides have decades of experience helping families work through these issues. And we hope that what we share on the show will help everyone everywhere, age with abundance. Today, we’re lucky to have our navigator, Jennifer, with us. And she’s going to help us understand the world of community transportation programs that are out there to help people with disabilities with functional limitations, people who are older, and get around and support their day to day activities. So Jennifer, welcome. It’s great to see it. Yeah.
Jennifer Craft-Williams 00:50
Thank you for having me, Michael.
Michael Hughes 00:52
But before we get started, we’re gonna read the statement. The opinions shared in this podcast are those of our amazing NaviGuides and are host and are not meant to convey or take the place of clinical legal or other professional advice. And with that, we’re going to jump into the question that we always ask at the beginning of these podcasts. Jennifer, tell us a little bit about yourself. I mean, you’re a NaviGuide. What is it? Have you found yourself into the role? What do you do as a NaviGuide?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 01:16
As a NaviGuide service coordinator, my job is to coordinate programs and services to help my residents stay as independent as possible to maintain professional relationships with the resident in the housing community to identify areas of need and make referrals to community agencies as needed to promote wellness activities that include scheduling health presentations, or mobile health care services, and also to assist residents in building informal supportive networks with residents, families and friends. So that’s just part of what I do.
Michael Hughes 01:51
Cut. Well, I guess I guess that every day is different. Right? It is. So Jennifer, how important is reliable transit transportation to our senior residents? What happens if they don’t have good access to transport?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 02:08
reliable transportation is one of the most important things for my senior residents. If they don’t have it, it could prohibit them from being able to go to doctor’s appointments, they may not be able to go to the grocery store, just their daily needs cannot be met, if they don’t have reliable transportation.
Michael Hughes 02:26
And I know that you may not have reliable transportation for a number of needs, it could be an affordability issue. It could be just the state of your car, it could be and it also could be something that happens to you. And, you know, you may have some changes in your in laws that prevent you from driving. Right. And I guess that can be pretty, pretty emotional for residents where you know, they were once independent. And now they need some help just to get around. Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And so let’s talk about some of the programs. You’ve worked with the console for some of this. I mean, what sort of things are out there that you’ve used that you think help helpful? You know, where do you find them? Where are they?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 03:04
Okay, typically, in Mississippi area, especially the Oxford area, I utilize or SBP, which is a senior transportation they receive the grid, that helps take residents wherever they need to go, whether it’s shopping, they need to go to a doctor’s appointment, pretty much anything at no cost to them, the only requirement is that you must let them give them 24 hour notice, like using Medicaid, transportation, non emergency transportation, you just have to give them three days notice in order to arrange transportation, and what I like about Medicaid transportation is you can do what you call a round trip, transportation. So I typically ask the resident, what are you going in for today, if they’re just going in for an annual visit that may take an hour, so I typically leave it an hour and a half or to arrange it for if they have an eight o’clock appointment? I will say hey, I want to schedule roundtrip transportation and the appointment time is at eight o’clock. And then I want to do another pickup at say 10 o’clock. And so the great thing about that is if the resident doesn’t have to call and say hey, I need a ride for pick up when you do round trip transportation, everything is arranged in that moment. And that’s one thing that I like about the Medicaid non-emergency transportation as far as the Medicare Advantage plans, but they have a cow on them when Medicaid transportation, they don’t have a cow as into how many rides that you can receive to doctor’s appointments. And another great thing about the Medicaid plan is say for instance, you may have a niece that may be unemployed or a family member that’s not working. One of the questions they ask you when you schedule Medicaid transportation is, hey, do you have anyone that you can use to take you to this appointment? And if you do, they will send you a form and they will actually reimburse the person that is taking Due to the appointment, so that’s barely, yes.
Michael Hughes 05:04
So that’s what the Mississippi State Medicaid program, which is great as a benefit. And just for our listeners, always check with your own state Medicaid program to see if they have something similar. But it’s terrific that Mississippi is supporting that. What about working with the local area agencies on aging, have programs that we called sometimes called the triple A’s, but Area Agencies on Aging?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 05:26
Yes, that was a program that I mentioned earlier. Ours is called RSVP. And it’s typically geared towards retired seniors, they actually drive as a small vein in his wheelchair accessible. So that’s one of the services that they use. And like I say, you have to give them 24 hour notice at no cost to you. And one great thing about it, they not only take you to doctor’s appointments, they can take you grocery shopping. I have a few errands that you have to run, they’ll take you to do that as well, at no cost to you.
Michael Hughes 06:01
That’s terrific. So just for our listeners to rundown some of the sources here, check with your state Medicaid program to see the transportation benefit available. And make sure you check one two requirements are for Chris of hate in that program. Your Medicare Advantage map plan may have a benefit for transportation, but just don’t worry, it may be capped. So you need to evaluate that and understand that. And then if you search for your local area agency on aging in your community, they could have a program as well, such as the one that Jennifer’s described for the Oxford Mississippi area. So Jennifer, all great stuff. Is there anything else that you wanted to say before we close out this week’s episode?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 06:42
Absolutely, sometimes, I know I miss sleep, and we do have public transportation. And we’re our property is located. They also take advantage of public transportation. Well, the great thing about public transportation in Mississippi, you can get it at a discounted rate. They have multiple stop units, and it’s actually within 20 feet 20 steps to actually reach the bus stop here at our property. So that’s a great benefit that the residents can have and they take you. They have different laws that they can take you wherever you want to go. And it’s at minimum cost. Great to
Michael Hughes 07:18
know. That’s terrific. So for our listeners, check it with your local transit authority, public transportation that could have discounts that could help. I know even here in our area, they’re doing dollar rides or even free rides for certain groups. So make sure you’re aware of those. Well thank you and thank you all for listening to this episode of Ask navigate which is part of the abundant aging podcast series brought to you by you know church homes. If you liked this week’s show, please do the like share subscribe thing or on YouTube under United Church homes so we can bring you more of this great content. And we want to hear from you to visit us at abundant aging podcast.com to share some of your feedback, what transportation programs are, are in your area, which ones are good. What have you found when you tried to take part in affordable transportation programs, please share so you can bring in more of this great content. More information about the United Church homes Navigator Program, please visit UCHNaviGuide.org and we hope to see you on the next podcast. Thank you all for listening. Until next time.