When we reflect on seniors and disabled living, we realize an essential aspect of their lives often gets overlooked: transportation.
Thankfully, Paladin Inc. is doing something about that in the LaPorte County region by offering these services to those in need. Paladin’s Transportation Program provides service to elderly and disabled residents and includes transportation to those coming to and from their facility for services.
Mari Chapala, the Transportation Coordinator at Paladin Transportation Services, works firsthand with clients and understands the true transportation need in her region.
“We see a lot of seniors in their homes and not in the public transit system,” Chapala said. “There is an extreme need in LaPorte County, and for seniors especially.”
There is a vast list of facilities that are accepted by Paladin for transportation:
- Medical - Doctors, dentists, medical facilities, pharmacies, medical suppliers, therapists, mental health centers, hospital discharge
- Nutritional - Grocery stores
- Business - Bank, paying utilities, legal appointments
- Benefits - Division of Family Resources, Social Security
- Visitation - This will apply to spouses who are living in a nursing or assisted living facility
Paladin makes transportation accessible and easy through their various types of payment for their services:
- Medicaid - If you are eligible for Medicaid, this will be your first line of reimbursement. During the application process, Paladin will ask for your Medicaid number in order to verify that you have coverage for Transportation. Medicaid requires a charge of a minimal co-pay.
- Title III Funding - Due to a very generous grant award from Real Services, Paladin can provide rides for our elderly clients with a suggested round-trip donation of $10.
- Private Pay - If you do not have Medicaid and do not qualify for Title III, you can pay for the ride. Due to generous funding from the La Porte Hospital Foundation, Franciscan Alliance, and the Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation, Paladin is able to keep their fees low offering the rate of $10 per trip for an ambulatory rider, and only $20 for those using a wheelchair.
To schedule a ride please call Paladin’s office at (219) 326 - 7889 between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to fill out a short application over the phone and to schedule your ride reservation. Paladin requests appropriate notice but will make every effort to help out a person in need.
Clients traveling in a wheelchair must have a ramp accessible if stairs pose an obstacle. Most vehicles are equipped with a lift as well as door to door assistance. Additionally, a client in a bariatric chair must have a companion to ride along and assist. Companions are encouraged and able to ride alongside a loved one free of charge regardless.
If one thing is certain, it’s that these services provide a sense of freedom to clients and give them the ability to do things they were unable to do before.
“Going places is challenging,” Chapala said. “Our service provides independence.”
For more information about these services, please visit Paladin’s website at http://www.paladin.care/. Paladin Inc. is grateful for those who volunteer and donate such as Franciscan Alliance, REAL Services, Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation. To contribute, click here.