The most common reason someone misses a dialysis treatment is because something goes wrong with their transportation.
To feel your best and live the longest life possible, getting every minute of the dialysis time your doctor orders must be a priority.
To make sure you don’t miss any treatment time, carefully think through your transportation options and make the arrangements necessary for the option that’s right for you. In fact, it’s a good idea to make a transportation plan and have at least one backup transportation plan.
Here are some transportation options to consider:
Driving yourself to/from dialysis depends on how you feel. As you begin dialysis, it’s best to plan for someone else to drop you off and pick you up from treatment. As you get used to dialysis, you can determine if you feel well enough before and after treatments to drive yourself.
Many people on dialysis get a ride to treatment from a friend or family member. This can be a good option. But, be sure to have a backup plan in case this person gets sick, must travel, or has car trouble.
Most communities offer a special kind of public transportation for people who are disabled and unable to use regular bus or other transportation services. Paratransit is a great backup transportation plan. Even if you think you may not need it, it’s good to sign up for it.
Like the bus, there’s usually a fee to use the service. Sometimes some/all of these fees are covered by insurance. Sometimes you pay out of pocket for them. Ask your center’s administrative coordinator or your social worker for information.
Another option for some people is private ride services (such as taxis, Lyft, Uber). These are generally the most expensive option, but can be useful if it’s the only way to get to treatment.
If this is something that’s right for you, it’s best to download the phone app and have some experience requesting service before you need a ride to your center.
No matter what your transportation plans are, communicate early and often with those who help you get to/from your center to reduce the risk of missed treatments.
Have a backup plan so you never miss a treatment. Ask yourself:
Your social worker has experience helping many people, and can answer your questions and help you decide on the options that fit your treatment schedule and home situation. Don’t wait until you have a transportation problem. Talk with your social worker early to make sure you have reliable transportation to attend treatments.