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Treatment Transportation Help

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Making sure you get the dialysis you need

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:

1. Driving yourself

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.

2. Family or friend drop-off/pickup

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.

3. Paratransit

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.

4. Private ride services

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.

Make a transportation plan for the 'what-ifs'

Have a backup plan so you never miss a treatment. Ask yourself:

  • What if…the car breaks down?
  • What if…my treatment day is a holiday?
  • What if…my spouse is too sick to drive me?
  • What if…my son has to travel on business?

dialysis transportation back up plan

Ask your social worker for advice

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.

PT and SW

Treatment Drop-Off Tips

  • Tell your driver that you must arrive at least 15 minutes before your treatment time. For example, if your "chair time" is 9:00 AM, please arrive in the lobby no later than 8:45 AM.
  • Give yourself some extra time in case you encounter traffic or other delays.
  • As you get more comfortable with dialysis, please ask your driver/visitor to remain outside the center when you go in. To reduce the risk of infection for everyone, the number of people in the center is limited to those who are essential for safe dialysis care. Ask your social worker if you have any questions about this important safety requirement.

Treatment Pickup Tips

  • Tell your driver to pick you up 30 minutes after your estimated dialysis finish time. For example, if you’re scheduled to be off dialysis at 3:00 PM, ask the driver to come no earlier than 3:30 PM to ensure you’re ready for your ride home.
  • Ask your driver to wait outside until you’re ready to exit the building. To reduce the risk of infection for everyone, the number of people in the center is limited to those who are essential for safe dialysis care. Ask your social worker if you have any questions about this important safety requirement.

Transportation is just one thing your social worker can help you take care of.

Learn more about all the ways your social worker can help you make your life on dialysis a little easier. 

Available in Spanish.

Learn how your social worker can help