Medical rides for seniors and disabled in Calcasieu Parish - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Medical rides for seniors and disabled in Calcasieu Parish

The Calcasieu Council on Aging offers free rides to doctor's appointments for people 60 and older or those with a disability in the parish. (Source: KPLC) The Calcasieu Council on Aging offers free rides to doctor's appointments for people 60 and older or those with a disability in the parish. (Source: KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Seniors and people with disabilities in our community can be stuck with tough choices when their income or mobility is limited.  Oftentimes, making it to medical appointments is just too much of a hardship.  Now, a free medical transportation service in Calcasieu Parish is filling this gap.

Four times a month, Aaron Prince of Lake Charles boards one of three transit buses provided by the Calcasieu Council on Aging.

This 62-year-old has a vehicle, but he says it is definitely not what you would call "reliable."

"My car is not in good working condition, so I depend on transit to get me into my doctor's appointment," said Prince.

Prince does not have to pay a penny for this ride.  It is a free service through the Calcasieu Council on Aging for those 60 and older or anyone with proof of disability in the parish.

Since the service launched in December, Transportation Supervisor Larenzo Carrier says the agency's three passenger vans have been rolling a lot!

"Over 2,000, close to 3,000 rides," he said.  "Just in June alone, we did almost 550."

Carrier says without these rides, many of their clients missed important doctors appointments, even chemotherapy or dialysis treatments.

"It's either they need to pay for a way to their doctor, pay for medicine, pay for food.  They can't do all three," said Carrier.

Rides are scheduled through the agency's transportation department and are offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 until 2:00.  

"If they're new, we'll do a little short form assessment over the phone and then once that's done, we'll schedule the appointment," said Carrier.

Prince schedules his recurring appointments one month at a time.

"You have to be ready one hour before your scheduled time.  They're dependable, they get here on time," he said.

To connect with the free medical transit service, call the Calcasieu Council on Aging at 337-474-2583 and ask for the Transportation Department.

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