Not so long ago there was a comedy sketch on TV that had two comedians who were stuck in the back seat of a car, constantly trying new methods of getting out but always failing. Even if you haven’t seen it the humor of the situation is quite clear, and while it was funny, we realized that this is a problem that many seniors face on a daily basis.
People who are paralyzed, have Parkinson’s disease or simply are no longer flexible enough to jump out of the vehicle all have difficulties getting in and out of the car, meaning an extra level of stress for the elderly passenger that is made all the worse by the discomfort of always asking for someone else’s help. Here are a few tricks and tools to ease this problem.
Seating Seniors Smoothly
In case the aging relative is unable to take the seat on their own, consider the following. First, they must sit down with their feet outside the vehicle. Open the door wide so they can have enough room to maneuver, then grab their legs and carefully lift them inside the car, turning the body to the right direction at the same time.
For getting out, seniors should repeat the process in reverse: turn around, place the legs outside the car, and then use their cane or a carcaddie to support their body while disembarking.
Tools That Might Help
There are numerous tools that could be of use for seniors who find it difficult to get out of a car. We’ve already mentioned the portable and adjustable carcaddie, but there are also foldable handybars that fit into any car’s door latches. They function as a grab bar for the aging passenger to hold onto while getting in or out. There is also a special “Lazy Susan” designed for back seats. Officially called ‘swivel seat cushions’, these items help seniors perform the same leg-lifting turn mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Ordering a Ride
The sad truth is that even the handiest of tools won’t be a permanent solution for seniors at the wheel and not in the passenger’s seat. With each passing day driving will become more and more of a risk for them. If they are unable to leave the car, then the chances are high that they have other difficulties as well, such as slow reflexes or stiff driving. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, though, but there comes a time when they must put away their license for their own good.
But this just creates new problems; how can they get around? Life waits for no one. What if the senior in question has to go to the hospital or needs to do the weekly shopping? Public transport is a good idea – especially since aging citizens receive a discount on their tickets – but it’s time consuming, tiresome, and not always convenient. So why not hire a lift to arrive right in front of their house?
Uber drivers have reported that a large chunk of their customers are seniors, and for good reasons. The prices are affordable, the drivers are usually skilled and willing to help their aging passenger out of the car. All in all, relying on Uber, Lyft or any alternative promises the most peace of mind, and relieves seniors of driving duties.
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