Traveling by car can be challenging for seniors and caregivers
Simply using a car can be difficult for seniors – whether they drive themselves or are passengers.
This can be caused by health conditions or the physical changes of normal aging.
For someone with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, or mobility issues, getting into and out of a car can be even more difficult. It might even take multiple people to help them in and out safely.
We explain why it’s important to make car travel easier and share 6 simple auto aids that are inexpensive, but solve the seemingly little problems that can make car travel so challenging.
Why it’s important to make car travel easier
Car travel is important because seniors need to be able to go out into the world, especially for critical things like doctor’s appointments.
Making car rides easier and more comfortable means that seniors who can drive will feel more independent and confident. Older adults with mobility issues would be more willing to go out if it’s not an exhausting ordeal and they don’t feel like a burden on others.
Getting around more easily also helps seniors stay connected with family and friends by preventing the negative effects of isolation.
6 simple auto aids make car travel easier for seniors
1. $26 HandyBar Auto Standing Aid
This removable handle fits securely into almost all driver or passenger side car doors.
It’s a non-slip grip hand-hold that lets seniors boost themselves up and out of the car. It can handle up to 350 pounds.
2. $15 Seat Swivel Cushion
This cushion has a base that swivels. Seniors can simply sit down into the car’s seat, then easily swivel their legs into the car.
No more struggling to lift legs and turn at the same time. It also makes it much easier for the person who’s helping them into the car.
Tip: If the car has bucket seats, measure to see if the swivel cushion will fit. Or, place a towel on the car’s seat to fill the gap and allow the cushion to sit flat.
3. $10 Seat Buckle Guard
Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s or dementia may unbuckle their seatbelts while you’re driving. That’s dangerous! This seat buckle guard prevents that from happening. When the ride is over, push your key in through the slots to pop the buckle open.
This guard prevents seniors from unbuckling themselves in an accident or emergency. But it may be worth the risk if they frequently unbuckle themselves while you’re driving – which is a more immediate danger.
4. $13 Buckle Bopper Seat Belt Aid
For people with arthritis or limited hand and thumb strength, unbuckling the seat belt can be frustrating. This aid makes it easier to undo a standard seat belt.
This only works on buckles where the button is on the flat surface. You push down on it while holding the buckle and the rubber tip will push the button in.
5. $13 Seat Belt Extender
With limited mobility, it can be difficult to get the seat belt buckled. This seat belt extender makes it easier to reach and buckle up properly for a safe car ride.
Tip: Make sure to get the correctly sized extender to fit your car’s buckle.
6. $8 Grab and Pull Seat Belt Reacher
For those with arthritis or limited shoulder / torso mobility, it’s hard to reach up and pull the seat belt down.
This reacher attaches to the seat belt and makes an extra long handle. The reviews are mixed, but it seems to work well for many people.
FYI: The picture above isn’t of this product, but it shows how it’s used.
Recommended for you:
- The Big List of Gift Ideas for Seniors
- Holiday Gifts for Seniors with Dementia: 31 Perfect Ideas
- The Best Way to Improve Senior Mobility: the Sit to Stand Exercise
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Images: Modern Senior Products
All prices quoted were checked shortly before publication, but prices and availability change often and might not match what is found online. This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain some affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.