As you age, getting in and out of your car, putting on your seatbelt, and turning around to park, among other tasks may not be as easy as it used to be. When you’re struggling with limited mobility, health conditions, or physical changes from normal aging, car trips can be challenging for seniors – as well as caregivers. Luckily, there are auto mobility aids designed to help seniors and people with disabilities function easier within their vehicle. Do you or someone you love need help getting in and out of the car? How about a visibility boost while driving? Check out this roundup of popular car accessories to make driving a bit more comfortable.
Experiencing seat belt discomfort? Buckle up with one of these accessories to help you stay safe on the road.
- Seat Belt Reacher: Make it easier to put on a seat belt without having to reach your arm back behind you. Attach a reacher to your seat belt to create an extra-long handle for pulling the strap down. These can help people with arthritis, shoulder pain, or limited mobility.
- Seat Belt Extender: Inserting a seat belt strap into the buckle can be difficult for those with limited mobility or range of motion. For easier buckling, lengthen the seatbelt buckle with an extender. Just ensure it is designed to fit your particular car’s seatbelt.
- Buckle Bopper Seat Belt Aid: Arthritis, hand pain, weakness, thumb injuries, or other issues can make it difficult to push the unbuckle button on a seatbelt. By gripping this soft and pliable rubber seat belt aid in the palm of your hand, you can gently press down on the seatbelt button for easier unbuckling.
- Seat Buckle Guard: Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s or dementia will unbuckle their seatbelt while you’re driving. This guard helps prevent the seat belt from being released while the car is in motion. To unbuckle it, simple stick a key in the slot.
- Sheepskin Seat Belt Cover: Protect your neck and shoulder from rubbing and chafing with a soft, thick sheepskin seat belt cover. It fastens with Velcro around the strap and helps prevent strap discomfort.
- Seat Belt Strap Adjuster: Keep the seat belt strap off your neck and prevent chafing or discomfort with a shoulder strap adjuster. It attaches to the waist section of the seatbelt and lets you position the shoulder strap to your comfort needs.
Car Transfer Aids
Getting in and out of the car can be difficult for seniors wanting to travel, but auto transfer aids make it easier.
- Seat Swivel Cushion: Goes on the car seat and rotates up to 360 degrees to make swinging your legs in the right direction easier when getting in and out of the seat.
- Pivot Transfer Disc: Stand on this rotating disc outside of the car to make getting in and out of the car easier.
- Automotive Standing Aid: A handle that handle attaches to the car door latch so you can grab onto it for support when entering or exiting your vehicle.
- Adjustable Support Handle: Attaches to the door frame or overhead grab bar to help you lift and balance yourself when getting in and out of the car.
- Transfer Board: Also called sliding boards, they can help with moving individuals from one location to another, such as from a wheelchair to a car.
- Built-in Auto Access Seat: Some vehicles, such as the Toyota Sienna, offer built in mobility solutions such as a power rotating lift-up seat that can rotate 90 degrees to lift and extend passengers out of the vehicle to an easy transfer height.
- Vehicle Step Stool: For vehicles that are higher off the ground, a car step can help with getting into the car. Once you’re comfortably seated, most can be pulled up into the car by a cord.
Changes in vision, limited range of motion, and a slowdown in response time are all reasons to consider adding vision aids to an automobile.
- Glare Shield: Attaches to your visor to help keep the glare out of your eyes.
- 20/20 Panoramic Rearview Mirror: Wide clip-on convex panoramic rearview mirror goes over your existing rearview mirror to help reduce blind spots. Ideal for anyone with limited neck mobility.
- Corner Wedge Safety Mirror (Blind Spot Mirror): Sticks onto your side-view mirrors to help eliminate blind spots.
- AllView Mirror: Clips to existing rearview mirror for a wider field of view.
- Backup Camera: With a backup camera, you can see your surroundings on a dashboard screen. If your car doesn’t come with a backup camera, you can install one, often for a reasonable cost.
Driving with arthritis can be a challenge because the disorder often limits mobility and causes joints to become stiff and painful. Luckily, there are aids to help drivers with arthritis.
- Key Holder: Attaches to your keys and offers different gripping positions and just the right leverage to help with turning.
- Gas Cap Removal Tool: Fits over the top of your gas cap to help you remove it at the gas pump.
- Steering Wheel Cover: Soft-touch gel steering wheel cover helps relieve pressure of gripping the wheel while driving.
- Seat Cushions: Orthopedic wedge car seat cushion takes the pressure off your back so you can sit comfortably and raises your upper body for better visibility.