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He puts his left foot in and then tries to move his body through steel to get his rear end onto the seat. It is very agonizing to watch him do this. My car has leather seats but his car has cloth seats.

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My husband has Parkinson's and he gets in and out of the car as follows:
1. his seat has to be as far back as possible and smooth (our's is leather other car seats we cover with a piece of smooth 'silk', which we also use for getting in and out of bed smoothly or a plastic trash bag)
2. he has to enter the space between the car and the door as far as possible
3. while holding with his left hand on to the handle inside of the car and with his right hand onto the car, first he brings in his left leg as far as possible into the car while getting seated (sometimes he does not get in far enough than he has to bend over forwards to get his head in and/or I puss him with my body into the middle of the seat or I get into the drivers seat and pull him on his belt onto the middle of his seat)
4. second his right leg into the car, when he gets stuck he has to support his right leg with his hands or I have to do so
For getting out of the car he needs his momentum if so
1. he brings both legs out on the floor while swiveling (if otherwise I do it)
2. he holds on the door handle while I pull the door fully open ( I park where there's lots of room to get in and out of the car)

PS the swivel seat and handy bar did not work for us, try before you buy, available at medical supply stores.
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My 87yr.Husband has PD and we have found for the past 10yrs. that a Mini Van is the best vechicle for him to get into and out of. Just backs up to seat and slides in. Most cars you have to drop down into seat, then have great difficulty getting back out of.
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Thank all of you who answered my question. You raised many more for me: what has the occupational therapist been helping him learn to do? I can't wait to try all of them with him and see which one works the best. Nothing is too good for your daddy.....
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Dad has not been diagnosed with pd but he has movement problems. He is a wheelchair. Whence bring wheelchair to side of car. Help him stand turn him around.. Help him to bend seat first into car as we make sure he doesn't hit head. Raise feet into car. He holds onto the handle at top of car door on inside to help himself move his behind to back of seat. Opposite of this getting out. Feet first bend like getting out of chair and help to raise up ..turn to wheelchair. We do have leather seats so it is easier to move him. Never heard of a seat swivel..will have to check out.
Occupational therapist helped us to make it easier when transferring to car.
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Seems that many people are having this problem of getting in and out of the car. When you check out Amazon for the "swivel seat" it also shows the Standers Car Caddie & Standers Handybar. I'm not sure how they work exactly, but reading the reviews on the products it seems people are quite pleased with the way they work to assist getting in and out of cars.I would also speak with a physical therapist/occupational therapist. Although my mom didn't have trouble getting in and out of the car, they did give me numerous suggestions to solve her other limitations. Good luck.
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My error I forgot to take into account that my mother is a recovering stroke victim not with PD and only 5' & 110 lbs. I can see where someone larger and heavier may present other challenges.
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Regarding my post above about the "lazy susan". I just googled "swivel seat cushion for car" and many, many sites came up showing what I mentioned above. Amazon - has the DuroMed Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion and if you click on it, they actually have other devices shown for helping getting in and out of the car. Hope this helps. Good luck & God Bless!
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Even leather seats become problematic for an elder with PD, as we've learned with ou cars. We tried it with the walker, too, but my mother tends to fall back too easily that way. Holding on to the car (left hand on door, which one of us holds steady for her, and right hand on the door frame, with each hand at the level that's comfortable for her seems to work best with getting seated. WIth PD, there's a heaviness involved - the body feels heavy in addition to stiff, so I'd be very careful with the walker when helping a person with PD into the car.
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The therapist showed us to back up the walker as if sitting in a chair. Seat them then help them get their feet in while turning on their bottom.. When getting out we found it easier to use the walker just like getting out of the chair, feet out first turning the bottom get both feet on the ground then grab the walker handles to stand up. Our vehicle has leather so it's a little easier than turning on the fabric. You may want to try the swivel there.
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All good advice above. Until you're able to find the "lazy susan" type device, you may want to try what we're using with my mother, who also has Parkinson's. We put a large plastic bag on the front seat (large enough to cover the entire seat) and, once my mother is seated, she's still able to rotate herself to face forward once her legs and feet are inside, too, of course. We haven't started looking for the actual device yet but we'll get there later this year, I'm sure, probably starting first with a medical supply store or even going on-line. Perhaps, too, the local PD group will know what it's called and where one can get it.
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Try Gold Violin or Independent Living web sites for the swivel. Or just Google it. (Seat swivel?) Plus, I got my husband a sort of trapeze-on-a-rope that you hook through the window, something they can grip onto - or they make a bar that hooks into the loop toward the bottom of the door opening, something to push off with.
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There is actually a "lazy susan" type of device specifically for this. It rests on the seat and the person sits on it from outside the car with their feet out. As you lift his feet into the car he will automatically "slide around" on the seat and be facing forward. I saw it recently - however I don't remember where - maybe someone else on this post is familiar with it. It was advertised on either maybe "things on tv" or at Bed, Bath and Beyond store. It was advertised to make it easier for anyone to get into the car easier; so it was not at a store with medical supplies. Although I'm sure a medical supply store would have something like this, as this has to be a problem for a lot of others. Or just goggle it. If I find more information I will post. Good luck!
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I had better add for you to make sure he does not hit the back of his head as he is sitting down in the seat. Depending on how low the hood is this can be a problem. You can hold his head with your hand and remind him it is there.
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To get in, have him sit down first with his feet outside and then help him lift each foot into the car and turn him around as he does it. This is how my uncle got my aunt who was paralyzed in the car. To get him out, get the feet out first as he is turning around and then help him up. There is a technique I have used to help in getting out, but it is hard to explain in words though not hard to do. You may want to speak to an occupational therapist who would have better suggestions and even can help show you and help you practice. Best to you and your daddy.
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