Follow
Share

Mom is 98 years old, still healthy but with advanced dementia. She is extremely frail, and we use a transport chair for outings, appointments, etc. However, though she still walks short distances with a walker, it has become very difficult to get her from the chair into the front seat of my car, as she cannot really help. Even with two of us, it's an ordeal. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how this could be made easier? I know there are services that will transport her to her appointments, but we like to take her out for scenic drives, visits, etc. Thank you for any helpful information!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I find that it's hard to put them in a front seat. It tends to be a bucket and the sill is wider. The back seat is a bench and the sill is smaller. I just maneuver the seat as close as possible while still having room to work. I lift her up and put her back down on the edge of the bench seat. Then it's wiggle time to get further in and the legs to swing in. You can put down a towel or sheet or something on the bench seat. Once they are down the edge, just drag the sheet from the other side like on a bed to get them further in.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ask any OT to teach you how to transfer your mother. They can work with both of you so she knows that you can be trusted to keep her safe, and you both know the exact routine that will work best for her. I am a rehab professional but my 91 year old mother would not listen to me. I do have a HIPPAA waiver and a medical power of attorney, so I contacted a PT and OT to arrange for in-home evaluation and therapy. They were able to work with her and now she transfers easily into and out of any vehicle in the family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

New York has something called Access a Ride ...you go into vehicles with wheelchair & don’t have to get up...Also there are ambulette services if your insurance pay...Toyota has accessible vehicle Sienna.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What I do with my 4'7 101 year old client. As we approach the open car door, I tell her to "Stand ,Turn and sit",, her legs are touching the bottom of the door frame (touching her calves), then she can sit, & I direct her feet into the car. Has worked for me for 20 years.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My posts were meant to bring up the devices (there are many) that allow an elder to enter and exit a vehicle safely. AgingCare would not let me delete them when those links I posted didn't work.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Stander CarCaddie - Automotive Standing Aid and Adjustable Safety Vehicle Support Handle Portable Nylon Car Assist Device
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

see above
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All of these are great suggestions. I recently faced a similar problem with my 95 year old uncle who is in a NH. We wanted to take him to my Mother's 98th birthday party. I used a gait belt, which does have to be very snug, and a stand and pivot maneuver to transfer in and out of the car, very similar to a transfer from bed to chair. I also purchased a transfer board from Amazon which I believe would work very well with a transport chair that has a removable arm (my uncle's does not). My uncle is able to follow directions so this made it simpler when I was able to direct him to stand, turn, sit. Once I transferred him to the chair, I used portable ramps that I purchased online to just wheel him up the short stairs into the house. I recommend being very familiar with good body mechanics to avoid injury to yourself. I am an RN and it makes all the difference in transferring patients.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

If you are able to safely maneuver the person from transport chair to a bed, the movement is exactly the same.
In our case, it was easier to transfer my wife to an automobile if it was a smaller and lower vehicle.
The transfer chair locked and parallel (almost) with the car and the door opening. Car seat all the way back. A simple "Core muscle" lift by you just like putting the person on the side of a bed. Never bend and try to get them all the way end. Yor back will never be the same. All you need is part of the butt on the side edge of the car seat to slide and maneuver.They must go in facing out (sideways) just like onto a bed. Then gently lift both legs and turn in the seat. The use of a plastic bag is a great idea. We hadn't thought of that.
Getting out and back into the transfer chair is everything in reverse.
We tried the transfer boards, etc and nothing ever lined up. Obviously if the person is extremely heavy (my wife is 150#, advanced dementia) you might need someone on the inside lifting by the waistband to assist.
If your Mom still stands or even partially stands it should be a piece of cake.
Good luck. They do love to get out and "see things" and that is good for the caretaker also.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wheelchair taxi!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I bought $1.00 bandanas and tied them around the medal poles that hold the headrest. It's almost like a pulley. When she holds on to them, she can hold tight and pull some of her weight to get in car. With my help it is easier for her to get in car.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

They make padded seats that are basically like a lazy Susan that we used with my mom. Once she sat down on it on the seat, it was much easier to pivot her around and get her legs and feet in front of her. Same for getting out. I got mine at Walgreens I believe.

The metal handles that attach to the door jam of the car also worked well as someone else mentioned. That way, your mom can have handles on both sides getting in and out.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If your mom is used to “reaching back” to grasp chair arms before she sits, I purchased a metal handle grip (Amazon) that hooks onto the frame of the opening of the car door and is used for her to reach back and hang onto before she sits down. She would grasp the open door arm rest with her left hand and the temporary metal grip with her right, then sit down. This helped a lot.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
JoAnn29 Sep 2018
I did this too. Problem, Mom was too far into her Dementia to take instruction and my husband ( stubborn) wouldn't listen that she had to sit sideways to get in and out. Even when trying to show him the instructions. It boggled me why he wouldn't listen.

These can be gotten at stores that sell "On TV" stuff. They run $20 normally.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
I found the main difficulty was positioning myself, the chair and mom in the space left available by the open car door, although perhaps a larger car would make a difference. I personally never had much success with the gait belt because it seemed to need to be impossibly tight or it just ended up sliding up - I did much better using the waistband of mom's pants as a place to grip and lift. The technique involves as fairly basic pivot transfer - stand, turn, sit (with the legs still outside the car), the plastic bag on the seat really helps when you put her legs in and spin her around facing forward. I had to face the reality that we just wasn't safe to try it anymore once mom couldn't be trusted to consistently bear her own weight long enough to pivot from the chair to the car.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom has back, hip and knee problems (one hip and both knees are replacements) and we have some challenges with the sit and pivot technique. Mom can still do the "sit" where she's in the seat with her legs against the side; it's the pivot that is challenging. We found it is easier to have a slidable car seat surface (folded polyester satin sheet), a car with a higher seat if possible (seat in minivan or some baby SUVs is a few inches higher than a sedan), adjusting the seat to the all back position and reclining the seat back if possible. Pushing the seat back gives more room to maneuver the legs; having the seat reclined allows mom to lean back and use her hips to compensate for knees that don't bend much beyond 90 degrees. After she's in, we raise the seat back because she doesn't like the recline position for driving around.

When my sister needed help standing and getting into the car during her cancer battle, we found it easier to get her into the 2nd row seat of my minivan because the sliding doors were out of the way. We could roll the wheelchair up beside the car seat. I could get her up with a forearm under her shoulder. She could put an arm over my shoulder and brace the other arm on the front seat back while moving into the car seat.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I used a heavy duty contractor garbage bag with the end cut off so it was like a giant flat tube.
Place the bag on the seat of the car.
Have Mom sit on the seat once she is properly positioned.
Move the walker out of the way and grasp her feet and ease them into the car while helping with your other hand to turn her in the seat.

The plastic bag makes it very easy to mover her around on the seat. It also makes helping her get out a bit easier since you can more easily turn her in the seat so she is sitting on the seat sideways. Once she is on the seat sideways move the walker into place, lock it and help her to a standing position. It helps if you have a gait belt around her though, should have one anyway just for safety.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If she stands in the walker, can you ease her back into the car seat with the instruction “Sit down” when the SIDE of the car seat is against the back of her legs?
Once she is sitting on the car seat with her legs at the side, you can pivot her feet into position in front of her.
This was a technique recommended by my mom’s PT, and I would assume any PT or OT could show you.
My mom was a chunky 4’11”, and it worked well for her.
Please forgive my poorly worded explanation.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My husband is just about completely immobile. A year ago, we purchased a Hoyer Advance portable patient lift. You can see exactly how this works if you search YouTube for the video. Unfortunately they only show getting the person out of the car and not into it.

My husband is over 300#, panics and the process to get him into the car is exhausting and we’ve only been successful once. But for a person who doesn’t weigh that much, it would be much easier. . If you do consider and purchase one, have a person from the medical equipment come out and show you how to use it. If we could get it to work, it would be great.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
BlueEcho1 Oct 2018
My mom is in end stage Alzheimer's and can not move. We were just kicked off hospice because she isn't dying any time soon and is really stable. I had to take her to see her doctor. I called a cab company and requested a wheel chair accessible cab. It wasn't much more expensive than a regular cab. My mother never goes anywhere anymore except when the caregivers put her in her wheel chair and take her around the block, the local park, or to Trader Joe's, which is only only a 1/2 mile away.
(0)
Report
Are you using a gait belt? These can be a great help with transfers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It would be easier if the transports arm came up but I doubt yours does. Then you use a transport board to slide her in. My problem was my car seat was just a little too high and eventually Mom became dead weight and we had a hard time getting her in. With the Dementia she was no help. Couldn't take instruction. I am 5ft tall and if alone, there was no way I could take her anymore. I cut back on doctor appts, some I dropped because the reason Mom started with them her primary was able to take over the care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter