Buying a bigger vehicle. Any advice?

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I am my mother's guardian and feel like we need a bigger vehicle. I have a Sebring convertible and I think an SuV would be easier for her and I to get in and out of. I also, take care of my grandchildren regularly and they are getting too big for the backseat. The sebring is paid for. I manage mother's trust and I am having the financial advisor to do an analysis to see where we stand for obtaining a newer bigger vehicle. I would love some input from others who are the main caregiver of their parent. I cart her to the doctors, church, vacation,etc.

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If your mother uses a walker, rollator or wheelchair, take that with you when you try out cars. It makes a big difference if you need to get an assistive device in the car with your mother and children.

The rollator especially is hard to fit in my car because of its configuration. And wheelchairs really need to be slid onto a flat opening in back, such as that of a station wagon or SUV.

We also have a scooter and that's a realy challenge to get in the trunk of my car. If your mother uses any kind of motorized device, you really need a car with a flat bed and not a trunk.

If she needs oxygen as well, take a few oxygen tanks when you shop for cars.

(The sales people may run when they see you hauling out a walker, rollator, oxygen tanks and/or scooter! And don't forget to take your children as well.)

I had no problem when I had a station wagon, but after it became too old to repair I went back to a sedan, which isn't working out too well. I can get the walker in the back seat but have to wrestle with the rollator. Getting the scooter in is a guaranteed back ache activity.
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I sure don't know about an SUV. My mom couldn't get in one if she tried. With a step ladder. Don't know how old your mom is, but maybe you ought to plan for five years out.
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I have a Nissan Murano and it was so easy for Mom to slide in and out of with plenty of room for the transporter chair when running errands. If you can take her with you car shopping; but any vehicle you can easier get into and out of without climbing should be just fine for her.
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I am pushing 70 years old and I refuse to part with my Jeep SUV as it's the best vehicle I have ever had that was good for my back problems, I could drive/ride all day :) The cargo bay is great for groceries, you just reach directly straight ahead for the grocery bags, no reaching down into a trunk or back seat.

My Dad, who is 92, loves riding in the Jeep.... it's a tad bit of a struggle for him to get into the vehicle but he doesn't care because but it's so very easy for him to get out. When Dad is in his own sedan, he has an awful time getting in and out, sometimes it can take him 10 minutes to get out, I can't help him.

On the other hand, my Mom [96] can no longer get into my Jeep, so I have to use my parents big old Oldsmobile to drive Mom anywhere.... OMG, it's like driving a cruise ship down the highway. Mom thinks it is like riding on a cloud... I, on the other hand, am reaching for the Dramamine.

As others had suggested, before buying another vehicle have your Mom try getting in and out. But remember, as our parent(s) age, their ability changes every year.
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My elder parents liked a mini van as this was easiest to get in and out of. Consider one where passenger seat goes up and down so they can adjust down to get in, then back up to be comfortable seated position. Mom was short so she had a small step stool to help her get up and down.

Go to a Carmax one day with elders and try out different models getting in and out. See what's easiest.

There are also little seat cushions you can buy that swivel so they can swing around and get their legs out easier.
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I have a Honda Fit. My mom claimed it wasthe perfect car for her to get in and out of, before she went into nh.
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You have to put some thought into the SUV. Some of them are hard for elderly people to climb into. One of the things my brother does when he comes here is rents an SUV, which means I have to take Mom everywhere in my car. She can't get in any of the SUVs they rent.

Some SUVs are lower than others, I'm sure. You'll be able to tell if she can get in and out of the ones you look at.
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I have an old Camry and it works fine for my mom. My cousin had a smaller SUV (maybe a Honda?) that was great to get in and out of - just high enough that you didn't have to step up or scrunch down. The biggest recommendation I would have would be to have your mom try them out when you've narrowed your choices down. Also look for any kind of handholds for getting out of the car. I bought a special handle thing that fits in the bolt for the door that my mom can hold on to when she gets out. She still struggles (bad knees), but she has enough room to easily get in and get out. I wish my Camry was a bit higher, but overall it's worked well for us.
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