The wheelchair will be here in about 4 weeks. He is currently in a manual wheelchair -- we have an suv without a tow package. I am and have been transferring him into the front seat from the manual wheelchair. Then folding the chair & putting it in the cargo area. I only take him out a couple times a week right now as it is way too hard for me.

We have been told the new chair will weigh 300 lbs. He is 78 an quite a big guy 6'5" 250lbs. I am 73 and been doing the lifting. I am wondering how others have handled the car situation. Am thinking of a newer suv with a tow package and a fold up carrier/ramp. I have concerns about driving and parking with the carrier (length). Am also afraid if we get a side access van it will be much more costly and harder to sell later -- . Please give me your thoughts and ideas. I also want comfort for me. I will wait for the chair to arrive before doing anything but want to think about this now. Thank you for your thoughts.

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Sandy, it might help to review a variety of options. The first I'm thinking of is an electric lift, which I believe can be available in vans with sliding doors. I've also seen an external lift which is electrically (or battery operated) to lift the platform up to the top of the vehicle after the individual is in the car.

I think though that the transfer is going to be an issue as well. Are you able to use a transfer board now? (It's used by removing the side arm of the wheelchair, tucking the slide board underneath the side of the hip closest to the car. The person then "schooches" (as one therapist called it) over by sliding onto the seat, leaning to the side once inside and thn the helper removes the slide board.

My father made 2 slide boards, but I'm sure they're available from DME stores.

You might also contact your local Area Agency on Aging and ask for lists of DME and vehicle suppliers with wheelchair accommodations. I've picked up brochures on these kinds of companies (which I believe can retrofit vehicles) at the AAA expos in the fall.

You could interview these companies so you have an idea what to expect. You might also find that your existing vehicle can be retrofitted in some way.

Good luck.
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