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My Mom lives with my sister but sometimes I take her with me and my car is higher than hers. We try to use a step stool to get her into car but Mom has dementia and does not walk on her own. Getting her into my car is proving to be extremely frustrating and almost to the point of being dangerous. She cannot help herself to get in and I try to pick her up and put her into the car but she fights me and I am at my wits end. Please help with any suggestions.

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Gloomy Gus here:
Use your sister's car, or arrange to have help. Someone's gonna get hurt.

I have a Rubbermaid step-stool with two steps and no back. The top step is as big as a seat. It's pretty stable and might help.
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I tried using the towel and decided it did not work very well with cloth seats. I never thought there was a reason for leather seats but I will have to get some with our next vehicle.
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The idea of using the towel to help slide the patient onto the seat worked well for me too. Then I had an idea of using a small rubber backed rug on the seat. The rubber side gripped the leather seat and did not slide around as Mom was
sitting down like the towel had done. It was also easier to grasp and boost Mom into a more upright position after getting her feet into the car. Just an experienced thought to share!
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I still have my wife's old sedan (it's probably worth about $1200) and it is much lower than our van. My wife has strong legs but sometimes forgets how to pick up her feet. I first try to pick up one foot and get it moving into the car. If that does not work, I turn her around and have her back onto the seat. I like the idea about the towel to slide her in. Somebody was thinking on that one.
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I have long-time mobility problems of my own, and sometimes I've had to sit onto the floor of a high-sitting car, and then someone has helped me up onto the seat from the floot. (The seat needs to be slid back first as far as it can go). It isn't graceful, and I'm strong otherwise about being able to support myself with a little help.

These days, I'm still disabled and I'm also my mom's caregiver, and in the beginning she and I were certain we'd never get her in a car again (she 4-10, 95 pounds). It was scary at first and we had to fine-tune our system, but it's now routine. I hope you guys figure out a safe and do-able system.
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You may want to see if a physical therapist could help you make sure your lifting and assistance techniques are good and/or recommend some equipment. We had a sliding board and a standing transfer disc, neither of which my Mom really liked, and we'd position her walker a certain way to use as a support. Sometimes it was pretty dicey. I was once left alone to transfer her into a dental chair as the office policy was they could not risk THEIR employee backs. My mom could walk a short distance and take most of her weight, and she weighed around 200 lbs so total lift was out of the question for me. It wasn't pretty but we did it. It helped to be a rehab doc and know a little about body mechanics too, so I never hurt myself. If moving from a wheelchair, a removable armrest is a necessity.

A stroke and an MI later, we were finally advised to forget car transfers altogether and I got modifications made to a Scion XB...not great, but no where near the cost of a lift van and a lot safer.
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When we could still my mom out we would get her butt on the seat as best as possible. We already had a heavy towel on the seat with most of the towel toward the outside of the car. One of us would hold onto mom and the other would go in the driver's door and use the towel to drag her onto the seat. Unfortunately now my mom is house-ridden. They do have transfer benches made for people with paralyzed legs, but you have to have a wheel chair without sides or with sides that fold down.
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Awww, I feel for you.(((hugs))). It is scary when someone relies on you for so much support. When I first started helping my Mom I would tense up so bad with transfers as I was so worried about her falling that I wrenched my back so bad I had to lay still for a week! I have learned to relax my muscles when I transfer her but it still scares me so much.
Can you swap cars with your sister when you take her out? You know someone should invent a wheel chair that rises. That would help you! You could pump it like a hair salon chair. *sigh, I am out of ideas , other than getting a new car. Sorry.
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my car is high off the ground. she is only 4 ft 10 inches and i am only almost 5 feet...she cannot put her butt onto the seat. she needs to get up and onto the seat. i will look into the transfer belt but not sure how much that will help in this case. i need something to be able to get her off the ground and into the seat. i really haven't tried picking her up yet because i am afraid that i might drop her..she weighs about 115 also, but that might be my only hope. sometimes she buckles while standing next to the door and then i have to get her back into the wheelchair, steady everyone and try again. it took me almost 10 min to get her into my car yesterday and i felt like crying.
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Hi, what kind of car is it? With my Mom, who is pretty much wheel chair bound but can stand with MUCH help I park the chair next to the open car door, lock it - it is facing the car door. Have her grab my arms-she likes to do it that way- she has a grip like an octopus!- she has control issues and likes to be the one holding on-if I try and hold onto her she flails around trying to grab onto stuff- and I kinda pivot her so she is backing into the car, making sure to watch her head. Then she sits with her feet outside of the car and she swings them in and then we buckle her in. She is only about 115 lbs so easy to handle. If she gets unsteady I can grab her full weight easily. -but my back pays for it later. There is a thing called a transfer belt tht I am thinking of getting for her. You put it on the elder-around their waist- and hold onto that when transferring. She could hold onto me while I hold onto her belt. It may be something for you to look into. I would not use a stool. That seems scary to me.
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