They loved taking care of us as toddlers. It’s time to take care of them as elders.
You may have your full heart dedicated to helping an elderly person but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up hurting them.
We’ll be focusing today on how to get an elderly person into a car without causing them any harm.
How to Get an Elderly Person Into a Car
Here’s how to get an elderly person into a car using simple steps. As a gesture of appreciation, we’ll be referring to the elderly person as the ‘loved one’ from this point onward.
Preparing the Car
Preparing the car for your loved one to get inside is fairly easy but quite important. All you have to do is get the car as close as possible to your loved one to reduce the steps they have to take.
Once you make sure of that, drag the seat as far back as it can go to give more room for your loved one to move in.
The last step of preparing the car is optional but helpful. Place a plastic bag on the seat to minimize friction and allow for easier movement on the seat.
Preparing Yourself and the Loved One
Preparing yourself means getting everything ready before transferring your loved one to the car. Wallets, keys, bags, and everything you need should be already inside the car before you help your loved one in.
One item that could make your life a lot easier is the gait belt. It’s a belt used to assist elderly people in safely getting on their feet without grabbing their arms or hurting them. This belt is especially helpful if your loved one is in a wheelchair (more on that soon.)
Once everything is ready, assist your loved one to the car using a pace they’re comfortable with.
Positioning the Loved One
Once you’ve reached the car, it’s time to position your loved one correctly to prevent injury or slipping. Start by opening the car’s door as wide as it can.
The ideal position would be to have your loved one with their back facing the seat of the car. Their hands should be resting on non-moving objects.
Simply guide your loved one to that position and have them place the left hand on the dashboard and the right hand on the seat rest to keep them supported.
Getting the Loved One Into the Car
By now, your loved one should have both their hands on solid surfaces with their backs facing the car. If your loved one doesn’t have enough coordination to place their hands on the dashboard and the seat rest on their own, you should assist with that too.
Gently place your left hand behind the loved one’s head and the right one on their belly. Assist them in gently leaning forward and getting inside the car while keeping their hands fixed on the assisting surfaces.
Since they’d be getting inside the car with their backs, they may hit the roof of the car because they can’t see it. Your left hand’s job is to be the barrier between the car’s roof and the head of the loved one.
Once the loved one is inside the car, assist them to place their legs in front of them, then put the seat in a comfortable position and fasten the seatbelt.
Here’s a quick demonstration of the previous explanation:
How to Get an Elderly Person From a Wheelchair Into a Car
Getting a loved one to a car from a wheelchair might be a bit uncomfortable but if you think about it for a second, it’s the same procedure as before. The only difference is getting your loved one to stand up from the wheelchair.
Positioning the Wheelchair
Prepare the car and everything you need before then push the wheelchair with our loved one on it to the car.
Open the car door as widely as possible and position the wheelchair to face the car’s door. Engage the safety brakes of the wheelchair and swing the chair’s leg rests out of the way if possible.
Getting the Loved One Out of the Wheelchair and Into the Car
Getting a loved one out of a wheelchair is a hassle if you try to grab your loved one by their hands. It doesn’t provide good stability for either of you, and it could hurt their limbs.
Remember that gait belt we talked about? This is when it comes in handy. So, tie that gait belt around their waist. It should ideally be below the ribcage and above the hips. Instruct the loved one to use the wheelchair’s arm seat for support as they get up.
If their limbs are too weak to help them get up on their own, block their knees with yours to reduce the effort they must take to stand up. You may also pull the gait belt a bit more to provide more help.
Once the loved one is standing up, proceed normally as we mentioned before. Position their backs facing the seat, protect their heads, and help them inside the car.
Here’s a demonstration to bridge the gap between imagination and reality:
Here are some extra safety tips to keep your loved one safe:
- Don’t pull your loved ones by their hands while standing them up, this could harm their limbs.
- Don’t allow your loved one to rely on the car door for support. The door may move back and forth and cause your loved one to fall over.
- Seat belts are mandatory. Don’t forget to buckle in the seatbelt once your loved one is in the car.
You’ve Reached the End
We hope that you’ve found this article helpful and that you now know how to get an elderly person into a car.
All you have to do is to get the car close, assist them to it, position them correctly, sit them down slowly, and fasten the seatbelt. If there’s a wheelchair, use the gait belt to help them up and then sit them in the car normally.