By Holly Pitas
Have you ever watched someone get into a car? It’s usually one smooth motion. Most people open the door, pick up a foot and step into the car as they simultaneously slide into the seat and then bring the other leg in, close the door. Easy, right?

Have you ever watched an elderly person get into a car? It can be a long and scary process to witness. They struggle to balance on one foot as they have difficulty picking the other foot up high enough to get it into the car. They can get stuck in the straddled position, one foot in and one out, not strong enough to progress without help.

Older people often have a difficult time coordinating car doors, body parts, and purses or packages. There is a veritable buffet of hindering health problem options to contend with, like painful arthritis, low vision, dementia, the list goes on. They just may not bend like they used to, can’t see well, and have trouble multitasking (like holding onto a purse while picking up a foot and ducking their head).

Try this for a smoother entrance:
click here to watch the video demonstration
1. Open the car door.
2. Have the elder face outward with their back to the interior. For stability, hands can be on their cane or walker or held by an escort for stability. Or, the escort can hold the door open while the elder holds on to the side of the car or the door. The escort needs a firm hold; you don’t want the door to close on anyone’s fingers, ouch!
3. Sit Down. Both feet are on the pavement, outside of the car.
4. Rotate to face forward bring feet in one at a time. 5. Make sure everything is in and close the door.
To Exit:
1. Open the Door
2. Swing a foot out, and then the other foot placing both feet onto the pavement
3. Tilt forward a bit so the head clears the ceiling. Stand up with cane or walker ready. Again, any escort must have a firm hold on the car door for safety.
4. Take a breath to acquire stability before moving forward.
5. Close the door.

Leather seats are great, they slide easy. If you have cloth seats, try sitting on a plastic bag to help the slide and rotate.
For about 30.00 or less, you may want to check out the rotating seat device available from Carole Wright or Walter Drake.

Click here to watch the video demonstration.