|"Getting in and out of the car"
Shelley Peterman Schwarz
This month we bring you the first of a number of features provided by Shelley Peterman Schwarz. We are very excited to have this new partnership with Shelley, and we look forward to bringing our readers some fantastic new content.
Shelley Peterman Schwarz is an award-winning author, TV personality, self-syndicated columnist, motivational speaker, Internet radio host, and teleclass instructor who offers practical tips and strategies for living well despite chronic illness and disabilities.
For more than 20 years, Shelley has been using her personal journey living with multiple sclerosis and her professional training as a special education teacher to help others cope with life's challenges. You can visit Shelley's web site at www.MakingLifeEasier.com.
Categories: Automotive Mobility
Getting in and out of the car
The day I left the hospital after tests revealed that I (probably) had multiple sclerosis (MS), I hardly had the strength to stand up to get in the car. Thankfully the car had vinyl seats, rather than Velour seats or I don’t know how I would have gotten in the car. The vinyl seats made it easy to slide in with minimal effort. Ever since that day, I’ve looked for other ideas I could share with people to help them get into and out of their cars more easily.
Here are some of the tips and products you can use to help you get in and get out.
If your car has upholstered seats and you want to make it easier to get into and out of your car, try tucking a vinyl tablecloth or a plastic garbage bag into the seat. You'll create a surface that's slippery enough to slide on.
The CarCaddie™ is a portable handle that offers you stability when getting in or out of a car, van or truck. Easy to install, it straps around the top of the window frame providing a cushion grip to hold on to. Because it is adjustable and not permanently installed, it can be moved to other vehicles (although not suitable for convertibles or vehicles without an enclosed window frame.) Available from www.dynamic-living.com. Cost: $20.
The Handybar™ is a forged steel shaft support handle with a soft non-slip grip that helps you get in or out of the car with ease. Capable of safely supporting up to 350 lbs, the removable bar inserts into a U-shaped plate installed on your vehicle door frame (can be used on both driver and passenger side doors). Order from www.dynamic-living.com. Cost: $35.
If you use a wheelchair or scooter and are able to transfer, a turning automotive seat that uses or matches your existing car seat may be helpful. Some seats just swivel, while other models have power controls that allow you to pivot and lower the seat to your level, making transferring easier. Check with your automotive dealer or accessibility experts to confirm compatibility with your vehicle (including sedans, SUVs, wagons, crossovers, minivans, pickup trucks, and full-size vans.)
Once you are in your seat, use a special lift with a hand control, to pick up your wheelchair and load it in and out of your vehicle. One model can convert a wheelchair to a car seat and back again, making it unnecessary for you to use a separate mobility device.
Lifts and seats range from $1000-$7000. Most automobile manufacturers provide a discount for seats installed in new vehicles, and if you use your vehicle to provide transportation to work, your local Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (the agency that helps people with disabilities with work-related accommodations) may pay for part or all of the cost. Contact: www.DisabilityInfo.gov for all your mobility and employment-related issues. They will help you locate your state agency.
If you have additional questions, send an email to Shelley@makingLifeEasier.com and we’ll do our best to help you find the answer.
Visit www.MakingLifeEasier.com to sign up to receive her free inspirational E-zine. While you are there, listen to her weekly Making Life Easier Internet radio program, where Shelley and a guest discuss the lessons learned and wisdom gained living with chronic illness, disability, and age-related limitations.
You’ll also find descriptions of Shelley’s books which you will find at your local bookstore or may order directly from the publisher:
Demos Medical Publishing – www.DemosMedPub.com
Tips for Making Life Easier with Arthritis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Multiple Sclerosis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Parkinson’s Disease
The Attainment Company – www.AttainmentCompany.com
Memory Tips for Making Life Easier
Dressing Tips and Clothing Resources for Making Life Easier
Organizing Your IEPs