Read the full article for all the things to look for in a car if you are elderly or drive an elderly person around:
- Higher seats, to make it easy to get into and out of the car.
- Adequate backseat leg room and space between the seat and door frame for Dad to swing his legs into the car. Also, back doors that open wide enough for him to get in.
- Electric seats, so I’m not straining my back to bend over and pull the front seat forward to make more room for Dad’s legs.
- Reclining back seats, so Dad can lean back as he swings his legs in.
- Electric locks, windows and “child safety” doors that I can lock if needed, so Dad can’t open the door unexpectedly.
- Adequate and easy-access cargo space for walkers, wheelchairs, dogs and groceries. A push button to open the tailgate hatch saves wear and tear on my back.
- Keyless entry. This way I need to use only one hand for the door handle, leaving one hand for Daddy.
- Features that beat the heat or cold. We live in Phoenix, and Daddy has become sensitive to the extreme summer heat and even our mild winter cold as his dementia progresses. Many cars now offer heated and cooled seats. Remote start is also an option, so the car can cool down or heat up before he gets in.
- Helpful technology is a bonus:
- Navigation and hands-free voice assist — no more fiddling with my phone for directions to doctor appointments.
- Backup cameras — to prevent backing over equipment. I (embarrassingly) backed over Mom’s walker several times when I forgot to put it into the trunk.
- Apps and Bluetooth — Keeping Dad happy in the car involves music, but the commercial radio stations he likes are few. Music apps and Bluetooth allow connection to my iTunes, Pandora, iheart radio, Amazon Prime music or other apps that play his favorite big band or show tunes. SiriusXM radio has similar stations.