How to get my 85 yr. old mother in my SUV?

heidiho

There's a family reunion coming up and I want to take my 85 year old mother. She weighs 265lbs. and I don't know how I'm going to get her into my Ford Escape. She can't pick her legs up more than about 12". I have no running boards and don't know anyone with a small car. The guys in the family tried to pick her up one day to lift her but she said it hurt and she was upset so they quit. I've tried several foot stools and small step ladders but she's afraid to fall. Is there some kind of medical equipment I can rent to help us? Thanks for your time and have a nice day.

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sushipup1

I'd opt for a wide homemade step stool, perhaps the guys in the family can build it for you. Most small step stools have too small a foot-tread for comfort, IMHO. What you want is something at least 12" deep and wider than a step stool, maybe 24". Yeah, it will be bulky, but I think it will work for you.

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asolo

Copied from same reply on parent's forum:

Would advise abandoning this idea entirely. Too much risk. Falling-risk on an older person with this body mass is tremendous. Be very careful. Stools and step-ladders, in particular, I would stay away from.

If at all possible, suggest renting a mini-van. If your mother is more-or-less "normal" height, I think you'll find the seating surface pretty closely matches her fanny's height while she's standing. All she'll have to do is back up to the seat edge and slide on. The Chrysler versions also have a handle-assist on the door frame so she can help herself and feel more secure.

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briejean

Is she able to climb stairs in the house? If yes, there are plenty of step-stools that are capable of handling her weight. She's a bigger person, but not to the extreme. I would just compare it to climbing stairs. Have a couple strong people nearby to "spot" her, and I'm sure she'd do fine.

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shambo

I think Asolo's idea is the best. Using a step stool with someone who is heavy and also has limited mobility means you'd really need a huge & super sturdy step stool. Quite wide and quite long to accommodate them safely and comfortably. It would be easier and safer to use a vehicle that's closer to the ground and also has plenty of leg room. You also might consider bringing along a walker to help your mother balance herself as she gets out of the vehicle. Of course, you'll need to be helping her out and also holding down the walker as she gets out and grabs onto it.

My mom is just about 5 ft. and weighs around 110 lbs., but even getting her in & out of my Toyota RAV 4 can be tricky. She's got limited mobility and strength, so I have to really get in there and help her. Helping our loved ones in & out of automobiles is one of the hardest tasks around. Not as easily accomplished as one would think.

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kris_zone6

A big plastic bag on the seat makes getting in easier. I used a big yard bag for my mother.

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sushipup1

Kris, can you explain that some more? I honestly have no earthly idea how a plastic bag would help someone get into a tall car.

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shambo

Sushi, I've heard of that tip before. The plastic bag is put on the seat and makes it easier to slide someone in and out of the car seat. It probably does help and aids someone with slightly limited mobility so they can pivot easily into the car seat.

But you are right about it not being much help when the car is an SUV and the seat is too high to start with. I don't think it would be an effective answer to that problem. Mainly the person wouldn't be able to get their behind onto the seat because it's too high. So being able to pivot easily wouldn't matter.

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sushipup1

Thanks for explaining it, Shambo!

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falldowngobump

Wow, this topic came just when I needed it. My MIL has very limited mobility--uses a walker for every step she takes. It's a necessity for her. My husband just purchased a small Blazer type vehicle thinking I could use it to transport her and her walker ( and other things she requires--change of clothing, extra depends and wipes). I can't get her in it. I'm 5 foot tall and weigh 103 and there is no way I can "lift" her in. She is 5ft 4 and weighs 142. No way. I have no business trying to "lift" her anywhere. My husband had a hard time wrapping his mind around that one. Her balance is so bad that a step of some sort is out of the question. I told him to take it back--he wasn't real thrilled with that. The vehicle is totally useless to me.

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shambo

Falldown, I sure sympathize with you. I had a Chevy Impala that was perfect for transporting my mom, but it started to have serious problems. So, because we live in the rural Sierra Foothills of Northern California, I got a RAV4. I wanted to be able to navigate our weird roads during inclement weather. I did test it and even though the seats were higher than the Impala, I thought my mom would be able to handle it.

My mom does OK, though I had to train her (and I keep reminding her) to go bottom first. Once she gets herself & her walker close to the car, she backs up to the car seat and then gets her bottom up against it. Once she gets her bottom even just a little bit on the seat, she can start to pivot and I help get her legs into the car. She has to do a little scooting, but not much.

I really understand the lifting problem. Even though I weigh more than my mom and am stronger, I'm still not strong enough physically to lift her 106 pounds. And, I agree, the idea of using any kind of step system is just plain frightening. My mom is too frail and her balance is horrible.

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Nancy Rowell

step stools for the elderly


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grandmamary_ga

I have limited ability to climb. I weight around 200. But I can stand and we now have a fusion by Ford and it is hard for me to get in. We also have a ford blazer that is harder as I have to climb up into it. Still hard for me. I have used a step stool but that is also difficult as they are never the right height I was wondering the other day if there might be a less height stool but we haven't seen one yet. I also have problems climbing up on the table in doctors offices. I'm a mess. But know that I will be better one day. Anyway I hope so. Even getting into the house can be hard for me. I only have 3 steps but when you can't lift yourself and are afraid of falling it scares you. so we have been using a wheel chair and my husband in front of me and either my son or grandson in back and somehow it works. I think a portable ramp would help till I have my strength back or the dizzy feeling gone. Yes, the doctors know my problem.

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AtomicJay007

I second the suggestion to rent for the day a vehicle that she'd be able to get in and out of without the use of a stool or steps. Anything like that is too risky. You might also check with your local senior center if they offer transportation for people like your mother. Where I live, the city transportation provides accessible vans with lifts by appointment to take seniors wherever they need to go. You don't say how far away the reunion is, so if it is out of the city limits, this would probably be a non-starter.

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lilacinjust

Hopefully she made it to the reunion.


In 2009.

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AtomicJay007

Good grief, I hadn't looked when the OP posted this. It had popped up as a new recent thread on my list. Oh well...

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lilacinjust

I wonder if she's still alive!

Nonetheless, I do have thoughts on this.

What I'd do is utilize a walker and a step stool (low, if possible) and back the person into the car.


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CA Kate z9

HAH! I hadn't noticed that it was from 2009 either.

I was going to second asolo's suggestion that they rent a minivan. We got a Honda minivan when DH couldn't easily get in and out of my low Prius... it was highly recommended for the disabled. We bought the higher-end Odyssey and it not only worked great for DH for several years, but I also LOVE to drive it. It is a very comfortable car to ride in.

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Linda Fogarty

I realize this is an old post, but wanted to share. My disclaimer is I am not in any way recommending these ideas below, I am just sharing with you what we found works for us. Here is what we found to be the easiest way to get my 91 yr old mom, 5' 3" 150 lbs.. We have worked with her with a walker in the house walking forward up a half step and backward up the step. (Outside step sold on Amazon) Walkers legs can easily fit on the ground around it. We place this on the ground next to the door. Have mom place herself with heals almost touching the step. She carefully steps up backwards, then with the walker steps back to the car frame (Honda mini van) She reaches back for the seat with her one hand to locate it. (We use a gate belt at all times) then bends at her hips until her backside touches the seat (we have a towel on the seat-dad pulls from the drivers seat to pull her in. Then she turns to get her feet in with our help. After reading about the plastic bag We may try this under the towel.

If there is enough room we have also tried from the side stepping forward up to door opening and turning slowly to have her back to the seat before sitting. This method is generally used at the house. We have a heavy duty wood step, same height as the outdoor step but a lot larger. The walker fits completely on top of it. Which makes turning easier. We find all cars/vans are difficult because the doors on cars do not open all the way for easy access. Back seats of mini vans/ many cars have to much of a gap between the door and seat when the person you are assisting is afraid of falling or has a history of falls. Love hearing everyones ideas. We are tempted to have a lift seat installed for her safety.

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Betty Roberson

One more hint (I am one of these handicapped riders) use your walker and back up to the edge of the seat. Using a belt, wrap around your left knee and hold on to the hand holder, lift knee onto the floor and pivot in the seat. Using the belt on the other leg and pull it in. Done.

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Pea

When my mom was having problems getting in and out of the vehicle we went vehicle shopping with ease of in and out the prime function for choices. We found vehicles similar to the p.c. Cruiser or kia soul to be the best height to get in and out of with enough room to transport her walker or wheelchair. Cars were too low and suvs too high...there is also this as seen on tv device that actually was real helpful called a 'car cane' to get her to help herself in and out.

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nancy m

My 96 yr young Mom is 5ft and shrinking. I use an step platform like they use at gym, plastic, good size, and very stable. I have her step up sideways facing front of car, holding onto door in front of her. She is then at a height to be able to turn and get her butt on seat, then pivot one leg at a time. I use small square of plastic also, it really does help her turn on the seat.

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Linda Collard

I am a person in need of a way to get into a SUV. I am 5'9" and weigh about 365lbs. I cannot lift my legs up more than a couple of inches. My best friend wants to take me out to lunch in her Jeep and it's too high for me to climb in to. I was wondering if she pulled up next to a curb, if that would make it high enough for me to crawl into the seat somehow?

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maifleur01

poyzun there is a difference between lifting legs and climbing into. Although you may not like it but if you can sit in the Jeep your friend can assist in swinging your legs in and out of the vehicle. My husband had problems swinging his legs but if he first put his butt on the seat and slid backward I could first move the inside leg over then the other one. He grabbed hold of the assist that most now have above or inside the door to assist the turning. With the first leg in it allowed leverage for him to turn so that his back was against the seat. The problem with pulling next to the curb is that it might scrape the vehicle or there might be a large enough gap that your foot can slip through and seriously injure yourself.

There are devices that can be purchased that are placed on the seat and will either turn the person sitting on it or slide the person into position if this is going to be a continuous problem.

A FYI that you may not know in many states anyone with health problems that are over 250/300 pounds are only eligible to go to a skilled nursing facility if they have problems taking care of themselves. The reasoning is to assist such a person two people even with a lift would be necessary. I wasted months looking for an assisted living place for my husband and myself to live in before I was told this. I did not need the help but he was starting to need it.

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jlisting

It is best to rent a vehicle they can get into without climbing on a foot stool ,etc. Buy a washable incontinence pad, and place it on the seat before getting patient to sit. Use the pad to pull the person into the seat properly, assuming the patient is not over 150lbs.

Only get a mini van if they can WALK onto it via a wheelchair ramp.

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gtgrandmasue

Sue

Hi: I am your 80 plus mother, overweight and crippled with arthritis. I need a large enough step to feel safe and a less than common step stool rise. By accident our family discovered the top / platform step of an inexpensive exercise steps set laid flat on the ground works great, is strong, light to throw in the back of the van or truck and handy, Besides, you have the exercise step rig to work out on.. The key is stability by size and not too much step up. P.S. I am so tired of porches with high risers, cars that don't fit the elderly and poorly lighted entrances, restaurants, etc. It isn't the technology we lack, just common sense as a caring public.)

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