A long car ride may be a bit of an annoyance when you’re young, but as you get older and struggle with joint or muscle pain, those rides can become much more difficult. In some cases, seniors actively avoid unnecessary car travel in order to limit this pain or discomfort—sometimes missing out on social events, family gatherings or other out-of-home activities.
Fortunately, there are ways to make car travel more comfortable for your aging loved ones starting with these three tips. If you’d like to speak to our team about homecare services in the greater Toronto area, please contact us—we’d be pleased to answer your questions and offer a personalized quote.
Improve their comfort
Even the most luxurious vehicles can feel uncomfortable after a long ride, but there are ways to make improvements for seniors in particular. Consider a lumbar support like this one from Obusforme and/or a seat cushion like this one. A swivel seat cushion designed for the car may assist with both comfort and function. A neck rest or memory pillow may also be helpful. You can also bring a soft, cozy blanket in winter and add a shade in the summer months. Ask your loved one what is most difficult about car travel and make improvements specific to their needs!
Older individuals may struggle while getting in and out of cars, and seat belts often prove challenging when mobility is an issue. To improve senior accessibility, consider getting a portable handybar that helps older individuals get in and out of different vehicles more easily (or, try something like this if your loved one typically rides in the back seat). You can also try seat belt reachers if your aging loved one doesn’t have full range of motion in their shoulders or arms. If you aren’t sure what is best suited to your loved one (or your vehicle), consider reaching out to an occupational therapist in your community.
Finally, we recommend having a few extra items to use as needed during your car trip. Start with a reusable water bottle, a box of Kleenex, and some healthy snacks (avoid anything that’s a choking hazard as these will be consumed while seatbelted into the passenger seat of your car). It may also be helpful to have cleansing hand wipes (baby wipes also work in a pinch). By making your car more comfortable for the seniors in your life, you’re showing them just how much you care and what their comfort means to you. Thanks as always for reading and have a great week!