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Equipment for getting in and out of a car

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Before you buy car gadgets, consider the points below:

  • If you are having difficulty getting in and out of your car, try a new technique: move the seat as far back as possible and recline the seat back to give more space when getting in and out. When you are standing as close as possible to the car seat, with legs touching the doorframe; sit on the seat taking care not to hit our head on the door frame, then lift your legs into the foot well.
  • The ‘Handy Bar’ fits into the car door catch giving you a steady support when getting in and out.
  • The car Caddie strap attaches to the internal handle above the door or door frame as a useful pull handle. Be sure that it is securely fitted and not attached to any moving parts when used.
  • Leg lifters are rigid canvas supports with a foot loop and handle to lift and reposition your legs into the foot well of the car.
  • Flat slide sheets and roller sheets can help you to move into the middle of the seat. This can be slid out from under you, or kept in position for the journey if you are safely strapped in without risk of discomfort or pressure damage.
  • A swivelling seat pad may also help with getting into position on the car seat. Some are rigid with a padded top and some are 2 discs of padded material which turn on each other.
  • A smooth transfer board that bridges the gap between the wheelchair and the car and may help you slide sideways onto the car seat from a wheelchair. Boards may be curved to help you move around the door fittings, some are light weight; designed to be carried more easily and some have a built-in slide slide sheet to make the slide easier.
  • Car adaptations may be needed to help you to get in and out of the car seat. A swivelling car seat can be installed with a manual or powered control. Some seats can also be raised to assist standing from the seat. Swivel seats work better with two or three-door cars, because the doors are wider. Always check with the supplier which model will fit your car.
  • Hoists can also be fitted to your car to lift you into the driver or passenger seat. These can be internally fixed in the car, or external devices. Always check with the supplier which model will fit your car.
  • A wheelchair accessible vehicle may be the solution: with manual or powered ramp or built-in hoist for access. Adapted hand controls are also available: call us for information about local specialists for adapted vehicles.
  • Also see ‘Before You Buy a Portable Ramp‘.