Return to the Care Givers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

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

Posted by heidiho (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 8, 09 at 10:45

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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


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

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.


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

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.


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

Thanks for explaining it, Shambo!


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

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.


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

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.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Care Givers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here