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Making car transfers easier with the right tools

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 3:16 PM
Yesterday I was out with friends at Joe's Deli in Rocky River. Their food is terrific and they are very senior-friendly. (That always gets an extra star in my book.)
As we were leaving the restaurant, we noticed an older couple. The 80+ year old husband was struggling to get his frail wife transferred from her portable wheelchair back into his car. God has a way putting us right where we need to be, as my friend, who is also certified in home health care and I went over to offer him assistance.
He was very grateful stating,  "Thank you so very much. I have a hard time getting Theresa back in the car. We've been married 65 years and we have always liked to go out."
After we got Theresa settled, I suggested that the husband keep a kit in his car that might make their outings more enjoyable. 
The kit should include;
  • An intact top sheet or extra large bath towel/sheet from your linen closet
  • A large, heavy duty garbage bag
  • These two simple household items are some of a caregiver's best tools.
The instructions are as follows:
  • Fold the sheet once or twice and drape it over the car seat so that there is extra fabric falling down on both sides of the seat.
  • Then, smooth out the garbage bag or other heavy duty plastic, placing it over the top of the sheet.
  • Now, when you transfer your loved one into the seat, the slickness of the garbage bag allows for easy turning to the left, while swinging her legs into the car if she is unable to do so for herself. 
  • Should you still need to shift her position, close the passenger door, and move to the driver's seat. While leaning or kneeling on the driver's seat, grab the side of the sheet that is facing you and gently tug until she is positioned comfortably in the car.
  • Don't forget to fasten her seat belt and yours too!
You are on your way.
Remember, when caregiving...
No matter what the task, always ask your loved one for his/her help. Let him/her do for him/herself first!

And, with winter just around the corner, add to the kit above:
  • A blanket
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable snacks such as cheese and crackers
Then, you'll be prepared if you get stuck in the snow.
Make it a great day!

Categories: Elder Care

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