Caring for an elderly or a disabled person can be a dauting task. It almost always requires a lot of driving time, to and from doctor’s appointments, hospitals, and pharmacies. Simple trips around town often turn into huge ordeals, when you are responsible for someone else’s needs. Driving while caring for someone else typically involves several distractions, and can often be dangerous for both drivers.
Believe it or not, there are certain car features that support caregiving efforts, and can make the job a bit easier. Here are a few features to shop for when looking for a new car:
Access for individuals. If you, or one of the passengers that you are caring for has limited mobility, space for ease of entry is a must in your vehicle. Whether you choose a van with space for a wheel chair, or a four-door crossover with levers for an elderly individual, you’re life will be a bit easier with these features. Depending on who you are caring for, it may be smart to avoid low-slung two-door cars, and tall trucks or SUVs. Instead, minivans, four-door cars, and crossovers are accessible to most individuals.
Minivans, unlike trucks and large SUVs, don’t require a huge step up to enter the vehicle, and their seats are at an appropriate level for adults to get in and out of. Similarly, many current minivans feature doors that can open and close remotely, so that you don’t have to open and close the doors for your patient. Similarly, crossovers ride relatively low to the ground, making it easy to load and unload. Make sure that the doors open wide and that the vehicle features plenty of interior space.
Access for items. Taking care of someone else usually requires travelling with a lot stuff. Perhaps you travel with a wheel chair or another medical device, or a series of diaper bags, regardless, having a spacious vehicle will pay off. Most four-door cars, minivans, and crossovers feature remote-opening rear trunks or hatches. These can be helpful if you travel with a lot of cargo. It may also be smart to take note of how high the cargo load floor is, especially if you’re caring for someone that has to travel with heavy equipment. Make sure that you won’t have to do too much lifting to get their items into the vehicle.
Helpful technological features. Caregiving can be made a lot easier by having a vehicle with updated technology. Depending on the needs of your patient, you may just need a nice radio that can play soothing music for an agitated rider. You may need a communication service that can easily connect you to emergency responders. Oftentimes, caregivers could be benifitted by a navigation system, that can quickly and efficiently point them in the direction of the nearest hospital or pharmacy. Standard navigation systems may be expensive, so you may want to opt for a portable GPS unit, which typically costs less and has many of the same features.
Safe and efficient driving are essential elements to being a caregiver. Fortunately, several new cars have standard features that make your job a bit easier. When shopping for your next vehicle, keep these features in mind, so that you can turn your focus to driving safe.