As a person who is new to the world of being a caregiver, you have quickly discovered not all cars are up to the task of transporting you and your passengers. While deciding that a new car is needed is not a difficult decision, narrowing down which car you are going to buy is a harder problem. By giving thought to the types of features that will best suit your new caregiving role, you can present your list of requirements to a car dealership salesperson. Consider these features before you step out the door ready to start your new car hunt.
The height of the vehicle is important, particularly if you are the caregiver of a person who is in a wheelchair. The safest way to move a person out of a wheelchair and into the car is to provide a seat where there is minimal difference between the height of the seat and the height of the wheelchair.
Full-size SUV's are not a good choice in this situation as their car seats are the highest from the ground out of all the vehicles available. By the same token, lowered cars will not work as the person exiting the wheelchair risks falling over as they try to lower themselves into the car seat.
A cross-over SUV is lower than a full-size SUV and has many of the other features you may like in a new car. Additionally, mini-vans also have a car seat height that will suit those who are unable to walk. While there is no comprehensive list available that shows the seat height for each vehicle on the market, a car dealership can provide this information to you once you have narrowed down your list of favourite cars.
As cars continue to benefit from technological advances, new features are added each year that will make your life as a caregiver a little easier. For example, consider these optional extras for your new car:
- Foot-activated rear opening. When struggling with your hands full of supplies, gone are the days of having to put everything down just to open the back hatch of an SUV. Some models now come with a sensor on the rear bumper to open the boot when you wave your foot under it.
- Inbuilt DVD player and screens. When you are spending a lot of time in the car with younger kids, keeping them distracted while you travel between medical appointments can be a chore. Combine an inbuilt DVD system with wireless headphones for the passengers so you can continue enjoying your radio station while they watch their favourite movies.
- A built-in GPS system located in your car's console makes driving around to new places a breeze. It can be difficult to try to read a map on your cellphone, not to mention being a driving distraction, but an in-car GPS will help you get to anywhere you need to go.
- Rear-camera during reversing. Running over a wheelchair is an expensive mistake, but if you choose a new vehicle with a rear-camera reversing system, you need never worry about what is behind your new car ever again.
Armed with this list of desirable features, you should be able to find a new car at the dealership to perfectly suit your role as a caregiver as well as the needs of your passenger. Don't put up with a car that is just going to get you around town when you can buy a more comfortable car that will keep everyone inside it happy. For more information on your options, contact local car dealerships.