Best car for elderly passengers


#1

I am responsible for much of the transportation for some elderly friends, 94 and 95. I have a 2 door Civic and Villager minivan. Each presents problems for the 5 foot 94 year old and the 6 foot 95 year old who uses a walker.



What would be a good car for their ease of entry and exit? Two suggestions I have heard are Acura and Impala, neither of which I have known.


#2

My grandfather has a Lincoln Continental. He doesn’t drive anymore by the way, just rides. He is 5’8" 90 years old and it is perfect for him to get in and out. He doesn’t have to step up or down and the seats are the right hight for ease of movement to and from a walker. A cheaper alternative would be a Crown Victoria or a Grand Marque.


#3

I would certainly look at the style of boats suggested by jsutter. They may be just the ticket. But I also know that a lot of older people actually like the minivans b/c they are easy. So I wonder if it isn’t that the Villager is too high to step up into.

If so, you might do a quick shop for some kind of add-on product, such as a flip down step or something like that. Many of these are fully modified to do wheel chairs. I’m sure that is very expensive but I’d be surprised if there weren’t reasonable “helper” types of products that could be easily installed.


#4

A vehicle with a high step in/out is what you need. Not a climb up like an SUV. A crossover or high wagon Mitsu Outlander, Vibe/Matrix, Mazda5, etc. Also the Chrysler 300 and Magnum have a high step in/out. Big sedans (Lincolns/Mercury’s) often associated with old people usually have a bit of a climb to get up and out. Get a vehicle that doesn’t require up or down movement.


#5

Crown Vic or Grand Marquis. If you’re over 70 I think it’s a law that you have to own one.


#6

This is not so easy. Everyone with physical problems has something different to deal with. Some folks have trouble stepping up high, while others who are seated low have trouble pulling themselves up and out.

I don’t think there is any vehicle that solves all problems for all handicapped persons. If you find one let us know. Until then, use what you have. Do as I do and show patience; lend the helping hand when needed.


#7

My neighbor has a bad back and another friend has arthritic knees. Both are satisfied with a Honda CR-V. You might also check out similar small SUVs like the Rav-4, Escape/Mariner/Tribute, and others.


#8

My grandmother and great aunt/uncle love their Foresters for the entry/exit height & ease beyond the AWD traction they need in their parts of NH white mountains.

I think small SUV’s are a great recommendation.


#9

This is what I’d look into, or maybe even a portable ramp you could store in the back of the van after they get in. maybe get some red velvet carpet put on it to tell them you’re giving them the red carpet treatment.


#10

If you are looking for late models a Ford 500 or new Taurus (which is the 500 with a different name).

The Crown Vic and Grand Marquis are, of course, old standbys for the elderly set. They have lots of room in the trunk for walkers and such, easy to slide in and out of, and plenty of leg room. Lincoln Town Car is a slightly stretched version of the same chassis.


#11

The Crown Vic and Lincoln Town Car are the most affordable solutions that are simple and durable vehicles. I’d opt fot the Town Car since it’s a little more luxurious with nicer styling. The ride will be nice and smooth for your older riders as well. However if you live in a snowy climate the rear wheel drive may be an issue. It’s fairly hard to recommend a vehicle without knowing your price range, climate, etc.


#12

My wife’s mother (wheelchair bound, but can take a few steps) has an easier time getting in and out of my 93 Caprice, but we usually take her out in a Toyota Sienna so we can fit the wheelchair in the back. We use a small stepstool to get her in and out of the van.

Ed B.


#13

I can’t believe those two choices. A Taurus is still better. A new one. Or the previous model called the 500. Accord isn’t bad and Camry is about the same. Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis are huge and low enough for small people but they are tanks.


#14

“Accord isn’t bad”

No! The Accord sits very low to the ground, meaning that passengers must lower themselves in order to get in, and climb up in order to get out, both of which are very difficult for the infirm and elderly.

The best, IMHO, is the Subaru Forester, which has seats that are exactly “butt-height”. No need to lower one’s self, or to climb out–just slide in and slide out. Some other smaller, crossover SUVs, namely the CR-V and the RAV-4, are similar, but not quite as good in this respect.


#15

I drive an Accord every day and I can tell you, unequivocally, that it is too low. So are the other sedans you mention. These folks need something that they can slide into with as little hip and knee flexing as possible. And minivans are too tall; you have to step up to get in them (I’ve got one of those, too). Small SUVs seem to meet those requirements.


#16

Here’s a bit of a crazy suggestion. Take a yard stick and figure out what the ideal seat height would be for these two passengers. Then wander through a parking lot with said yard stick and size up some popular new cars to give you an idea of what to investigate more thoroughly.

Although knowing some more details would help…But alas, the poster has abandoned their own thread it would appear.


#17

Thanks to all for these wonderful suggestions. No, I did not abandon the thread, I honestly didn’t think there would be so much response in so short a time so gave it a couple of days. I also had a challenge trying to get back to this thread. Now that I recall the exact title, it should be easier.

I am a self-employed CPA fresh off a horrendous tax season and spend a good bit of time on a tax listserv with other practitioners. There are all those extensions in my pile staring at me now, too.

I really like the Forester idea and, generally, the small SUV. It will be easy to check a Forester as another person at church has one we can test for ease of entry and exit. I also like the “Measure butt height” suggestion but that might be a bit intrusive. These folks are not my family.

Thanks again for the great responses. I will try as many as practicable and let you all know, although it may be several days.