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Adapting vehicles for Physical Limitations (online only)
November 2011
By Dr. Marion Somers

How can autos or mobile homes be adapted so someone doesnít have to limit travel abilities due to physical limitations? Mark in California, 48

There has been a tremendous improvement in this area in the last decade. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans can now be modified before they are purchased or on the aftermarket. No matter what your elderís handicap may be, vehicles today can be adapted so that even a quadriplegic or paraplegic can operate them.

Each limitation now seems to have its own set of adapted equipment. Iím talking about installing handicapped driving controls, safety travel chairs, and a lazy Susan-type of apparatus so a person can use his or her own body weight to work for them instead of non-functioning body muscle. Ramps can also be installed so itís easier to get in and out of the vehicle even if someone is confined to a wheelchair. There are also chair lifts available for installation.

Many elderly simply stop driving since it becomes to difficult to operate the vehicle. But as long as your elder has an ability that can be overcome by adapted equipment, consider exploring this option. It can be as simple as adding a larger rear-view mirror so he or she has a wider view of the back. Extra large side mirrors with a fisheye are also available in order to give your elder a different and better perspective of other traffic. Anything to enhance your elderís judgment and safety should be considered.

Finally, itís also crucial that you take various safety precautions when your elder is driving in case of emergency. This includes having safety flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, a small throwaway camera in case of an accident, a pad and pen, and an extra insulated camping blanket. Also be sure your elder ahs all emergency telephone numbers on one sheet of paper with them at all times, including roadside services.

Read more: http://www.retirementhomes.com/forum/Knowledgebase_C5/Doctor_Marion_F21/The_New_Retirement_Paradigm_P525/gforum.cgi?post=922;guest=3514383&t=search_engine#922#ixzz1aOVdkfSp

Over the last 40 years, Dr. Marion (Marion Somers, Ph.D.) has worked with thousands of seniors and their caregivers as a geriatric care manager and elder care expert. It is now her goal to help caregivers everywhere through her book (ďElder Care Made Easier\"), iPhone apps (www.elder911.net) web site, columns, public service announcements, and more. For more information, visit www.DrMarion.com


  November 2011 -- Online Articles
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>>Financial Costs of Caring for Parents
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>>Beware of Online Legal Forms
>>Are Your Vitamins Helping or Hurting You?
>>Travelitizers" The Real First Thanksgiving
>>Broadway: A Personal Perspective - "Follies"
>>A Home Cooked Thanksgiving Feast
>>Taking Care After Breast Cancer (online only)
>>Adapting vehicles for Physical Limitations (online only)
>>Six Tips to Ensure Allergies and Asthma Donít Ruin Holiday Cheer (online only)

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