Car Adaptations with Carers in Mind


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When considering car adaptations for a wheelchair user or someone with restricted mobility, the focus is usually – and understandably – on the needs of the disabled person.

But unless the car is being adapted in order to enable completely independent use (i.e. the person can enter and exit the car completely unaided, and is also the driver) it makes sense to also consider the needs of the person(s) providing assistance or who is sharing use of the car.

At Ransome Mobility we aim to provide complete mobility solutions that reflect the wider circumstances of someone’s life. We’ve been helping disabled people and their carers to achieve greater independence and ease of mobility for over 20 years, serving the whole East Anglia region as far afield as Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Peterborough. Here we spotlight car adaptations which have been designed with the needs of carers and other vehicle users especially in mind.

Help With Lifting

Even fully able bodied carers will usually have some difficulty when it comes to lifting another person or lifting a wheelchair, or both together, especially if it needs to be done on a fairly regular basis.

But it is possible, in fact, for carers themselves to be somewhat less than able bodied, either due to specific mobility or health issues of their own (e.g. a bad back), or simply if they are elderly.

So car adaptations which make lifting easier – or even unnecessary – are invaluable. We offer a range of options in this category including:

Swivel seats – The car seat swivels completely in and out of the car, enabling easier transfer to and from a wheelchair. In some cases, using a swivel seat will allow a wheelchair user to move themselves in and out of a wheelchair with little or no assistance from a second person. Where assistance is still required, this is greatly reduced compared to trying to manoeuvre someone out of a fixed position car seat.

Carony Turnout System – Consisting of a wheel unit and a dockable wheelchair, this system eliminates the need for lifting a person altogether. The disabled person stays in the wheelchair for the duration of the journey and the carer only has to stow or unstow the wheel unit, which weighs just 14kg.

Scooter and wheelchair hoists – If a wheelchair or scooter user is able to transfer themselves in and out of a car (perhaps with the help of a swivel seat), the wheelchair or scooter needs to be stored in the car for use at the other end of the trip. This can be made much easier with a powered hoist, which can be fitted to most conventional vehicles and which can cater for wheelchairs and scooters up to 200kg in weight.

Sharing the Driving

In addition to helping someone get in and out of a car, a vehicle may be fitted with a number of adaptations to allow them to drive. This could include push pull hand controls (for those unable to use foot pedals), or steering balls (for those with hand or arm limitations), among others.

But what happens if the disabled person shares the car with a non-disabled user, such as a spouse, carer or other relative? Being able to share the vehicle provides greater flexibility and opportunity for joint activities – for instance, sharing the driving on longer journeys.

Push pull hand controls – Our system is installed inside the steering column, thereby minimising the space required and enabling other drivers to operate the car as they wish.

Infra-red controls – These enable someone to operate important functions such as indicator lights and windscreen wipers without having to reach or operate the usual stem or dashboard controls. But the existing controls still operate as usual for other drivers that want to use them.

Steering wheel aids – A choice of knobs or balls can be attached to a steering wheel to allow people with limited hand strength to more easily grasp and control the steering wheel. Our range includes a quick release option allowing easy removal and reattachment according to whoever is driving.

Car Adaptations – We recommend a visit to our showroom in Ipswich to see and try out our full range of vehicle mobility aids, to find the perfect combination of vehicle adaptations to meet the requirements of both disabled people and their carers.