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Transportation for the Elderly


About Me

Transportation for the Elderly

Hi. My name’s Betty. I’m sixty-two years old and live with my husband, Matt. My mother lives on our property, but at age ninety-one still insists on living alone. Mom has a good mind and for her age does well physically. She drove up until four years ago when we all decided it would be best for her to not be behind the wheel. It’s worked out well with her living on our property. Matt or I would take her places. We made sure she had groceries, made it to doctors appointments, and to her social engagements. About six months ago, however, Matt fell ill and our lives changed. I am his full-time caregiver, and Matt can no longer drive. I had to find help for my Mom which was difficult to do. I am going to share what I found and hope it helps you should you ever need transportation.

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If you have a loved one who is bound to a wheelchair, you may have recently equipped your van with a lift so that you can take them to their doctors' appointments. However, you may be nervous about loading them and their chair for the first time. If so, use the following tips for safely loading your wheelchair-bound loved one into your van.

Immobilize the Van

Before you even open the door and start lowering the lift, make sure your van is safely immobilized. Because the lift and actions involved in loading your loved one and their wheelchair could shift the weight of the van, you need to make sure it will not accidentally roll. 

Turn off the ignition, take the keys out, and set the emergency brake. Also, make sure the van is not in neutral, since being out of gear may cause the van to roll if pushed with even the slightest bit of pressure.

Apply the Wheelchair's Brakes Whenever It's Not Moving

Along with making sure the van itself will not roll, take steps to ensure the wheelchair will not roll away on its own by always applying its brakes whenever the chair is not moving. This includes applying the brakes on the lift and once the wheelchair is positioned inside the van.

Also, if there is any time during the loading procedure that you need to walk away from the wheelchair, always make sure the brakes are on. If you are not within a couple of feet from the chair, you may not be able to stop it if it starts to roll.

Double-check All Safety Straps on the Lift and inside the Van

Another way to ensure the safety of your loved one while they are being loaded and transported is to double-check all of the safety straps on the lift and inside the van. Look for any cuts, fraying, or detached pieces to make sure they will hold.

Check the straps before you load the wheelchair, as well as after you have secured them around the chair. Tug on them to make sure they will withstand the pressure that comes with a sudden pull or shift as could happen while on the lift or while riding down the road.

Using the above tips can help you load your loved one into your van while minimizing the risk of injury. However, if you do not feel as though you can safely load and transport them, contact a wheelchair-friendly medical transportation service to arrange for them to take your family member to their appointment.