As we are able to see family and friends now more than we have been in the last 18 months, getting out to restaurants, celebrating birthdays, and even going to a favourite shop can help us feel more connected.

If you’re carpooling with a loved one who is not as agile as they used to be, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure both you and they are safe and can enjoy your time together! 

  • Always offer to provide help instead of assuming they need it. This way, your loved one can let you know how best to help them, or if they want to try something on their own.
  • Encourage your passenger to wear appropriate footwear to get up and down stairs, to walk across different terrains, and to provide good grip while transferring in and out of your vehicle.
  • While it may be appreciated for you to offer your arm, never lift someone else into or out of your vehicle as you may injury yourself.
  • If your friend has a cane or a walker, encourage them to use it and bring it along, storing it safely in your trunk once they’re settled into their seat.
  • Look into using assistive devices to help them get in and out of a vehicle like a slide board.
  • Make sure you’re each communicating steps along the way, so both of you know what the other is doing.
  • If they’re using a walker or wheelchair, make sure the wheels are locked once they’re positioned to transfer into the car. 
  • Ask them for feedback and see if you can do anything else to make it more enjoyable next time.

By following these helpful tips, you can help avoid falls, and give someone the confidence and comfort to get out and about with you time after time! 

If you’re loved one is no longer able to get themselves in and out of a vehicle, you can also look at local transportation services geared to helping older adults or people with different abilities, like Waterloo Region charity Community Support Connections. Many municipalities also provide accessible transportation through their public transit programs as another option.