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Senior Friendly Guide to Cars: Comfort

This post is part of a three-part series that explains elder friendly features for cars.

Elder Friendly, Comfort-Related, Features of Cars:

Keyless Ignition, Power Door Locks, Heated Seats

We should not underestimate the importance of a comfortable driving experience for aging drivers. Aside from any sort of accidents or any irregularities, passengers and drivers alike are frequently forced into strange, unnatural positions in the process of performing various tasks. Especially for older drivers, it is important to minimize any sort of preventable discomfort. With aging, flexibility decreases, arthritis (and its accompanying limitations) becomes a bit more prevalent, and naturally reaching that ideal state of comfort becomes somewhat difficult. To compensate for these sort of inadequacies, aging adults need to pay particular attention to an automobile’s comfort friendly features.

What Seniors Should Look for in a Car to Maximize Comfort

Keyless Ignition

It sort of looks like a key, it sort of acts like a key, but a key isn’t actually involved. The door and the ignition are automatically “unlocked” when you approach the area with the key-like object. And when you are ready to turn the car on, all you have to do is press a start button. No need to worry about getting the key stuck in the ignition. Seniors with arthritis will find the keyless ignition a noteworthy feature, as they don’t have to deal with the painful minutia of twisting and turning a key in the right direction. A keyless ignition also functions as a safeguard against car thefts.

Lexus LS 460

Even with a luxury vehicle like the LS 460, the keyless ignition is more than just a fancy gadget that is bound to impress your passengers. This Lexus model provides drivers with convenience and pain free-driving. As Marcy O’Koon, editor of Arthritis Today, explains, “”Would people with arthritis pay more for cars with push-button ignition? Absolutely.”

Power Door Locks

Power door locks allow the driver (or often the front passenger) to either lock or unlock all of the doors by simply pressing a button or flipping a switch in a certain direction. One can control power door locks from either inside the car, or outside of it by holding down a button on a remote control key fob. This sort of central locking system is an asset for senior drivers with limited mobility and flexibility, who can’t reach all the way across the car or don’t want to walk all the way around the vehicle to deal with locking up.

Infiniti G Sedan

Power door locks, which can be activated from both the outside and the inside of the car, are something of a standard feature with luxury vehicles. The G Sedan is no different but comes with a nice additional feature: if you accidentally unlock the car while you are walking away from the vehicle, and the door goes untouched for a few minutes, the door automatically re-locks itself.

Heated Seats

Heated seats are a nice feature for those of us with bad, achey backs. Older adults are prone to throbbing back conditions due to possibly arthritis or a lifetime’s worth of poor posture. While heated seats do not guarantee long-term solutions, they will most likely provide our back aches with temporary relief.

Mercedes-Benz S550

If you have back pain and need some relief while driving, then the S550 is your best bet. Not only does it come with the standard heated seats feature, but the vehicle also boasts a massaging system.

0 Responses to Senior Friendly Guide to Cars: Comfort

  1. diana Lynn April 4, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Hi,
    I am looking at new vehicles and wondered which vehicles provided the greatest amount of space for driver
    and seat capacity for a larger woman in 60’s. I just test drove a Honda Civic and was completely unable
    to feel comfortable in the seat. It was far too small..so are there any cars that have bigger sized seats and larger area around the driver area. I have hip problems so it is difficult for me to get in and out of cars so the
    honda civic is out of the question since I have hurt my hip getting in and out of it. Please write back soon since I would like to get something very soon.

  2. TonyDonaldson April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Diana,

    There are a number of choices, not sure of your criteria. One car I’ve liked is the Scion xB. They’re easy to get in and out of, certainly more than a Civic, in that they are a higher profile vehicle and don’t require you to go so low to get in and out of. They’re also roomier inside than they look from the outside, and pretty good on gas mileage. The first generation of the xB had even better mileage. If you’d like to stick to Honda, the Element offers similar comfort in a slightly bigger vehicle, and the rear doors open the other way to make loading groceries and passengers into the back pretty easy.

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