The HandyBar attaches to your automobile’s door latch, acting as a temporary grab bar. It weighs about a pound and fits easily into a glovebox or door compartment. The ergonomic, non-slip handle measures 9 inches on its longest end, so it should fit most grips. It also features a few practical additions; it functions as a seat belt cutter or window breaker in an emergency, and the high-quality materials support weights of up to 350 pounds.
This is one of the highest rated automotive standing aids on the market, ideal for both caregivers and senior drivers. However, the HandyBar requires a U-shaped door striker latch; if your vehicle has a striker bolt, you’ll want to look elsewhere. With that said, this is a brilliantly designed product and an effective solution for most older adults.
Like the HandyBar, the Car Cane hooks into a vehicle’s chassis, functioning as a temporary handle. The forged aluminum head also doubles as a window breaker in case of emergencies, and the handle contains a built-in seat belt cutter. As a bonus, a built-in LED flashlight provides up to 100,000 hours of illumination. Emson also offers a money-back guarantee.
Unlike HandyBar, the Car Cane features a straight head that is designed to stay in place as you or your loved one moves out of the car. Of course, every car is different, so finding the right design for the intended vehicle of use is key.
This ergonomic car handle slides over the top of a vehicle’s frame, providing a comfortable and secure grip for people with mobility issues. To install it, open the car door and lower the window, put the strap around the highest point of the window outline, then snap the buckle. The strap is adjustable to accommodate users of different heights.
E-cowlboy’s car grab handle is made from durable nylon with a non-slip PVC grip, but some automotive windows may cut into the strap over time. Be sure to replace the product if it shows any obvious signs of wear.
If you’re looking for something that doesn’t attach to the car’s door latch, this auto mobility assist attaches to a car-seat headrest, adding a comfortable point of leverage for backseat passengers. Of course, it’s not as useful for drivers and front-seat passengers, but the high-quality materials make it an excellent option for worry-free use.
It installs in seconds without any extra tools; remove the headrest, then hook the loops around the posts on the base. Reinstall the headrest, and you’re ready to go. Since the aid can be left in place for as long as needed, it is ideal for traveling. Before ordering, make sure that your headrest can be fully removed from your car seat.
This bundle includes a car assist grip and a wearable transfer belt for helping people with more severe mobility issues. The assist grip swings over the top of a vehicle’s window, providing two comfortable handles. The transfer belt has six hand grips (two horizontal, four vertical) to allow caregivers to find the perfect leverage points.
This is a great set to help older adults enter or exit vehicles in a stable, comfortable manner. However, some buyers might not need the transfer belt, which would just be a waste if you’re only interested in the standing aid. With that said, the high-quality nylon materials should provide years of dependable service, and the adjustable standing aid should work with any vehicle.
Sometimes, simpler is better. The Maxsa 20120 is a basic handle that fits onto the back of a vehicle’s headrest. It’s available in two colors (black and grey), and it attaches firmly to provide secure leverage.
For obvious reasons, this handle is only compatible with vehicles that have removable headrests. It installs semi-permanently in seconds without any additional tools, but it’s only really useful for backseat passengers. The hard plastic material is sturdy, though it lacks padding—that will appeal to some buyers, but others might prefer a more comfortable grip.
When choosing an automotive standing aid, think carefully about the user’s mobility challenges. Consider whether or not the design will be an effective solution and realize that different users will have different needs.
Here are a few questions to consider when making your purchase:
Does the user just need a leverage point to pull themselves up or assist themselves down, or will they require a caregiver’s assistance to exit the vehicle? Do they have shoulder pain or back problems that make it difficult to reach overhead?
Questions like this will help guide you to the ideal standing aid. For instance, people with limited reach may prefer a support bar that attaches to a door latch. Users with plenty of upper body strength and limited mobility in the legs or hips may find an overhead car handle more useful.
Don’t forget to verify the device’s recommended weight limit. Most products that attach directly to the car’s frame will offer an upper limit of around 350 pounds.
Standing aids come in a wide variety of materials, from metal to nylon. Generally, you’ll pay more for a more durable device. If an older adult plans to use a standing aid daily or multiple times a week, it’s usually worth it to pay for the more durable option. Likewise, if you expect only occasional use, you may be able to save a little on materials.
Pay close attention to the standing aid’s attachment mechanism. If it attaches to a vehicle’s headrest, for instance, you’ll want to verify that your headrests are actually removable (this is the case with most modern vehicles, but certainly not all models). If the aid attaches to a vehicle door lock, make sure that your vehicle’s lock is situated appropriately—if it’s too low or high to provide leverage, you’ll want to keep looking.
Don’t let all the bells and whistles distract you. Just because an automotive standing aid comes with a built-in flashlight or added seat belt cutter doesn’t make it better. While multi-functionality can be useful, the main focus here should be on the standing aid suiting your unique needs. Tools like a window breaker also require prior instruction on how to properly use. That said, emergency car tools are a good idea to keep on hand, and we have a detailed review of some handy car safety hammers in the unfortunate off chance you need to use one.
Caregivers should work with seniors to choose appropriate standing aids for their unique situations. When used properly, these products can be extraordinarily helpful to individuals with mobility issues, giving them confidence, comfort, and a sense of independence.