The Best Cars For Seniors With Arthritis (Or Mobility Issues)

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What are the best cars for seniors with arthritis or mobility issues?

1 billion people – or 15% of the world’s population – have some form of disability. Disability puts certain limits on one’s lifestyle, but luckily, modern technology can alleviate many of the inconveniences caused by mobility issues.

In terms of accessibility, cars are better than ever. If you have the budget to afford a brand-new car, you’ll be getting access to features such as advanced traffic assists, voice controls, cruise control that adapts to road conditions, and more. Back pain sufferers or those who have hip pain/back pain from driving will surely be thrilled about the recent advancements in car comfort.

Today, we would like to introduce you to what we think are the most comfortable cars for seniors. This is by no means an in-depth car guide – rather, our goal is to give you an idea of the options available to senior citizens with mobility issues.

To hopefully give you a head start, we’ll also provide a few tips for what to look for in a disability-friendly car.

All in all, our goal is to breakdown the best cars for seniors with arthritis, disabilities, and mobility issues, and also go over the various add-ons and adaptations you can get to further ensure you get the vehicle you need.

6 Best Cars For Drivers With Arthritis And Mobility Issues

 

1. Chevrolet Impala

 

A 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
A 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Photo by Kevauto on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

If you want an American-made sedan, look no further than Chevrolet Impala. Impala allows you to get access to modern comfort and assist features at a relatively low price point.

Notable features:

  • Lane keep assist with departure warning.
  • Forward collision alert.
  • Automatic emergency braking.
  • Rear vision camera and rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Surround Vision to show you the surroundings of the vehicle, which is super-helpful when parking.
  • Compatibility with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa.
  • Extremely user-friendly controls.
  • Heated driver seats and steering wheel.
  • 8-way power-adjustable front seats.
  • Tilting and telescoping steering column (either power or manual).

2. Subaru Forester

 

A 2019 Subaru Forester.
A 2019 Subaru Forester. Photo by Kevauto on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

Subaru Forester is a very pocket-friendly SUV, but it still has plenty of features to make your life easier.

Notable features:

  • DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation system to keep distracted or fatigued drivers focused on the road.
  • Blind-Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear-Vision Camera, and Reverse Automatic Braking.
  • SOS Emergency Assistance with a push of a button.
  • Integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Touchscreen with voice navigation.
  • Spacious interior with power-adjustable front seats.
  • Power rear gate with automatic close.
  • Keyless push-button start.
  • Adjustable steering column.

3. Toyota Camry

 

A 2018 Toyota Camry.
A 2018 Toyota Camry Ascent. Photo by EurovisionNim on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

Toyota Camry provides buyers with affordable access to hybrid technology. If you are looking to switch to more environmentally-friendly tech, Camry is perhaps a good place to start.

Notable features:

  • Gas and hybrid packages available.
  • Push-button start with Smart Key System.
  • Touchscreen (up to 9 inches) with six speakers.
  • Compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging.
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
  • Heated/ventilated front seats.
  • Blind Spot Monitor to warn you when another car enters a blind area on either side of your Camry.
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera for an overhead panoramic view of your surroundings.
  • Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help you avoid collision with nearby obstacles.
  • Tilting and telescoping steering wheel.

4. Jeep Grand Cherokee

 

A 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
A 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Photo by Elishur19 on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

The iconic Grand Cherokee is a must to consider if you are contemplating buying an SUV. Aside from modern features, the modern Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup is prized for its recognizable sleek look.

Notable features:

  • A luxurious, extremely spacious interior.
  • ProTech I or II with safety features like Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Lane Keep Assist, Forward-Collision Warning, and more.
  • Support of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa.
  • Remote vehicle controls and vehicle finding with SiriusXM Guardian.
  • SOS Call to connect you with roadside assistance or first responders.
  • Driver seat with power adjustment.
  • Tilting and telescopic steering wheel.

5. Volvo S60 Recharge

 

A 2019 Volvo S60.
A 2019 Volvo S60 sedan. Photo by Vauxford on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

Regarded as one of the safest car brands in the world, Volvo was bound to make an entrance to our list. More specifically, we decided to feature the Volvo S60 Recharge – a luxurious hybrid sedan.

Notable features:

  • Blind Spot Information System with steer assist.
  • 360-degree birds-eye parking view thanks to four HD cameras.
  • Cloud-based real-time information about traffic conditions ahead.
  • Run-off mitigation system to help you stay on the road.
  • Head-up display to allow you to watch your speed, follow navigation instructions, and more without having to turn your head.
  • Lane assist system.

6. Honda Odyssey

 

A 2018 Honda Odyssey.
A 2018 Honda Odyssey. Photo by Kevauto on Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized from original.

Honda Odyssey is a wonderful minivan at a very budget-friendly price. Packed with features, Odyssey is one of the best family car options that drivers with limited mobility can find.

Notable features:

  • Keyless Smart Entry system based on proximity.
  • Automatic braking with Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and more.
  • Blind Spot Information System.
  • Snow Mode to help you stay in control in snowy conditions.
  • Multi-angle rearview camera.
  • Power tailgate.
  • Integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Remote car status with the HondaLink app.
  • Adjustable steering column.

What Should You Look For In An Elderly-Friendly Car?

Pretty much any modern car is accessible to drivers with limited mobility, but you should still carefully consider features with each model. These days, brands pack their cars with dozens and dozens of safety and comfort features, so you should do your homework to understand your options.

To hopefully help you get started, let’s have a look at a few arthritis-specific must-haves, as suggested by the UK Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (plus a few of our own recommendations). The suggestions and information should be helpful and applicable for all sorts of issues, be it back or hip pain, mobility issues, disability, and other conditions that can limit movement.

Getting in and out

  • Smooth and non-stiff doors.
  • Wide door openings.
  • Narrow, low sills or no sills at all.
  • Conveniently placed handholds.
  • Seat heights that suit your preferences.
  • Power-adjustable front seats (that is, seats that are adjusted with a push of a button).
  • Adjustable steering column.
  • Adjustable pedals.

Locking and ignition

  • Keyless entry via a card or some sort of proximity sensing system.
  • Push-button start.
  • Remote and central locking.
  • Automatic window closing when the car is locked.

Primary controls

  • Automatic transmission.
  • Power-assisted steering.
  • Cruise control.
  • Non-stiff handbrakes (some cars have push-button handbrakes).
  • Lane keep assists.

Secondary controls

  • Electric windows.
  • Electric and heated door mirrors.
  • Heated windscreen.
  • Panoramic rearview mirror.
  • Reversing camera.
  • Park assist.
  • Parking sensors.
  • Voice controls.

Boot features

  • No sill or low sill.
  • Reachable boot lid when the boot’s open.
  • Internal boot release button.
  • Space for your mobility equipment, like a scooter or wheelchair.

Add-Ons And Modifications That Can Make Your Car More Accessible

Some car brands or dealers offer add-ons for increased accessibility – definitely do inquire about these when shopping for a car. Among the things that you should be looking for are:

  • A steering ball or spinner to help you steer one-handed.
  • Extra padding on the steering wheel.
  • Amputee rings to help you steer.
  • Scooter/wheelchair lifts.
  • Hand-controlled clutch pedal.
  • Left-foot accelerator pedal.
  • Hand controls (like levers or buttons) to replace pedal functionality.
  • Extensions to secondary controls like lights (useful in case you can’t reach the controls at the steering wheel with one of your hands).
  • Panoramic rear-view mirrors.

You may actually add upgrades like these to your current car, which could be the best course of action if your vehicle, all in all, satisfies your needs. But accessories aren’t cheap – hand controls are between $500 to $2,000, while scooter lifts can cost as much as $14,000.

Can People With Limited Mobility Get Financial Assistance To Buy A Car?

If you are looking for financial assistance, you should investigate local grant programs. Check out this list from Brandl Mobility Finance to get started.

In some areas, drivers with disabilities may have access to other forms of financial support. In the United Kingdom, for example, disabled drivers are offered parking benefits, vehicle tax reduction or exemption, and VAT (value-added tax) relief, among others.

In case there are no direct ways of financial support for vehicle owners, you should try to get assistance elsewhere. In the United States, people with disabilities have access to a range of support services that can help them cut costs of medical care and insurance, and not only.

Look up local laws and regulations to see if there is anything like this available to you.

Make Sure To Keep Your Needs In Mind When Looking For A Car

To hopefully make your car more ergonomic and easy-to-control, you should shop with your limitations in mind. You should also perhaps consult your doctor – maybe they can give you specific recommendations for your condition.

All in all, finding the right vehicle as a driver with arthritis or mobility issues isn’t a simple matter, but the good news is that there are many options and add-ons at your disposal to make sure you get the setup you need!

 

 

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