Steering Wheel Attachments for Drivers with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can commonly cause joint pain in key areas of the body which are used frequently and have worn down over time. For many people this means the fingers and wrist which are two key parts of the body required for driving. Turning the steering wheel with an arthritic condition can be incredibly difficult, especially if the arthritic driver also has joint problems in their knees, leg, feet or all three.
Steering wheel attachments, sometimes referred to as ‘steering wheel aids‘ allow for drivers with conditions such as paraplegia, multiple sclerosis and arthritis to turn their car safely and as comfortably as possible despite their conditions. For example, MPS Monarch and Mobility Products and Design both manufacturer a steering wheel ‘palm spinner’ which allows the driver to bypass the requirement of having a strong grip in order to turn the wheel and relies almost entirely on the strength of the entire arm and hand.
Both of the devices are very similar and you can find out about MPS Monarch palm spinner here, or MPD’s palm grip aid here. Both products allow for the hand to be inserted onto a foam pad, which is surrounded by two malleable metal covers. These covers can be slowly pushed into position to encase the hand with the palm resting on the foam pad. To turn the steering wheel the arthritic hand simply has to move one way or another and at no point do the fingers need to grip the wheel like is usually required. I would definitely recommend palm spinners as one of the most useful arthritic steering aids.
If you find that the steering wheel is too far away and you’d like for your palm spinner attachment to be placed closer towards you then that’s also possible too because both of these disabled vehicle manufacturers produce steering wheel extension platforms which can extend the reach of the palm spinner.
Finally I’ll lastly point out that if you have arthritis in just one hand it might be worth getting a spinner knob for your steering wheel. These steering wheel knobs are generally used for paraplegic drivers who only have one free hand to help them turn the steering wheel. However since a driver with an arthritic condition may be in the same situation then purchasing a steering knob might be worth looking into and can be used in conjunction with a palm spinner aid.
Easy Car Ignition Key Grips for Arthritic Drivers
Let’s forget for one moment the arthritic drivers who have joint pains in their knees, elbows and hips and focus for a few moments on people who have joint pains in their fingers, hands and wrist. For these people it’s hell to start the car’s engine by turning the key and hence there are a number of different options available for you. Firstly MPD’s car key extension is a simple but incredibly useful key ignition aid for drivers with arthritis. It affords the driver a much greater surface area to hold onto plus its distance from the key increases the leverage thus decreasing the effort required to turn the steering wheel.
There are other products I’ve read about such as a completely key-less start but the problem with this is that its not available as an additional extra which you can simply purchase and install on your own car. It’s manufactured and installed into the Infiniti M35x (and yes I don’t know why they feel the need to purposefully misspell words to make them sound cool either).
Extension Car Equipment
The final topic which I’ll go into today is regarding car extension equipment. I’ve been specifically asked about gear shift driving extension aids but there’s actually a lot of various extension equipment on the market which is serve as incredibly useful arthritic car aids.
I suggest you check out the Mobility Products and Design car extension equipment page which outlines information on steering attachment extensions, parking brake extensions, gear stick extensions, turn signal extensions and many many more. You may very well find what you’re looking for and MPD has the largest amount of extension controls available at the moment.
Most of their extension equipment is aimed at paraplegic drivers who are using hand controls but there’s plenty of cross over. For example I can imagine a right hand turn signal extension rod would be very useful when used in conjunction with a palm spinner. It would allow for the driver to control both the turn signals and the steering wheel in just one place. Plus it would also be possible to adjust the car’s key extensions to also point to a similar area which would make driving with arthritis even easier.