The 7 Best Car Assist Handles for Seniors

car assist handle

Driving is often one of the first activities that becomes difficult for elderly individuals as they age.

While there are a number of reasons an older person may find driving more problematic – from vision impairment to less hand-eye coordination – getting in and out of the car is one struggle that can be lessened through the use of aids like a car door latch.

Maintaining autonomy is critical to keeping seniors happy and confident, and through the use of a car assist handle, seniors can easily get in and out of their car without issue.

The right car assist handle can boost a senior’s ability to drive, allowing them to grocery shop, see friends, and do other daily tasks essential to everyday life and for maintaining independence.

Who Needs a Car Door Latch Grab Bar?

Many seniors are self-conscious about having difficulty climbing in or out of a car or are nervous about losing their balance. Others have recently had a hip or knee replacement and need assistance boosting themselves out of the car seat.

But, seniors who have difficulty getting up or down are not the only ones who can benefit from a car door latch bar. Even if a senior is in great shape, many cars are too low or too high to easily get into. 

If a car does not have a step to help get into the car, a car grab handle can just the right boost to get them in. Having an extra handhold also allows a senior to maintain balance and reduce the risk of falling.

Best Car Door Grab Bars

Companies like Emson have been creating products to help seniors live a more independent life for years. But, as the products gained popularity, there are now numerous options to choose from. 

Here are our top picks for the best car door latch grab bars and handles available:

1. Able Life Auto Assist Grab Bar

The Able Life Auto Assist Grab Bar is a durable and ergonomic car aide with a few unique features. It easily slides on to the U-bolt door latch for almost universal installation. It will be parallel to your car for a straight-forward assist. 

Able Life Auto Assist Grab Bar, Portable Vehicle Support Handle, Standing Mobility Aid, Includes Hidden Key Compartment

Able Life Auto Assist Grab Bar

  • Hooks onto car door latch
  • Plastic ergonomic grip
  • Includes secret key compartment

Weighing less than half a pound and made with a metal core and a plastic, ergonomic grip, stability and comfort are prioritized in this grip. 

Lastly, a secret, built-in key compartment keeps a spare house key close at hand without adding extra bulk. This could be a solid choice for a senior who needs extra stability and often forgets where they put their key

Key Features

  • Attaches to U-shaped door latch
  • Small handle fits in purse or glove compartment
  • Built-in key compartment 
  • Ergonomic, comfortable handle
  • Ice scraper feature on end of handle

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Ice scraper is helpful for snowy places
  • Key compartment keeps spare house keys safe and accessible
  • Metal core is incredibly durable

Cons

  • Short handle may not work for large hands
  • Only stationary under downward pressure

Stander Handy Bar

The Stander Handy Bar is a 3-in-1 car door handle assist bar to keep seniors autonomous. The bright-red handle is excellent for seniors who are losing eyesight. The included emergency window breaker and seat belt cutter give extra security to worried relatives too. 

Stander HandyBar, Portable Vehicle Support Grab Bar, Standing Assist Mobility Aid Handle, Car Emergency Escape Tool with Window Breaker and Seat Belt Cutter

Stander Hand Bar

  • Hooks into car door latch
  • Hard plastic with ergonomic grip
  • Includes window breaker and seat belt cutter for emergencies

This handle attaches perpendicular to the car on any U-shaped door striker. This handle is also a bit longer than others, providing more grip to unsteady people. 

Key Features

  • Visible, bright-red color
  • Ergonomic grip for over- or under-cling
  • Seat belt cutter and window breaker
  • Perpendicular attachment
  • 9” Handle
  • Grippy material

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

Pros

  • Bright red color helpful for users with poor vision
  • Seatbelt cutter and ice breaker provide peace of mind
  • High weight capacity for heavy individuals

Cons

  • Is not stable when attached parallel to the car

Able Life Auto Cane

The Able Life Auto Cane is a universal fit grab handle that comes in three lively colors: lavender, blue, and red. The comfort-grip handle is shorter than many at 5-inches long, but it has finger slots for a steadier grip

Able Life Auto Cane, Portable Vehicle Support Handle, Standing Mobility Aid, Car Assist Cane Grab Bar, Lavender

Able Life Auto Cane

  • Hooks into car door latch
  • Soft rubber handle with comfortable grooves
  • Comes in several colors

This auto cane slides in and out of any U-lock easily, offering optimal leverage when parallel to the vehicle. The lightweight design and small dimensions make it easy to slip into small purses or even a men’s front pocket if needed.

Key Features

  • Parallel attachment to any car door U-lock
  • Ergonomic, finger grip
  • Three color options: blue, red, or lavender
  • 5-inch handle
  • Lightweight

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros

  • Smallest handle on our list, great for seniors who use different cars
  • Soft rubber grips well, even with sweaty or clammy hands
  • Multiple color options appeal to picky users

Cons

  • 5-inch handle may be too small for some users
  • Some users found it too wobbly

Car Caddie

Stander’s Car Caddie is an adjustable strap and handle meant to assist someone exiting a vehicle. It can wrap around a metal door frame, handle, or another object to create a handle just beneath it.

Stander CarCaddie - Automotive Standing Aid and Adjustable Safety Vehicle Support Handle Portable Nylon Car Assist Device

Car Caddie

  • Handle strap design attaches to door frame
  • Ideal for exiting a vehicle

The strap length adjusts from 7 to 16-inches; this helps seniors who share a car and have multiple driver heights who each need assistance at different levels. 

Key Features

  • Strap and handle design fits most car, truck, or van frames
  • Adjustable strap and handle height
  • 5” ergonomic handle

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Pros

  • Can be installed multiple places in car or along window for driver or passenger
  • Adjustable height is best for various users of different heights
  • Semi-permanent, does not have to be removed with each use

Cons

  • Plastic buckle crushes easily
  • Rubber handle bends slightly under weight
  • Provides less stability than hard door latch units

Emson Car Cane

From the original car cane handle comes the Emson Car Cane. This particular car assist may be a good choice for those who tend to be rough on their belongings because it has a lifetime warranty.

The Original Emson Car Cane – All-in-One Auto Assist Handle with Built in LED Flashlight, Seatbelt Cutter, and Window Breaker – 100% Lifetime Guarantee, Batteries Included

Emson Car Cane

  • Hooks into car door latch
  • Includes window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and LED light

Also, the LED flashlight helps those with poor eyesight maneuver around their vehicle in the dark. The Emson Car Cane also has a window breaker and seatbelt cutter for those worried about safety in a car accident.

Made of forged aluminum, this ergonomic and substantial handle is incredibly sturdy. The curved handle shape ensures a convenient and simple assist for anyone unsteady on their feet.

Key Features

  • Lifetime guarantee 
  • LED Flashlight, batteries included
  • Window breaker and seatbelt cutter
  • Non-slip, cane-like handle

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

Pros

  • 100% guarantee is best for those tough on their gear
  • Multi-tool allows users to cut the clutter in their vehicle 
  • Parallel attachment helps users who have difficulty leaning forward before standing up to exit car

Cons

  • Flashlight gives some users difficulty turning on and off

Emson Round Car Cane

The Emson Round Car Cane attaches to almost any car’s door latch, providing a full circle of stability and multiple angles to grab on to. This product could be helpful to those who have trouble finding the right grip or need a larger target area to grab. 

Emson 9814 Limited Edition Round Car Cane Mobility and Standing Aid with Built-in Flashlight

Emson Round Car Cane

  • Attaches to door latch
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Round design makes it easier to grab from various angles

This round car cane also has a built-in flashlight. The lack of a seatbelt cutter can be seen as a benefit for people who drive in the dark, as there is no sharp spot to catch the skin between your thumb and pointer finger accidentally.

Key Features

  • Round edition with non slip grip
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Easy to store and find
  • Locks into door latch for stability

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

Pros

  • Rubberized top grip keeps users secure
  • Round shape is easy to grab and find in a purse
  • Flashlight can be used for safety and finding the U-latch at night
  • Lack of seatbelt cutter keeps hands and skin safe from cuts

Cons

  • Does not fit as many door jams as straight version

PushOn Car Assist Door Handle Grip

The PushOn Car Assist Door Handle Grip Kit comes with both an over-the-door car grab handle and a car door assist. This combo pack has high-quality nonslip foam grip on the grab handle, which attaches parallel to the vehicle.

Car Handle with Car Assist Door Handle Grip Strap, Glass Breaker and Belt Cutter- for Elderly and Disabled

PushOn Car Assist Door Handle Grip Kit

  • Car door latch assist + grab handle
  • Includes window breaker, belt cutter, and flashlight

The handle grip-strap attaches easily without tools using a simple buckle. It can be attached to a door frame, headrest, or roof handle for passengers anywhere in the vehicle. 

Both items are small and can fit within the glove compartment. This item is ideal for those who have two cars or need two handles to pull themselves up

Key Features

  • Two products in one
  • Nonslip foam grip
  • Glassbreaker, flashlight, and belt cutter built-in
  • Use Handle strap anywhere – not just the car
  • Handle adjusts height from 7 up to 16 inches

Product Specifications

  • Estimated Strap Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x 2 inches
  • Estimated Handle Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds each

Pros

  • Great value, as two products are included
  • Foam handle on car assist is easy on arthritic hands
  • Two hands allows for two-handed exit, best for unsteady persons

Cons

  • Some consumers were missing part of their order

Other Helpful Gear for Seniors in the Car

Handles that attach to the door frame or door latch may be the right move for those who have trouble getting in or out of a vehicle. But, sometimes, the handle needs to be in a different spot, or users have difficulty even turning to reach the handle.

GPCA Headrest Grab Handles

For those needing handles that do not need to be removed for every use, check out the GPCA Headrest Grab Handles. Built from solid aluminum, these sturdy handles attach to headrest anchors to create a handle directly behind the seat

GPCA Headrest Grab Handles PRO Universal for Jeep, Truck,Sports Car,Easy headrest Pole Mount for 4X4 Off-Road Backseat Passengers. GP Back Grip Patent Pending. (RED Aluminum)

GPCA Headrest Grab Handles

  • Ideal for backseat passengers
  • Provides more stability in the back seat

The GPCA Headrest Grab Handles come in three distinct colors: red, space gray metallic, and jet black. The red handles would be a quality choice for anyone who has difficulty seeing

Lastly, the handles come with an anti-scratch layer to keep the car in pristine condition. If you’re looking for a handle for back-seat passengers to feel more secure, this is a solid option. 

Key Features

  • Cushioned grip
  • 2 in pack
  • 8 ring mounting system (no tools required)
  • Anti-scratch coating

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Drive Medical Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion

The Drive Medical Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion assists older folk who may have difficulty turning to grab a handle or exit the vehicle. The swivel seat turns 360 degrees, allowing for much easier maneuvering in a small cab. 

Drive Medical Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion, Gray

Drive Medical Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion

  • Makes it easy to swivel around for entering and exiting a car
  • Comfortable, anti-slip base

The cushioned velvet seat is comfortable to sit on and rotates easily while the nonslip base keeps the passenger secure. 

Key Features

  • Cushioned velvet padding
  • Made from polyurethane foam
  • Non-slip base
  • 360 degree swiveling

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19” x 15.5” x 2” inches
  • Weight: 3.25 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Features to Consider in a Car Assist Handle

Similar to a bathtub safety rail, some car assist handles specialize in comfort and style, while others pride themselves on universal fit and portability. Understanding the goals of the individual and exactly what one’s needs are will determine the best choice. 

Here are important features and how they vary:

Handle Style

Handle styles vary in both shape and materials. More cushioned styles made of firm foam may be easier on arthritic hands than solid plastic handles. 

But, firmer handles made from rubber-like materials will have more grip. These give seniors more stability and security that their hand will not slip when standing up. 

Some door assists insert directly into the door latch, either perpendicular or parallel to the car. Depending on the senior’s strength and balance, one may be preferable to the other. These must be inserted then taken out every time they are used.

Other handles attach to metal door frames or the back of headrests. These can be placed semi-permanently, which is a great choice if a senior is unable to insert a handle themselves. 

Easy Installation

Car assist grab bars are portable and must be put on and off for every use. Inserted after opening the door, they are sturdy when downward pressure is applied.

Handles on lanyards attached to door frames stay in position as long as you like. For someone who has trouble seeing, this can be an excellent option. Often, the portable car assist handles are too difficult for people with poor eyesight to insert, as they are a bit like threading a needle. 

All of the car assist handles on our list fit most cars made in the past 25 years. A car door handle bar must attach to a U-latch on the door frame, while the lanyard handles can attach to any metal door frame. 

Size

Grab assist handles vary in length from 5 inches to 12 inches. These make them easy to pop in a purse, glove compartment, or even a jacket pocket. For seniors who use different cars or have visitors, small size is ideal. 

The lanyard-style handles are still portable, but the user must undo the buckle, unstring the handle, and reattach it on the new door frame. 

Car Door Assist Handle FAQs

How much weight can a car door latch hold? 

The Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, regulates that a door latch must withstand 2500 pounds of vertical force and 2000 pounds of horizontal force. 
Choosing the best car assist handle varies depending on one’s needs and preferences. Do you have a favorite car aide or car crutch? If so, let us know below in the comments.

Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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