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Transferring an individual from a wheelchair to toilet

A caregiver must be present for this type of transfer.

This guide includes the following procedures:

  • 1. Starting Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet 
  • 2. Removing Footrests & Clearing a Path To Transfer
  • 3. Caregiver Positioning & Precautions
  • 4. Wheelchair User Shifting
  • 5. Standing & Transfer

For Wheelchair Transfers involving a wheelchair and toilet. We recommend having a raised toilet seat with arms, a raised toilet seat with arms helps ease this type of wheelchair transfer because it helps the wheelchair user by giving them something to hold onto for support, this will allow the transfer to be made with extreme caution and safety.

1. Starting Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet 

The wheelchair user should be currently sitting in a wheelchair, in a position where it is easy for them to transfer from the chair. When the user is ready, you should make sure that the brakes are engaged on both sides of the chair before attempting a transfer.

2. Removing Footrests & Clearing a Path To Transfer

The next step would be to remove any type of components of the chair that are in the way of an easy transfer. That would include footrests (if they are removable), leg rests, and/or any extra accessories or components that are removable. Some wheelchairs do not have the feature to remove the footrests, others allow you to "swing away" the footrests to the sides so that they are not in the way when attempting a transfer.

3. Caregiver Positioning & Precautions

You should be in the right position to attempt a wheelchair transfer. This means that if you are the caregiver, you should make sure that you are ready to support the user's weight in case you need to assist them during the transfer. The caregiver should also keep in mind which side of the user is their weak side, this allows you to know which side they are more likely to lean or fall over if that occurs.

The weak side of the user is determined by finding out which side they have a weakness in their extremities. This may include their arms & legs, depending on their current condition. If you are able to determine their weak side, you can position yourself so that your knees are between their legs, ready to support the knee in case they need help. Your hands should be positioned so that you are ready to support their hip area as well.

4. Wheelchair User Shifting

The user should now be in position to lift from the chair. This means that they are positioned at the edge of the wheelchair seat with some minimal momentum building towards the front of the chair. When they are at the edge of the seat, ask the user to ensure that their legs are level with the ground, and that their feet are positioned straight underneath the seat so that they are ready to stand up.

5. Standing & Transfer

When the user is in position and ready to stand, make sure that your hands are on their hip area. The user's arms should be positioned on top of the armrests to provide stability and support. Direct the user to lean towards the front of the chair, this will help the caretaker handle the weight of the user when they are assisting the person during a transfer. The user should push themselves upward and out of the chair. Their arms positioned on the armrests, and their feet leveled with the ground, which will help ease the pressure of the transfer for both parties.

Once they are in a standing position in front of the chair, the caretaker should shift their positioning towards the opposite end of the user's weak side( or their strong side). The toilet should be directly in front of the user when they are in a standing position after exiting the chair. They should face the front of the toilet, the user's eyes should be facing the wall where the toilet is facing.

Once they are ready to sit down, assist them by providing limb and hip support, then you will want to instruct them to slowly step back until they are positioned to sit in the center of the toilet seat. While doing this step, the arms of the toilet should help the user by providing support, the user should place their hands on top of the arms of the toilet.

Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet Tips

  • Make sure you allow the user enough time to complete each step without having to struggle with their body weight.
  • If able, the user should be able to lift some of the weight of their body out of the chair during the transfer, to allow an easy transition.
  • You should always double check the brake mechanisms of the wheelchair before attempting a transfer.
  • Remember that some bathroom surfaces may be slippery when attempting a transfer, some may not provide enough support to enable a wheelchair transfer.

And that is how you can properly transfer a person out of their wheelchair and into their toilet.

Karman Healthcare provides unique features on wheelchairs, this should allow individuals to find the perfect wheelchair for their daily needs and lifestyle.

We provide models of wheelchairs that are efficient for transfer, including wheelchair to toilet transfers.

If you are consistently having to transfer out of a wheelchair and onto a toilet, or from a wheelchair to , or any type of transfer, you should research information to buy a wheelchair that comes standard with flip back armrests, or removable armrests. This should help you and your caregiver to easily transfer in any type of situation.

This article is for an educated way to transfer a person from a wheelchair to a toilet seat, it is for educational purposes only, Karman Healthcare is not responsible for any type of injury that may occur while following these instructions, they are loosely based on CNA state exams nationwide.

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