Wheelchair Transfer Techniques

We provide vital wheelchair transfer instructions that may help you when you are transferring an individual or you are being transferred by a caretaker.
You can find in-depth tips and instructions into every type of wheelchair transfer possible. We also provide information on how to properly transfer a user from almost every type of surface.

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Safe_Transfer_wheelchair-techniques

Wheelchair Transfer Techniques

How to properly perform a wheelchair transfer? Many wheelchair users and relatives are unfamiliar with a proper method of transferring to a wheelchair. This guide is intended to assist, and educate anyone who is attempting to and or will transfer to and from a wheelchair.

One important thing to consider before attempting wheelchair transfer techniques is to ensure the user of the chair is comfortable and capable of transferring without injuring themselves or others. Always consult with a physician, or doctor prior to attempting a wheelchair transfer.

What to know before a Wheelchair Transfer Techniques

Before attempting to perform wheelchair transfer techniques, it is best to know the patients needs, as well as the wheelchair you will be dealing with. Below are some examples of different wheelchairs in the market.

wheelchair to bed transfer

Wheelchair to Bed Transfer Techniques

Transferring an individual from a bed to a wheelchair; a caregiver must be present for this type of transfer.

Pull bed sheet down to the foot end of the bed. Suggest to the person who is transferring out of the bed, to face up and scoot to the end of the bed where the caregiver is positioned. Caregiver must place one hand over the knee of the individual, and the other hand under the outer shoulder of the person.

wheelchair to car transfer

Wheelchair to Car Transfer Techniques

  • To allow a clean transfer from wheelchair to a car, you should if possible, swing away or remove the footrests to enable a clear path of transfer.
  • Sliding the car seat as far back as possible allows you optimal room to engage the transfer.
  • Assist the user while they move towards the edge of the wheelchair seat
  • After they are close to the edge of the seat, they can go ahead and lean forward towards the caregiver.

wheelchair to couch transfer

Wheelchair to Couch Transfer Techniques

Wheelchair to couch transfers are very similar to wheelchair to toilet techniques. You want to have the chair on the edge of the sofa, as close as possible.

You can support yourself during the transfer by holding onto the hand rim of the wheel on the opposite side of the couch. You want to line up the wheelchair so that the couch is directly besides the chair when in the action of transferring.

wheelchair to toilet transfer

Wheelchair to Toilet Transfer Techniques

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.

Transport Wheelchair

Transport wheelchairs are the perfect choice for transporting someone to and from the places you would love to travel with. A transport wheelchair is generally narrower and lighter than a standard wheelchair, making it a good choice for tight obstacles and narrow entryways

Lightweight Wheelchair

With weights ranging from 25-34 pounds, our lightweight wheelchair is a great choice when you need a wheelchair that is more frequently used, when you need special options, or when you have your heart set on a specific frame and/or upholstery color combination. Utilizing a lightweight wheelchair also allows oneself to perform a wheelchair transfer with ease, rather than to deal with a much heavier wheelchair.

Ultralightweight Wheelchairwheelchair-transfer-techniques

This is the category of wheelchairs where the best of the best resides.  With wheelchair weights as low as 14.5 pounds and available in both S-ERGO and simply super lightweight models, an ultralight weight wheelchair is for the full-time user who demands performance and for those who want the lightest wheelchair possible for ease of self propel, transport, and to perform a wheelchair transfer.

 

Tilt / Recline Wheelchair

A reclining back or otherwise known as a “high back” wheelchair is a great option for those who spend the majority of their time in a wheelchair as it offers more positions to recline.  And a tilt wheelchair offers alternative positioning and pressure relief for those who are requiring further pressure relief for prolonged usage of a wheelchair. When attempting a wheelchair transfer, be sure to have the wheelchair in the seated position, and not in its “tilt” position.

Heavy Duty Wheelchair

Our Bariatric Wheelchair has a maximum weight cap of 800 pounds, these heavy duty wheelchairs can accommodate nearly any user with a maximum seat width of 30″ in width. Many bariatric wheelchairs have removable or flip back armrest, allowing an individual to perform a wheelchair transfer from the side of the chair.

Standing Wheelchair

Standing in a wheelchair is one of the most influential products we’ve designed and manufactured in our efforts to allow the mobility impaired to take their lives back into their hands.  We didn’t stop by just allowing people to stand in a wheelchair; we made it the most competitive price product in its category driving economy into everyday house holds. 

Our Karman XO series standing wheelchairs allow users to easily perform a wheelchair transfer by two methods, either by transferring sideways with the flip back armrest and side panels, or utilizing the standing function and if physically able to, perform safely a wheelchair transfer from the standing position.

Six Steps to A Safe Wheelchair Transfer

STEP 1: Determine the patient’s needs

  • Ask the patient or caregiver about
    • preferred transfer method
    • patient’s ability to help
    • use of special padding or a device for collecting urine
    • probability of spasms
  • Reduce the patient’s anxiety by announcing each step of the transfer before it begins.

STEP 2: Prepare where the patient will be transferring too

  • If transferring to a wheelchair, be sure to have armrest removed or flipped backwards to avoid contact or injury.
  • Remove the footrest, or swing away to prevent feet from becoming tangled when performing the wheelchair transfer.
  • Position the wheelchair either at the same height or slightly lower to assist in a safe and proper wheelchair transfer.
  • Depending on transfer method, having the wheelchair parallel to transfer point may also allow for a more safe and easy wheelchair transfer.
  • Ensure wheel locks are set and wheelchair is stable.

STEP 4.1 : Perform the two-person transfer

  • Support the patient while detaching the safety belt.
  • Transfer any special padding or equipment from the origin transfer point to the wheelchair.
  • First clinician: Stand behind the patient. Help the patient cross his arms across his chest. Place your arms under the patient’s upper arms and grasp his wrists.
  • Second clinician: Place both hands under the patient’s lower thighs. Initiate and lead the lift at a prearranged count (1-2-3-lift).
  • Both clinicians: Using your leg and arm muscles while bending your back as little as possible, gently lift the patient’s torso and legs at the same time.
  • Securely position the patient in the wheelchair and replace the armrest.

THE TWO-PERSON TRANSFER

First clinician stands behind the patient. Second clinician initiates the lift.

STEP 4.2 : Perform the one person wheelchair transfer

  • Ensure the patient is utilizing a gait or transfer belt
  • Stand as close to the user as possible. Be sure footing is as stable as possible. Proper shoes is also recommended as sandals or flats do not provide support for a safe wheelchair transfer.
  • Assist the patient in nearing the edge of the wheelchair.
  • Be sure the patients feet are under his or her body. Lift as the patient is pushing upwards.
  • Keep the patients weaker knee in between your own to assist and to slowly sit onto chair, bed, or desired transfer point.

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