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Tips on DOs & DON’Ts Wheelchair Transfer

By Heather Brown
January 21, 2015

Wheelchairs provide mobility for the disabled, elderly, injured and ill. However, transferring individuals from their wheelchair to a difference spot to sit or lay down can be done improperly, which potentially could cause serious injury. If your or a love one needs to be transferred from a wheelchair often it is wise to understand the Dos and Don’ts of wheelchair transferring.

Dos of Wheelchair Transferring

  • Always      prepare what the wheelchair patient is transferring too.
  • Always have      the wheelchair as close to the area you are transferring the patient      too.
  • Always place      on the wheelchair breaks before transferring a patient from the      chair.
  • Always      Determine a patients needs before transferring them.
  • During the      transferring process always, reduce a patient’s anxieties by chatting      about each step that will occur so they are on the same page as you.
  • Always make      sure any armrest or footrest are removed and out of the way before      assisting a patient with a transfer.
  • Always know      the right positions and moves to help lift a patient up from a wheelchair      properly. Wheelchair transfer classes can be taken anytime at a local Red      Cross or Hospital.
  • Always wear      non-skid shoes while transferring an individual from a wheelchair.

Don’ts of Wheelchair Transferring

  • Never lifts      a patient up out of the wheelchair without warning or while they are      sleeping.
  • Never      transfer a patient without the breaks of the wheelchair put into      place.
  • Never      transfer a patient to a sit or bed far across the room.
  • Never place      a patient into a wheelchair with a broken wheel or damaged seat.
  • Never lift a      person out of the wheelchair without bending your knees or using the right      body mechanics. Doing so could cause injury to you and the patient.
  • Never grab      onto an individuals clothing to help pull them up out of the wheelchair      and to a different seating or laying spot.
  • Never lift a      person with back muscles. Always lift with arm and leg muscles to prevent      injury to yourself.
  • Never try to      lift someone out of a chair without a gait belt.

Ends Notes for the Do’s and Don’ts of Wheelchair Transferring 

Knowing the dos and don’ts of wheelchair transferring can make it a safe and comfortable for the patient and yourself. Nothing is worse than not knowing how to lift an individual from a wheelchair properly or trying to without knowing and having them or you become severely injured.


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