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Transfer—Bed to Wheelchair

If your loved one will use a wheelchair, you need to know about transfers. For safety’s sake, learn how to help your loved one in and out of the wheelchair. One basic method is shown here.

Moving patient

1

Sit the patient up

  • Lock the wheelchair.

  • Help the patient turn over onto his or her side, facing you.

  • Put an arm under the patient’s neck with your hand supporting the shoulder. Put your other hand behind the knees.

  • Swing legs over the edge of the bed, helping the patient to sit up.

Moving patient

2

Stand the patient up

  • Have the patient scoot to the edge of the bed.

  • Put your arms around the patient’s chest and clasp your hands behind his or her back.

  • Support the leg farthest from the wheelchair between your legs, lean back, shift your weight, and lift.

Moving patient

3

Sit the patient down

  • Have the patient pivot toward the chair, as you continue to hold on. Always transfer toward the person’s stronger side.

  • As the patient bends toward you, bend your knees and lower the patient into the back of the chair.

Take Care of Your Back

Lifting a patient can be hard on your back. To reduce the risk of a back injury, remember to do the following:

  • Organize the steps in your head before you move.

  • Explain the steps of the move and ask the patient when he or she is ready to move.

  • Keep your knees bent and your back straight.

  • You may use a transfer belt to provide a firm hold, rather than clasping your hands behind his or her back.

  • Get help when you need it.

  • Ask to practice with supervision.

 

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