How to Safely Transfer a Loved One from a Wheelchair to a Chair

March 13th, 2018 by John Wilson

Mobility issues are common among the elderly for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is simply a side effect of aging, while other times it is the result of an injury or illness. Those in senior care in Oklahoma City, OK may find themselves using a wheelchair to get around more comfortably. However, they aren’t likely to stay in their wheelchair at all times. It’s important for caregivers, even those outside assisted living communities in OKC, to learn how to safely transfer their loved ones.

Prepare the Area

First and foremost, you need to ensure the area to which you will transfer your loved one is ready for them. The last thing you want is to pick up your loved one, only to realize there is something else in the chair that needs to be moved before your loved one can settle in. It’s important for the process to be smooth to ensure the comfort of the individual you are moving.

Bring the Wheelchair Close

Regardless of how light or heavy a senior may be, carrying an adult can be a tedious process. This is why it’s important to bring the wheelchair as close to the chair as possible. However, be sure you leave enough room to be able to successfully maneuver so you can pick up your loved one and place him or her without causing strain or discomfort for your own body.

Wheelchair transfers are common in assisted living communities.

Assisted living communities are familiar with wheelchair transfers.

Prepare the Wheelchair

A wheelchair is stable for moving from place to place, but it can be easy to flip it if you don’t make a transfer the proper way. In order to reduce the risk of tipping the wheelchair and injuring your senior loved one, there are a few steps you must take before you even attempt to pick up your aging relative. Always lock the wheels so the wheelchair doesn’t move during transfer. Either remove or turn the foot rests to the side to keep the individual’s feet clear. Adjust the wheelchair so it is as level as possible with the surface to which you are transferring your loved one.

Support Your Loved One

How you lift your loved one can have an impact on how safe the transfer is. Be sure you support your senior loved one’s back and legs as you lift carefully, using your knees to lift more than your back. Just like lifting anything else, it’s critical to use safe lifting techniques. Move slowly and carefully lower your loved one into place, making sure they are comfortably settled before removing your support.

Whether you’re looking at assisted living options or you are caring for your elderly loved one yourself, it can be beneficial to learn how to safely and effectively move them from a wheelchair into a more comfortable chair. This transfer process can be made fast and easy when you understand the proper techniques.

If you’re looking for assisted living options to care for a loved one in a wheelchair, contact us. We can help you decide if our community is the right one for your relative.

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