Vancouver Caregiver Guide to Transfers from Bed to Wheelchair

Patient safety is often the main concern when moving patients from bed to wheelchair. But remember not to lift at the expense of your own heath. This transfer often requires the patient’s help, so opening lines of communication is vital. Our agency, which provides caregiver services for the elderly in Vancouver and surrounding areas, shares a step by step process for transferring a caregiver recipient from their bed to the wheelchair:

Step 1: Position the Wheelchair

First position the wheelchair beside the bed. Make sure that the wheelchair is located towards the end of the bed, so you have room to maneuver when performing the transfer. If the bed height is adjustable, it should be adjusted so that it is even or slightly higher than the wheelchair seat height. If you have the ability to raise the head portion of the bed, be sure to do that as well.

Step 2: Lock Brakes

Inform the recipient that you are transferring them from the bed to the wheelchair, so there are no unexpected surprises. Then, lock the wheelchair brakes and be sure to remove hazardous materials/equipment from the wheelchair path, such as wires and feeding tubes.

Step 3: Lift the Footrests

Depending on the type of wheelchair, you may even be able to remove the assembly. If possible please remove and set the assembly aside, so it does not become a tripping hazard.

Step 4: Position Arms for Transfer

This is when you will start the transfer. If possible, ask the care recipient to help you. Take them through the transfer process. Next, position your left arm underneath the right armpit of the patient and use your left hand to help support their back. Position your right arm underneath their knees.

Step 5: Pivot to Sitting Position

Proceed to pivot the client to a sitting position. If you are using the gait belt, a medical device that can provide a better grip to transfer their client, attach it while the client is in a seated position. Make sure it is tightened properly, meaning it is secured enough that you can place only your fingers between the belt and the client’s body.

Step 6: Lift Them

Spread your legs apart and make sure the client’s legs are together and in between yours. Position your arms around their armpits and place your hands flat on their back. If you are using a gait belt, you may grab the belt with one arm, while the other arm is wrapped around the client’s armpit with your hand is placed flat on their back. Then, while keeping your knees bent and your back straight, lift the client with your legs. Ask the client to assist you with standing if they are able to.

Step 7: Stand at Edge of Wheelchair

Take small steps until the client’s legs are reaching the edge of the wheelchair.

Step 8: Lower into Wheelchair:

Slowly lower the client into the wheelchair. Make sure their legs are positioned inside of yours. As well, keep your knees bent, your back straight and use your legs as much as possible. Remove the gait belt once the client is seated.

Step 9: Reposition the Footrests

Reposition or reattach the footrests and help the client slowly and carefully place their legs on the foot rests.

Step 10: Disengage the brakes!

This essential step is also the most forgotten one. Make certain to disengage the brakes prior to attempting movement.

If the patient starts to fall during the transfer, lower the person to the nearest flat surface, bed, chair or floor. As well, if the patient was recently in the hospital, the physiotherapist or physician on staff may have additional information about how to complete transfers.

Ace Personnel | Professional Senior Care and Home Care | Vancouver and Surrey

If you need assistance with caregiver services for the elderly members of your family in the Vancouver, South Surrey, Surrey, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, White Rock areas, give our agency a call. We have trained and professional staff that will work around your schedule to ensure the most optimal care plan for your loved one. Click here to contact our agency today.

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