Home > Uncategorized > Tip of the Week: Transferring a Person Safely

Tip of the Week: Transferring a Person Safely

Something that all care partners have to contend with, sooner or later, is helping their loved one move from one place to another. This can involve moving from a bed to a chair, getting up from a chair so that she can walk to the bathroom, getting out of the car, and so on. One important thing for a care partner to consider here is not only to accomplish this without injuring the loved one, but also so as not to become injured yourself. You can’t do your mother any good if you”re down in the back or otherwise incapacitated.

It always amazes me how people working in care facilities can transfer people much larger than themselves, without causing injury to either party. But the key here is good training, and good use of body mechanics, among other things. Here are some strategies that can be of help.

1. Consider asking a physical therapist to show you how to use good body mechanics, and to give you some tips for helping you transfer your loved one. Check with your home health agency, or with the staff of a hospital or rehabilitation facility. Make sure to ask about specific needs you may have, such as helping your loved one out of a car.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Also, learn to use assistive devices such as a gait belt, a sliding board, or a Hoyer lift.
3. Be sure you talk to your loved one before you begin to transfer her, and while the act is going on. Explain to her, calmly and in words she can understand, what to expect and how she can help you. If you abruptly just try to pick her up, she may react with fear and become agitated.
4. Make sure your loved one’s feet are both firmly on the floor before asking her to stand up. It also helps if she is sitting in a good sold chair with arms, rather than a couch or an overstuffed chair. This way, she can place her hands on the arms of the chair and push up with them.
5. If the person is in bed, roll her to the side of the bd and then help her to a sitting position, before attempting to help her stand.
6. Stand with your own feet about a shoulder’s width apart, one foot slightly in front of the other. Keep as close to the person as possible.
7. Bend with your knees, not with your waist. This will help you save your back.
8. During the actual transfer, put your arms around your loved one’s waist. Better yet, use a gait belt or hold onto the waistband of her pants. Never take her under the arms; this is liable to hurt her and is much less effective. Don’t ask her to put her arms around your neck. If she wants to hold onto something, have her put her arms around your waist or put her hands on your shoulders. Better yet, if rising from a chair, ask her to put her hands on the arms of the chair and push up with them.
9. Have your loved one lean forward slightly, and use a rocking motion to gather momentum. Count to three, with each rock coming closer to standing.
10. To swivel someone, for instance from a bed to a chair, don’t twist from the waist. Use your legs, and take small steps. Keep your back and neck in a straight line.

Source: Family Caregiver’s Alliance (https://caregiver.org/transferring-person

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 19, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Good advice, thanks!

  2. February 22, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    yep, that’s a ‘good advice’ from me too! šŸ™‚

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