No matter if you are lifting a wheelchair or helping your loved one get out of bed, you need to remember some simple points. To avoid a serious back injury:
- Get as close as you can to the object you need to lift
- Put your feet wide apart to give you a good support base
- Bend at your knees and keep your back upright
- Life with the legs and not the back
- Do NOT bend and twist
Transferring your loved one from, say, bed, to a chair, will present several challenges. Before you even start, you should prepare for the transfer process. Put the wheelchair or walker so that the transfer occurs to your loved one's strong side. You also should make sure that you finish the transfer with your neck and head properly aligned. Any device's wheels need to be locked.
You also can use a gait belt as you do the transfer to help your loved one complete the needed motion. Do NOT use the gait belt to lift anyone.
Use an Assistive Device
There are a variety of helpful assistive devices that can make transferring your loved one much easier. Just a walker or a cane can be a big help. Some of the assistive devices we carry include this one:
Be sure to follow the guidelines above to keep your back as healthy as you can - your loved one is counting on you.