The Appropriate Steps for Transferring a Senior

A caregiver talks to an older woman before using the best practices for transferring a senior from her wheelchair.

We can help you learn the best steps for transferring a senior.

The statistics are indeed alarming: more than half of all caregivers report injuries resulting from lifting or transferring older individuals. So many family members eventually assume the role of a caregiver, so it’s important to know the best safety measures for transferring a senior to ensure both your well-being and that of the person you care for.

To help you navigate these challenges, Advanced Home Health Care’s care team is happy to offer essential tips aimed at minimizing the risk of injuries. It’s our mission to ensure the safety of those we serve while supporting family caregivers every step of the way. These guidelines are a great place to start.

It’s important to follow these steps in the sequence provided:

  • For low beds, use a stepstool to ease lower back strain.
  • Bring the wheelchair as close as you can to the bed and ensure that the brakes are engaged and that armrests and footrests are moved aside.
  • Be very communicative with the person before you start transferring them, ensuring they are prepared and aware of their destination. Initiate the move with a vocal countdown, “1-2-3.”
  • If the person is capable, encourage them to use their hands to assist with the transfer.
  • Stand close to the older adult for the best support.
  • Instead of bending from the waist, bend your knees, keeping your back and neck aligned and your weight evenly distributed on your feet. Engage your core and back muscles to support a correct lifting posture.
  • Use your legs to lift and your arms to stabilize the senior.
  • To turn, pivot on one foot rather than twisting your body to avoid strain.
  • Consider using a transfer belt around the person’s waist for additional stability and support during the transfer.
  • If possible, have the person hold onto the wheelchair armrests for added support.

If transferring a senior loved one between a bed and a wheelchair still poses challenges, Advanced Home Health Care can provide the necessary support. Our team in Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Mediapolis, and the surrounding areas is trained in safely lifting and transferring seniors, promoting an active lifestyle to the fullest extent.

Whether occasional respite care or continuous, full-time support is needed, contact us online, or call us at 800-791-7785 to prevent injuries to yourself and ensure the safety of someone you love.

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.