Tips for Safe Transfers

From Sitting:

  • If person you are assisting is in too wide of a chair, determine which side of the chair gives you the most room to move.
  • Have them move to the front of the seat.
  • Have them move to the side opposite you (so they can use the armrest on that side to assist)
  • Their elbow is locked against side of body, you “cup” their elbow in one hand and other hand goes behind the body (at mid-back if they need only a little assistance, or around the waist if they need a lot)
  • Make sure your legs are spread wide, knees are bent, and bottom is sticking out.
  • Have them lean forward (“nose over your toes”), push upward from the armrest, as you lift them from the elbow and gently from the back.

If the person suffers from a stroke:

  • Have them place their “strong” hand on the armrest.
  • Assist them as outlined above on the “weak” side.
  • ***Plan ahead: if on a bench, have them sit in the first place so their weak side is next to an end you YOU can get into the proper position to assist, and they would push upward with the strong hand from the bench seat.

Up and down steps:

  • Their elbow locked against body.
  • Use the hand of the arm closest to them to “cup” their elbow, and guide them with your other hand by holding onto their hand.
  • “Lift” their elbow as you go up step, support the elbow as you go down
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New Horizons Physical Therapy

(406) 363-2570 Fax (406) 363-7214

120 S. Fifth Street, Suite 102
Hamilton, MT 59840