Assisted transfers are used by medical professionals, caregivers and loved ones when someone cannot move or change position by themselves. It is very important to perform them correctly both for the safety of the person being helped as well as the person helping.
Some Important Guidelines for Caregivers and Loved Ones:
- Have your body as close as possible to the person being transferred to make it easier and safer for you to move them.
- Use a wide base of support, meaning your legs are farther apart so you are more stable.
- Bend at your hips and knees, keeping a straight back and using your legs, not your back, to do the 'heavy lifting.'
- Move or pivot your feet when turning, do not twist at your back.
- Always let the person you are helping do as much as possible on their own. Assist them only as much as they need so they gain strength and confidence in their abilities. This means you do not necessarily have to pick up their whole bodyweight, but only as much as they cannot manage on their own.
The videos below are a good demonstration of how to perform different types of transfers depending on someone's ability level. Even if the person you are helping does not having a stroke or is not using a wheelchair as is shown in the videos, these same techniques apply to anyone who is moving a person who needs help sitting up or help getting from a bed to a chair.
- Maximal Assistance Transfer - needs the most help
- Moderate Assistance - needs some help
- Minimal Assistance - needs a little help