February 1, 2016 | 5:02 pm | By Pants Up Easy
Transferring to and from your wheelchair can be done safely and easily in the right circumstances and with the right preparation. In fact, there are many tricks and tools that can be used that allow you to get just about anywhere that you need to be as a wheelchair user. However, there are a few instances in which it might be better to stay put, usually for your own safety. Below we will discuss a few of these scenarios.
If you’re outdoors and the weather is less than stellar, you may want to avoid transferring out of your wheelchair. Snow, ice, and rain can all make transferring a challenge because of the potential of slipping and falling, and also because your chair may not be as stable as it needs to be to support a transfer. If you absolutely must transfer in these circumstances, say if you need to get into a vehicle for instance, be sure to ask for help if it is available. You should also make sure that the soles of your shoes and the wheels of your chair are dry before making your transfer once you have gone indoors.
One of the most important factors in a safe wheelchair transfer is a stable surface. If your chair is on unsteady ground, or the surface you are attempting to transfer to is a bit wobbly, there’s a good chance a fall is in your future. Before deciding to make a transfer, ensure that all surfaces and seats are secure, lock your wheelchair break in place, and follow all other wheelchair safety measures. If you can’t verify all of these factors, you may want to stay where you are.
Safely moving from your wheelchair to another seat requires a bit of room to get the job done. If you are in a crowded area it can make the process incredibly challenging. Not only that, but if you are surrounded by people, there’s the possibility that someone in the crowd could bump you while you are mid-transfer, leading to a fall or injury. In some cases, transferring out of your wheelchair while in a crowd just isn’t in your best interest.
While it may be possible to avoid a transfer in these instances at times, sometimes you simply must move out of your chair, even in less than ideal circumstances. If you find yourself in this position, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Although it’s tempting to tackle every hurdle on your own to assert your independence, sometimes it’s best to ask for assistance in order to avoid a slip or fall.