4 Simple Tips for Wheelchair Users to Help Transfer Onto the Toilet

June 23, 2015 | 10:20 am | By Pants Up Easy

Maneuvering to and from your wheelchair is a skill that is absolutely essential in your daily life. Transferring onto the toilet is something that will be done multiple times a day, so it’s important that you learn to do so as effortlessly as you possibly can. While this will obviously be no easy feat, there are several things you can try in order to make the task more manageable. Keep reading for four simple tips for transferring onto the toilet for wheelchair users.  

  1. Have the Right Seat

In your own home, installing an elevated toilet seat is recommended. This will make it much easier for you to transfer from your wheelchair to the toilet as the toilet seat will be at the same level as your wheelchair seat. These seats are available with or without arm supports, and personal preference will determine which design is best for each individual.

  1. Lock the Wheels & Move Footrests

As in any transfer, it’s essential that you lock the wheels on your wheelchair before beginning. This will provide the most stability for you to maneuver and will ensure that your chair does not begin to roll away from you. Find the best position for you to transfer, and then lock your chair into place. At this point you will need to move the footrests out of the way so that they do not interfere with your transfer. Many chairs have either removable footrests or those that can simply swing to the sides.

  1. Remove Clothing Before Transfer

Most people find that it’s easiest to remove their pants and underwear before transferring out of the wheelchair. Many prefer to move to the edge of their wheelchair, slide their clothing down to their ankles, and then remove the clothing from one ankle in order to spread their legs. It has also been suggested that you may want to forgo underwear altogether, as it can just prolong the process and become quite uncomfortable if it isn’t put back on just right.

  1. Use a Sliding Board

A small sliding board, or transfer board, can come in quite handy when moving from your wheelchair to the toilet. The use of a sliding board can make the process flow more smoothly, as well as relieve pain in your chest and shoulder muscles from exertion. These boards can be used in any form of transfer as they are designed to bear the weight of a person moving from places such as their chair to their bed or their chair to the toilet and back.

By keeping the above tips in mind the transition from your wheelchair to the toilet should become an easier process. Although it will likely always be a bit of a challenge to move from your chair to the toilet, these simple tips may make the process somewhat less frustrating.


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