August 26, 2015 | 10:22 am | By Pants Up Easy
It can be tricky to maneuver in and out of a wheelchair, especially if you are a new wheelchair user. If you have a fear of falling during a transfer, you are probably looking for suggestions on how to avoid this fate. Below you will find a few suggestions on the best ways to avoid falling while transferring out of your wheelchair.
Most falls from a wheelchair are a result of things that could be avoided completely by taking a few precautions. One important thing to take note of is to make sure that the wheels of your chair are locked in place before beginning your transfer. Another thing to do is make sure that arm and foot rests are moved out of the way if possible before transferring so that you don’t become tangled as you move from your wheelchair to another surface.
Another issue is transferring independently when you don’t truly have the ability. Of course it is important to be as independent as possible, but if you actually need assistance when transferring, it’s essential that you wait until you have someone to help. Transferring when you do not have the strength or coordination is a very common factor in falls, and this can result in dangerous injuries in many cases. Work with your therapist to practice the best and most safe ways to transfer so that you have the knowledge and ability to do so before attempting it on your own.
Tipping out of your wheelchair is yet another common cause of falling during a transfer. Before beginning to transfer from your chair to another surface, make sure you are close enough to the surface to make the transfer manageable. Overreaching is a major factor in tipping over, so placing your chair too far from your intended seat can be dangerous.
It’s also important that your wheelchair be a good fit. A chair that is too large or too small or doesn’t suit your needs can lead to slipping and tipping more frequently. Before investing in your wheelchair, take the time to be measured and find one that will be the perfect fit for you and will also meet all of your specific needs. The height, chair depth, and cushion are all factors that can play into fall risks if they aren’t correct.
By ensuring that your chair is a great fit for you and taking the time to carefully and safely transfer, you can avoid dangerous falls from your wheelchair. Be sure that you have been properly trained on the safest way to transfer out of your wheelchair before attempting to do so independently, and always ask for assistance if you feel it is needed. Wheelchair falls can be incredibly frustrating as well as dangerous, so taking the appropriate measures is essential.