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Transferring Your Client In and Out of a Car

September 19, 2016 0 Comments

Reg has asked me on numerous occasions if I would like to accompany him for a little jaunt in the countryside. Each time I remind him (ever so gently) that he doesn’t have a car licence – or a car! But if he did… he might need some expertise is helping me in and out of the vehicle. Here’s some tips you might also use when transferring your client (or patient) in and out of a car.

Your client may have challenges getting into and out of a vehicle, particularly if they are frail, lack the strength or mobility to perform this task, perhaps are recovering from surgery or a stroke, or they are living with dementia.

It is wise to seek advice from an occupational therapist if you routinely transfer someone with a disability or who has problems weight bearing. Using poor technique or being hesitant with your strategy can result in injury… sometimes for you both!

Here is a good procedure for helping someone to get into the car:

  • Explain to the person what you are about to do.
  • Lock the car door into position. You can even use your body as the ‘locking mechanism’ by standing in front of the door to prevent it from moving.
  • Push the passenger seat back. This will provide extra leg room for positioning.
  • If the person has a walking frame or is in a wheelchair, position them next to and up close to the passenger seat facing the car dash.
  • Assist the person to stand and turn their body so the back of their legs are up against the car.
  • Protect the person’s head as they sit.
  • Help the person to swing their legs into the vehicle, one at a time. If the person has a hip injury, move of their both legs together. A swing seat or swivel seat is very useful as it reduces the strain on your back.
  • Tell the person to use the dash or handle bar to steady themselves.

Now, let’s look at a good procedure for helping to get a person out of a car:

  • Place the person’s walking aid or wheelchair up next to the passenger seat facing the car dash.
  • Tell the person to use the dash or handle bar to steady themselves.
  • Ask them to comfortably slide their bottom to the edge of the seat.
  • Tell the person to swing their legs out first. You can even assist by lifting each leg out, one at a time.
  • Assist the person to stand. (You may consider using a transfer belt).
  • Double check the person’s walking frame or wheelchair is locked into position before they grab hold of it.
  • If they are going to use a wheelchair, get up close to the person with your knees touching their legs. Help the person stand. Turn at a 90 degree angle assisting the person to sit. Ask the person to use the wheelchair arms for support as they lower their body into the seat.
  • If a walking frame is to be used, place the frame (in locked position) in front of the person and assist to stand using the ‘nose over toes’ method.

Back to Basics Care teach the use of Swivel Cushions as part of a Health Care Worker’s studies. These cushions make life so much easier when getting a client into and out of a car! I think I may buy Reg a Swivel Cushion for his birthday… and we can at least day-dream of that jaunt in the country!

Filed in: Workplace Tips

About the Author:

Olive resides full time in the Training Centre of Back to Basics Care. She assists students to perform activities that take place within a health care setting. Her role here on the website is to keep you up-to-date with research and study outcomes within the health care sector.

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