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Thread: Floor to Wheelchair Transfer

  1. #1

    Question Floor to Wheelchair Transfer

    I believe that I read on here that someone was working in PT to learn to do floor-to-chair transfers.

    Can this be done with a regular wheelchair? I would love to learn how to pull myself from the ground back into my chair so I can use our neighborhood pool this summer to do my PT exercises.

    I do have some strength in my legs, so I can "push off" the ground a little, but I'm not sure how to position my arms to pull myself up. I have a slide board, but I don't see how that would help. Is there something I can buy/build to help me do this?

    If someone knows how to do this, please enlighten me. Thanks!

  2. #2
    i am in pt for this sole purpose. well it seems that way. improve overall strength and especially in the triceps and shoulders. i have not yet attempted it but i can now transfer to the 12 inch level. i will continue to try. i think it is easiest to face the chair, pull oneself up , and turn into it.

    here are some videos to see
    http://www.cripcollege.com/trick16.html
    Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

  3. #3
    In rehab there was this product, the best I can describe it is like a walker but six inches high or so with a soft sling type mesh in between. You went up to the sling first, then to the chair. I did it when I was not the most athletic I have ever been. I have seen people with no movement on their legs do it, so If you get help from your legs, I would try to do it without equipment.

    Try www.cripcollege.com, this guy does amazing things on the wheelchair and probably shows a floor to chair transfer.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  4. #4

  5. #5
    This will sound stupid, but what do you do while you are learning? Does your therapist or family help you back onto the chair?

    My husband's greatest fear is me on the floor with no way to get me up. My greater fear is another summer with no pool! LOL

  6. #6
    start with wheelchair push-ups and other excercises until forever
    Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

  7. #7
    Senior Member JustinB's Avatar
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    Caveat - I have full hand function, and now have a lot of leg strength. So while I was learning and thought I had no leg strength, maybe I did. ie make sure someone is around to help in case none of these work.

    While you are learning -
    1. take cushion off couch
    2. go from floor to cushion
    3. go from cushion to couch where cushion isn't
    4. go to cushion on couch
    5. transfer back to wheel chair.
    Go to wheelchair:
    1. Sit down with legs in front of you
    2. bend knees so they are near chin
    3. place WC in front of you
    4. walk hands forward so you are balanced on feet
    5. pull self up on wheel chair (this last step is actually pretty hard)
    Or
    1. put WC behind you
    2. take cushion off WC
    3. put hands on WC frame.
    4. LIIIFFFFFTT self into WC.
    5. Magically get cushion under you (I never figured this part out)
    6. As your legs get stronger, step 4 becomes simple and you leave the cushion on, removing the stunningly difficult step 5.
    I hated getting help more than anything else. Nothing was more frustrating than someone who sincerely wanted to help, but whatever they did didn't help. And being unable to describe what I needed in such a manner as to make them helpful.

    -- JB
    Last edited by JustinB; 05-17-2006 at 09:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinB
    1. put WC behind you
    2. take cushion off WC
    3. put hands on WC frame.
    4. LIIIFFFFFTT self into WC.
    5. Magically get cushion under you (I never figured this part out)

    -- JB
    I think step 5 is done by transferring our of cushionless chair to bed or sofa, replacing cushion and (abra ca dabra) transfering back in.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    I was able to go from floor to wheelchair at c7 level with 1 good hand 1 bad hand and no leg return, no ab return. So basically I had pecs and up. Its very hard but its possible. But you must have alot of upper body strength and at least 1 good hand.

    I would crawel to the wheelchair after locking the breaks, drag ur upper body onto the cushion of the wheelchair, so now your lower body is just dangliing and ur upper body is resting on the seat of the chair.

    From this point grab the back of your wheelchair backrest or there might even be a bar, and from there, drag urself up while using ur bad hand to evalate ur body so ur not dragging it as well. Then when you think you have it u gota hurry up and try to swing ur head oppposite of ur butt so it swings ur butt end into the chair.

    Definatley woudn't recommend this if u don't have anyone near you. goodluck.
    Last edited by mr_coffee; 05-17-2006 at 10:09 PM.
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  10. #10
    Facing the wheelchair and twisting around into the seat is considered the "easiest way." It takes awhile though and if your on concrete or any textured floor you have to watch your knees.

    I do it a lot different and quicker way if you have the upper body strength.
    1. sit perpendicular to your chair (i'll explain with left side against the front of chair)
    2. bring knees up to chest and rest against chair.
    3. put left hand on the front of wheelchair on the left side
    4. put right hand on floor near your right buttcheek
    5. lean foward
    6. put your butt in the chair

    Simple as that. When someone gets home I will have them make a video and I can post an animated gif. You can post animated gifs on here right?

    cripcollege is a great reference for some other floor-to-chair transfers.

    -Jeff.
    IMPOSSIBLE IS JUST A BIG WORD THROWN AROUND BY SMALL MEN WHO FIND IT EASIER TO LIVE IN THE WORLD THEY'VE BEEN GIVEN THAN TO EXPLORE THE POWER THEY HAVE TO CHANGE IT. IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT A FACT. IT'S AN OPINION. IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT A DECLARATION. IT'S A DARE. IMPOSSIBLE IS POTENTIAL. IMPOSSIBLE IS TEMPORARY.

    IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING.

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