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Thread: Floor to Chair Transfer

  1. #1

    Floor to Chair Transfer

    After talking to Dr.Wise Young in the chatroom recently, he reccommended me posting the topic here.

    I'm a T6 female para. I cant find a technique for the life of me to get myself back in my chair from the floor. I've tried taking the cushion off my chair to make it lower and facing away from my chair trying to push myself back up into it. Doesnt work! I'll get myself to a certain height but trying to struggle to hold myself there AND slide my hands up so I can get higher is impossible.
    I've tried to get myself onto my couch and then to my chair. My cushions are sewn into the couch. Anyhow, I cant even get myself onto the couch. I know girls are stronger if they "pull" rather than "push", but either way I havent found a way that works for me (facing or not facing the object I'm trying to get onto).

    Can you please post how you do this type of transfer detailed? Girls techniques are highly welcomed!!

  2. #2
    these transfers are extremely hard on the shoulders, don't feel bad if you can't do them, esp at the t6 level, many guys at that level can't

    be careful, a serious muscle/tendon tear and you'll forever ask yourself why you bothered in the first place

  3. #3
    Originally posted by crags:

    these transfers are extremely hard on the shoulders, don't feel bad if you can't do them, esp at the t6 level, many guys at that level can't
    Seriously? Hmm. Must be my skinny ass and long ape arms that help me do it. I've had plenty of practice as many times I've flipped myself outta the chair doing shit or goofin off.

    Sweetieheart, I just flopped myself onto the floor and did this just to make sure it's what works for me. Granted I'm a guy but I weigh about 120 soakin wet and my arms are twigs for being a para. So it's not strength, just technique and balance. I'm also a T4-6 Complete so I have no lower body or legs at all to help.
    1. First off, it you can move something or yourself and the chair to something you can brace/lift on that's about 1/3-1/2 the distance to you seat height it'll help tremendously. Place it about the front corner of the chair.
    2. This is the backing up technique so put chair directly behind you. Place one hand on short block and other on chair frame in front of seat/cushion.
    3. I start lifting with lower arm and shift weight as much as possible to maintain balance to other arm so I'm not workin lower arm as much.
    4. Once I'm leaning to chair arm enough and in air, I lock my lower elbow, and shift my weight back to it, while extending/lifting with other arm. Kinda of walking my weight and torso vertically.
    5. Get to locking point with chair arm and shift weight back to it, and at same time try to give one last push with lower arm to give you time to switch lower arm to chair frame.
    6. This point it's a huge pressure relief and swing butt backwards into seat.

    I'm sure this won't work for everybody, but it's what I've found works for me and thought I'd share it. It's a lot of work at first, but once you play around with weight shifting and balance points, it should get easier. And believe me, I'm a lazy ass so I don't have the strength that I really should so all my transfers are technique based. Good luck, if nothing else, maybe I can get on cam sometime and show y'all.

    And remember that "MAH TOH SAPA NAGEE" - Mituyke Oyasin

  4. #4
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    BC Canada
    I'm T11/12 from Spina Bifida my floor to chair is as follows
    1. Get on hands& knee like your going to crawl
    2. Pull the chair forward with one hand until your chest,head is on the seat.
    3. grab the frame with the other arm & rotate into the chair. I can get into the chair within a minute that way.

  5. #5
    I'm C8/T1 and I did it several times from floor to a mat adjusted to bed height in therapy. Doing it with a real bed is different, because the matress gives, and is a little more slick.

    I can go from floor to a couch real easy, in fact it's harder for me to get from the couch to the chair.

    What I do is pull the chair next to the bed or couch, remove the cushon of the char and sit on it. Then I put one hand on the chair, and the other on the couch or bed. I push up and try to get enough of my butt on the bed/couch so I'm sitting stable. Then I can reposition my hands and slide back farther onto the bed or couch.

    Last time I had to do this on the bed, I got the pillows off the bed and put them on top of the wheelchair cushon. This got me at least an extra 6" in the air.

    Here's a crude drawing of how I position everything:

    Try putting the chair at different angles to see what works best for you.

    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the ideas(I like the lil'drawing ). Of course, youre all guys who responded, but that's ok, any help works!

    As for Stratman, you rock! "I just flopped myself on the floor to make sure it works."
    I cant say I'd do the same for someone else b/c I know my struggle with it. Anyhow you describe the back facing the chair technique where you gotta push yourself up from the floor to greater distances. I must have short arms or something b/c I cant lift myself up that high and my chair sits at the standard 19" off the floor.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    My rehab was almost twenty years ago ...

    But even back then at age twelve I wasn't able to do it. Seems women have it a bit more difficult in that department - short arms did me in. I was NEVER able to get from the floor to the wheelchair but I can get from the floor to the couch/shower chair/toilet to my wheelchair. Once I fell while getting into my sport chair from the car (no brakes - doh!) and managed to get from cement to car back to chair (with purse wedged under a wheel) and without breakage of any bones.

    Consistently the hospital tried to teach me to back my butt up to the front of the chair and lift and pull backwards ... never got it to work.

    As far as the other transfers, squeeze yourself as tight as you can between chair, which is parallel, to couch. Bend the knees a little (mine would straighten, lock up and heed my lifting) and lift with one hand on couch, one hand on wheel of chair with brake ON. Personally, I needed high things to lift from at my sides. The trick is to swing your butt onto the couch then, literally catching a hip bone onto it. Then very carefully, move your hand from the wheelchair to the couch and drag yourself into a better position. It's a nice way to hurt yourself so be extremely careful. It requires a lot of strength.

    Mind you, I haven't done it in years and probably couldn't lift my lard butt now .. lol .. good luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Eagle River, AK, USA
    Hi. Here is a trick that I use. I start sitting on the floor/ground facing away from the chair (sounds like it starts the way you were trying) w/my knees bent a bit. Then I put my right hand back up on the chair, sort of grabbing the frame right in front of the seat cushion. My left hand stays on the ground. I push up a bit and wedge my butt or hip in between my frame the best I can so I am kind of resting on the foot plate. Then, while stabilizing w/the right hand move the left up so it is grabbing in the same place as the right (frame right in front of the cushion). Starting from this position gives a bit of a boost up rather than going all the way from floor to seat. Then I do a dip motion to push up and get into the chair. Sometimes it helps to yank the chair forward when you get up to seat level. I am a c8, so I have to just horse myself up using arms only, as with no stomach muscles I have a hard time swinging my lower half back on its own. People describe the head down butt up/back technique but I could never make it work. I am 6'2" so the longer arms do help. I have a pretty tapered frame in front so squeezing in to rest on the footplate is a bit of effort. Hope this gives you a new idea to try.


  9. #9
    SweetieHeart - I can't add to all of the great descriptive suggestions. Thanks for everyone's input! However, I would ask if you have considered discussing this issue or having some sessions with a PT for guidance, assistance and some upper body strengthening. This latter would be important so you do not injure yourself in trying to find and learn a technique that works. CRF

  10. #10
    When I was in rehab 3.5 years ago, my PT attempted to get me to fall on the floor just for the purpose of learning how to get back into my chair. I refused! I asked her some of her ideas and her being able bodied, her ideas werent even work well without using her legs. So for her to "work" with me in that area, was out. I didnt want to be her guinnea pig and just practice that everyday. I wanted to learn other things, even though I know floor/chair transfers are important. I get more frustrated with an able body watching me and trying to give me ideas than anything. I like to hear and get suggestions from actual paralyzed people who know what works and how they do it...brings me confidence that it's not "impossible".

    For the footplate then up to the chair suggestion. I believe I've tried that several times. My frame is in the V angle, getting smaller at the footplate. I weigh 112lbs but dont let that fool ya. I'm a girl with hips...makes it very hard to squeeze on the footplate.

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