Important safety tips for transferring your low-mobility clients

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Transferring is the act of moving a senior with low mobility from one position into another safely. For instance, if you provide 24 hour senior care for clients in wheelchairs, you may have to transfer them from their chair to the toilet or the bed. When working with low-mobility clients, it’s essential to know how to transfer them safely so that neither of you get hurt. Here are some tips:

Use your legs
No matter what type of transferring you’re doing, make sure you’re always keeping your back and neck straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees, and use your legs to lift your clients rather than your back.

Grip their torso
It’s important to refrain from pulling on your clients’ arms and legs or gripping them under their underarms while you’re transferring. Stand as close as you can to your clients and grip them around the torso or hips. Many caregivers use an assistive belt that wraps around their client’s body, which is often easier to hold onto.

You aren’t in this alone. Have your clients help as much as they can. Ask them to slide toward the edge of the bed or chair and hang onto you as they’re moving. Make sure you let them know every step you’re taking throughout the transferring process so they can prepare themselves.