Taking care of your loved one at home can be both physically and emotionally challenging. Meeting the physical demands of turning, lifting, and transferring a patient can put both the caregiver and patient at risk for injury.
Patients are prone to falls when transferring while the caregivers are prone to injuries in the shoulder, neck, and back. This is often caused by repeating the same pulling and lifting motions again and again.
This is where transfer belt for patients come into the play. They are designed to easily perform the transferring task such as from bed to wheelchair, to the bathroom, or the car.
In this post, we will discuss how you can safely transfer a patient from one place to another without causing any injuries to yourself or the patient.
#1 Preparing for the transfer
Patient’s safety should be your priority. As the patient is immobile and prone to easily catch communicable diseases, you need to first disinfect your hands with a good anti-bacterial soap. This will ensure that the patient is not exposed to any germs or microorganisms when you touch the patient.
Next, you need to tell the patient that you are going to transfer him/her to a wheelchair. This will allow them to mentally prepare for the task. Tell the patient about the procedures you are going to follow for the transfer. Ask the patient if he/she needs anything like water to drink or any other thing before the transfer.
Now, bring the wheelchair closer to the bed. If the patient is mobile from the upper part of the body, you can ask him/her to get up. And if not, you need to slide your hands underneath his/her back and slowly pull them up. Make sure that you are using both your hands. If you are having any trouble, you can call someone from the family to help you.
Position the patient on the edge of the bed and shift his/her hips forward till his/her feet touches the ground.
#2 Lifting the patient
Wrap a gait belt or any other transfer belt around the patient’s waist. Make sure that the belt is not too tight or too loose. There should be at least 1-inch gap between the belt and the patient’s waist so that you can easily slide your hands in between them for easy lifting.
Now, place your feet in front of the patient’s feet to prevent slipping. Ask the patient to place his/her hands on your shoulders. If the patient is not mobile from the upper part, ask someone from your family to hold the patient still while you perform the lift.
Hold the gait belt and lift the patient to a standing position. Now, turn the patient’s waist towards the direction of the surface to be transferred to.
#3 Placing the patient on the wheelchair
Next, pivot the patient towards the wheelchair. Move your feet so that your back is aligned with your hips. Once the patient is within reach of the wheelchair, bend your knees and lower the patient to the seat.
#4 Positioning the patient down
As the patient bends towards you, lower the patient into the back of the wheelchair. A helper may support the wheelchair and position the patient’s buttocks.