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Transferring into a Car

Caregiving Tips. August 28, 2017

Transferring someone into a car can be difficult, particularly if the car is an SUV or van with a high seat. Here's how I transferred Sandra into our car—a sedan.

I would open the car door and wheel her chair up to it, angled in toward the car. I'd already swung the wheelchair footrests out of the way, so the chair was close to the door. Then I squatted in front of her, put my arms under her armpits and around her back, and stood, lifting her. Then I pivoted toward the car and eased her onto the seat. Sometimes, I would let go of her with my left hand and push her hips into the car. Then I slid her back on the seat and swung her legs in. Finally, I eased my hands under her legs and moved her backward in the seat. Now that she was in place, I could buckle up her seatbelt.

Transferring her out of the car was much the same, but in reverse. I positioned the wheelchair at an angle to the open door with the footrests swung back. Then I undid her seatbelt and swung her legs out. I slid my arms under her armpits with my hands on her back, then I stood up, lifting her, and pivoted toward the chair, seating her. Finally, I went behind the chair and pulled her upright.