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Assisting a service user to transfer into the wheelchair:

  • Make sure that both of the brakes are 'on', and the front casters are swiveled forwards.
  • Fold up both footplates and swing them to the sides and out of the way.
  • If possible, get another person to hold the handles of the wheelchair so that it will not move. If this is not possible, then stand behind the chair and hold the handles yourself.
  • Ask the service user to stand. Then, with both hands on the front of the armrests, get him to lower himself onto the seat.
  • Swing the footrests to the front and fold down the footplates. If required, assist the service user to place his feet on the footplates, with his heels well back.
  • Ensure that the service user's elbows are not sticking outside the wheelchair when going through doorways.
  • Ensure that his hands are on his lap and not hanging outside the chair where they can catch in the spokes etc.

Assisting a service user in transferring out of a wheelchair:

  • Back the wheelchair so that the front casters swivel forwards.
  • Make sure that both the brakes are on.
  • Fold up both footplates and swing them to the sides, out of the way.
  • If possible, get another person to hold the handles of the wheelchair so that it will not move. If this is not possible, then stand behind the chair and hold the handles yourself.
  • Ask the service user to move forwards on the seat.
  • Ask the service user to place both feet firmly on the ground, slightly apart and with one foot farther back.
  • Ask the service user to place both hands on the front of the armrests, then get him to lean forwards with his head and shoulders over his knees to give balance. From this position, he should be able to push himself to standing.
  • Always encourage the service user to take his time with each step of the procedure.

Negotiating kerbs:
Whenever possible, it is best to avoid kerbs. Instead, always try to use dropped kerbs or ramps. If a kerb is unavoidable, then the following precautions should be taken:

Pushing an occupied wheelchair down a kerb:

  • It is safer to go down a kerb backwards. It requires less strength and gives a gentler ride. Care should however be taken due to the weight of the chair and because the task involves stepping backwards into a road.
  • Practice with an empty wheelchair first.
  • Always keep the wheelchair user informed about what you are intending to do.
  • Make sure the road is clear, and then back the wheelchair to the edge of the kerb.
  • Ensure that the chair is lined up at 90 degrees to the kerb.
  • Slowly roll the rear wheels down from the kerb and onto the road surface, making sure that both wheels touch down at the same time.
  • When the front casters are at the edge of the kerb, push down and forward on the tipping lever with your foot whilst gently pulling back on the handles at the same time. This will balance the wheelchair and its occupant on the rear wheels. Do not tip the wheelchair back more than necessary.
  • Carefully pull the wheelchair farther back into the road and, when the occupant's feet are clear of the kerb, gently lower the front to the road. Check that the road is clear before turning around and crossing.

Pushing an occupied wheelchair up a kerb:

  • It is safer to go up a kerb forwards.It requires less strength and gives a gentler ride.
  • Practice with an empty wheelchair first.
  • Always tell the service user in the wheelchair what you are about to do.
  • When the occupant's feet are nearly touching the kerb, push down and forwards on the tipping lever with your foot whilst gently pulling back on the handles and at the same time. This will balance the wheelchair and its occupant on the rear wheels.
  • When the front casters are just clear of the kerb, push the wheelchair forwards until the casters rest on the pavement. Do not tip the wheelchair back more than necessary.
  • Push the wheelchair forwards until the back wheels just touch the kerb and then lift up on the handles as you continue pushing forwards to place the rear wheels on the pavement. The occupant can help with this stage by pushing forwards on the hand rims (if they are capable of doing so).