Knowing how to transfer is essential for independence as a paraplegic. Being able to confidently transfer from your wheelchair to the floor or anywhere else opens up so many more possibilities and brings so much freedom when living with paralysis.
We’ve created tutorial videos for many common and uncommon wheelchair transfers. If you have a transfer you think we should add send us an email or message us on youtube, instagram or facebook.
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What is a Transfer?
A transfer is one of the most common terms you’ll start to come across after you’ve had a spinal cord injury. For people with paralysis, a transfer is simply a way to move yourself from one surface to another.
Top 6 Transfer Every Paraplegic Should Know For Complete Freedom
This is the most basic wheelchair transfer and is likely to be the first one you learn in rehab after your spinal cord injury.
The floor to wheelchair transfer is the king of all transfers. Learning this transfer really is one of the keys to freedom and independence as a paraplegic. Once you’ve mastered this you will be able to transfer to pretty much wherever you want and coming out of your wheelchair will no longer be a worry.
Being able to transfer from your wheelchair into a normal car will give you so many more options than having to rely on a limited number of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). Not only does this give you more options over which car you have yourself and what you can drive but it also means you can take standard taxis (which are cheaper and more abundant) or be a passenger in a friend or family members.
Whether you have a roll in shower at home or not, it can be extremely useful to be able to transfer into a bath tub. We find it much easier to use a bath that a inaccessible shower. Being able to have a bath can vastly increase your options when it comes to staying at friends houses, holiday lets or hotels that don’t have a roll in shower but do have a bath. We didn’t have access to an accessible shower for more than a year and a half after Craig became paralysed but being able to do a bath transfer meant he could wash properly rather than having to resort to bed or sink washes.
Most people consider stairs as an absolute no go for most wheelchair users. Getting upstairs on your bum is a difficult transfer and can put a lot of strain on your shoulders so we don’t recommend doing it all the time but it is still incredibly valuable to learn for those occasions when you really want to access something up a flight of stairs.
This is another transfer that really opens up the possibilities of where you can go or stay when you’re away from home. The toilet transfer is invaluable for saving the hassle of having to lug a big shower chair around with you.