Caregiving Education

How to properly transfer an individual from a wheelchair to a car


November 8, 2020

Setting Up

Bring the wheelchair or assistive device to the passenger side door where the individual will be seated. Open the car door, unbuckle the seat belt, and move the seatback to allow for adequate transfer space. Make sure to stabilize and/or lock the device you are transferring the individual from. This ensures the safety and helps to prevent falls and injuries.


Stand & Pivot (Bear Hug) Lift & Lower

Squat face-to-face with the individual and wrap your arms around the individual under the armpits with your hands clasped behind the individual’s back like a hug.  Plant your foot, the one farthest from the destination location, between the individual’s legs for leverage. Lift (using proper lifting technique) and pivot the individual to a new location. Communicate with the individual when you plan to move and count to ensure the individual is helping with the transfer as much as possible. If an individual is able to bear weight on either or both legs, allow them to do so for easier pivoting. Lower the individual into the car using the proper lifting technique and watch their head for clearance under the car.


Stand & Pivot (Bear Hug) Lift & Lower


Leg Swing Into The Car

Once the individual is seated safely ensure one of your hands is still supporting the individual’s back near the shoulder blades; put your other hand under the knees and swing the individual’s legs into the car while you guide their body into the seat.


Secure the Individual

Once the individual is seated comfortably, buckle their seatbelt, and close the car door.