Paraplegic Bathroom Transfers

This article contains a video
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Pro Tips For Paras
Pro Tips For Paras
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Learning how to safely navigate the bathroom, from getting on and off the toilet to transferring in and out of the shower, is an important skill to learn. Tanelle Bolt (Pro Tips For Paras) demonstrates how she accomplishes these transfers.

Toilet Transfer 

The first transfer Tanelle demonstrates is getting on and off the toilet from her wheelchair. Before she begins the transfer, Tanelle puts a mat on the floor so she  put her feet on it. She then takes both of her feet off the footplate of her chair and places them on the mat. She states that having her feet positioned on the ground allows her to have her proper pivot point. 

To begin the transfer onto the toilet, Tanelle grabs the opposite side of her wheelchair from whichever side she is transferring to, and then scoots her bottom forward in the chair. Tanelle then grabs her toilet seat (she does not recommend doing this in public restrooms.) Tanelle then leans her head over her feet with one of her hands on the toilet seat and the other on her wheelchair. She pushes through her arms and scoots her bottom onto the toilet seat. She states that before she lands on the toilet seat she rests her other arm on her wheelchair seat to soften the landing when transferring. 

To transfer back into her chair from the toilet, Tanelle pulls her chair where it is touching the toilet. She then grabs one side of her chair while grabbing the toilet seat with the other hand. She pushes through her arms and pivots her body back into her chair. 

Transfer From Toilet to Shower

Tanelle’s toilet is right beside her bathtub where she has her tub bench inside. At around 4:15 in the video, Tanelle shows herself transferring on to the toilet from a different angle, and then she demonstrates how she moves from the toilet directly to the tub bench.

Tanelle states that her tub bench is custom made so that she could eliminate the number of transfers she had to do in her bathroom. To get on the tub bench from the toilet Tanelle places one hand on the tub bench while holding onto the toilet with the other hand. She then pushes through her arms to lift her body up and pivots her bottom onto the tub bench. She then places each leg into the tub. 

To transfer back in her wheelchair from the tub bench, Tanelle grabs her wheelchair with one hand pulling the chair close to the tub, and then she places the other hand on the tub bench. She then pushes through her arms and pivots her body into the wheelchair. She pulls her legs out of the tub and positions her feet on her footplate. 

Transfer From Wheelchair to Shower 

At around 8:20 in the video, Tanelle demonstrates how she transfers from her wheelchair into the shower. She begins by lifting her legs into the tub and scooting forward in her wheelchair. She then holds onto her chair with one hand while holding onto the tub bench with the other. She then pushes through her arms and is able to pivot her body onto the bench. Tanelle then transfers back into her wheelchair from the tub bench as described above. 

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