Quadriplegic Chair to Bed Transfer

This article contains a video
a woman smiling
Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via Rachelle Chapman
Rachelle Chapman
Curated by
Kristen Sachs

Transferring from a wheelchair to a bed can be a tricky skill to master, especially when you have limited movement in your upper extremities. Rachelle is a C6 quadriplegic with no finger movement and limited triceps strength. Through practice and perseverance, Rachelle has learned how to transfer independently.

quadriplegic transfers from wheelchair to bed using a slide board

Sometimes finding the right tool makes all the difference. Rachelle has found this to be true with her slide board. “The only reason this [slide board] is the best for me is because the hand slots are sideways,” Rachelle explains. “The only way I’m able to transfer and get this board under me is because I put my wrist and my hand into this hole.”

For the first step of the transfer, Rachelle parks her chair next to the bed and prepares to put the slide board under her bottom. She prefers to cross her legs before inserting the board as that helps gets the board under far enough. She puts her right wrist under her right knee, then steadily works her right leg up and over her left.

Next she puts the slide board underneath her elevated right hip and wiggles the board into place. Then she uncrosses her legs and prepares to transfer her body. She leans forward slightly and places her hand on a bar by her knees to help with stability during the transfer. Then with a rocking motion, she transfers onto the slide board, then onto the bed.

The next step is to remove the slide board from underneath her which Rachelle accomplishes by inserting her thumb into one of the hand slots and pushing forward. She then pushes her wheelchair out of the way and completes the transfer by lifting her legs up onto the bed.

“That’s how I transfer into bed. It’s not clean, and it’s not pretty – I am a quad. But it gets the job done!”  

Check out Rachelle’s video for more details on how she transfers independently from her chair to her bed.

Do you have your own way of transferring? We’d love to hear from you. Share how you get the job done, and you could be featured on AbleThrive!

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