How to Get a Wheelchair Bound Person into a Car

how to get a wheelchair bound person into a car

Moving a wheelchair-bound person into a car would require some important set of skills, especially if you don’t own a handicap vehicle.

Handicap vehicles make things easier by allowing you to not only move the person but also the wheelchair into the vehicle. But with a normal car, there are several steps and precautions you must take note of to successfully make the transfer.

These techniques will help you to safely move a wheelchair-bound person into a car and out of a car in the shortest time possible.

How to Get a Wheelchair-Bound Person into a Car

There are two main ways to move a wheelchair-bound person into a car. The first is to do so yourself (with the aid of a gait belt to prevent injury), though you need a lot of strength and coordination to pull this off.

The second option is safer and more comfortable for both you and the person. In this method, you will use a traditional manual style lift to make the transfer.

Related: How to Choose Disabled Clothing for Wheelchair Users

How to Move a Wheelchair-Bound Person into a Car (By Yourself)

Things to Do Before the Wheelchair Transfer

  • Move the wheelchair as close as possible to the vehicle and lock it
  • Move the foot pedals and/or leg rests out of the way
  • Open the passenger or driver door
  • Place the car cushion in the car seat

The Process

  • Secure a gait belt around the waist of the person to prevent injury
  • Place your legs apart with the person’s leg together in between yours
  • Move as close to them as possible to prevent hurting your back
  • Place your arms underneath the person’s underarms and flat against their back
  • Keep your  back arched and your knees bent
  • Lift the person with both your legs and bring the person to a standing position
  • At this point, the person is standing right beside the door. Keep your arms in the same position
  • If the person wishes to hold on to the car for support, let them place their hands on the sides of the car and not on the door
  • Turn the person until their back is facing the seat
  • Remove your right from its position and place it on the person’s head to prevent contact with the roof of the car
  • Slowly lower them into the seat. Keep your back straight and your knees bent as you do so
  • Once the person is seated, place your right hand underneath both of their legs and move the person’s legs into the car. Keep your left hand in the same position to support the person’s back
  • You may need to help the person fasten their seatbelt
  • When done, check to ensure that their arms and legs are well inside the car
  • Remove the gait belt and close the door

Precautions

  • Check twice to confirm that the brakes of the wheelchair are in place before you start moving the person
  • Avoid using this method if you weigh considerably lesser than the person you’re moving
  • Ensure that your back remains arched and your knees bent during movement
  • If the person wishes to rest on the car for support, they should place their hands on the sides of the car and not on the door

Related: Best Places to Sell Wheelchairs

How to Move a Wheelchair-Bound Person into a Car (Using Manual Style Lift)

Things to Do Before the Wheelchair Transfer

  • Move the wheelchair as close as possible to the vehicle and lock it
  • Move the foot pedals and/or leg rests out of the way
  • Open the passenger or driver door and recline the car seat to a suitable position
  • Place the car cushion in the car seat

The Process

For this option, you will have to purchase the sling and lift from a reputable manufacturer.

  • Place the sling on to the wheelchair seat before or after the user is seated
  • Attach the sling to the 4-point lifting attachment and secure it tightly
  • Using the remote, press the up button to guide the person into the car and on the car seat
  • Once the person is in the car and seated comfortably, unclip and remove the sling

When purchasing the item, you will find the instructions on how to operate the lift and sling in the user’s manual. This will provide you with all the assistance you need to get the person into the car safely.

Precautions

  • When using the lift and sling for the first time, do not operate it alone. Get someone to assist you till you become familiar with the process
  • Always keep an eye on the person’s head while moving them into the car

How to Move a Wheelchair-Bound Person Out of a Car (By Yourself)

Things to Do Before the Wheelchair Transfer

  • Move the wheelchair as close as possible to the vehicle and lock it
  • Move the foot pedals and/or leg rests out of the way
  • Open the passenger or driver door

The Process

  • Unbuckle the seat belt
  • Have them lean forward and secure the gait belt on their waist
  • Place your left hand underneath the person’s underarm and flat on their back and your right hand under their legs
  • Lift the person’s legs off the car while your left-hand helps them turn
  • When the person is at the edge of the seat and their legs well outside the car, change the position of your right hand and place it underneath their underarm and flat on their back
  • Ensure that your back is arched and knees bent, then help them stand
  • Guide the person to turn with small steps until they are close enough to the wheelchair
  • Before sitting, let them place their hands on the armrest of the chair and then bend to sit
  • Next, place the footrests back in the original position and unlock the wheelchair

Precautions

The precautions for this transfer are just about the same as transferring a person out of a wheelchair and into a car

How to Move a Wheelchair-Bound Person Out of a Car (Using Manual Style Lift)

Things to Do Before the Wheelchair Transfer

  • Move the wheelchair as close as possible to the vehicle and lock it
  • Move the foot pedals and/or leg rests out of the way
  • Open the passenger or driver door
  • Recline the car seat

The Process

  • Place the sling on the car seat
  • Attach the sling to the 4-point lifting attachment and secure it tightly
  • Using the remote, press the up button to guide the person out of the car and into the wheelchair

Precautions

  • Always have someone nearby to assist you while operating the lift and sling

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How to Get a Wheelchair Bound Person into a Car

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