– As a wheelchair user, the most important thing toregaining your independence, is learning how to transfer.
If you never learn how totransfer out of your wheelchair, the likelihood of youbeing able to live alone, is slim to none.
How else do you think you'regonna be able to drive, bathe yourself, or even get out of bed? Most wheelchair users start off by using a slide board to transfer, but today I'm here with my friend Jesi, and we're gonna show you how to graduate from the slide board to transferring in out ofyour wheelchair independently.
(epic techno music) (laughter) (music box music) (both sighing) – Time for the first transfer of the day.
So the first thing you have to do in order to transfer into your wheelchair from your bed, is be able to sit up on your own.
So what I personally like to do is turn sideways, I like tobring my feet up to the edge, so they can drop off, I'll press down with my left and then I'll throw my elbow in, and then I will push up with my right arm to sit me up straight and then my feet are already off the edge.
I'll scoot up forward and get myself at the edge of the bed.
So the transfer itself is not a slide anymore, we're removing the slide board, so we have to place ourhand where we're going and we have to have a handwhere we currently are, we lift our bodies up and use momentum to move our butts to where we want to go.
So in this scenario, I have a hand where I am, I have a hand where I'm going, and then I will lean forward and bring my head down so my butt comes up and then turn my body.
So I'm leaning forward, I'm pushing up, turning my body.
I then put my feet back on the foot plate and scoot my butt back.
Hey Jesi, come on, you gotta wake up.
– Okay, fine.
For me to get up, I kindathrow my arms behind me, and tuck them under and I lean back and forth and kinda push up back and forth, then I will grab both of my legs with one arm, I kindatake my forearm under and I swing them to the side I scoot to the edge with my leading hip that's going into the chair, I put my feet flat on theground so I can pivot, my right hand is on thebar farthest away from me my left hand is over towards my hips I'm gonna look away from where I'm going and I just pop over.
The first thing I do in the morning is I go to the bathroom.
I personally don't cath in my chair, when I was first injuredI wanted to feel normal So I learned to transfer to the toilet.
I pull up actually directly in front of it but a little bit of an angle, same as every transfer Iscoot forward in my chair I'll life up the toilet seat, put my feet on the floor, I put one hand on the toilet seat, leave one hand on my chair and I pop myself over, and then to cath, I'll just put my feet up on my chair, like this, I cath, I'll put my pants on, I put my feet back down, I turn back to the side on the toilet, push my chair back just a little getting it back at that angle.
My right hand's furthestaway from me on the chair, and I'm back on.
– Now you'll notice I amnot sitting on a cushy, little medical seat, cause a lot of time you can'ttake those things with you when you're out traveling oryou stay at a friend's house or whatever the situation may be.
So I found that when I am peeing I just shoot my butt back all the way and it gives me access to a hole here, but if I'm ever doing my bowel program I scoot myself forward so then I can have access for my hand to reach around back.
So after I'm done relieving myself I will make sure I bringthe chair back forward, same concept where I havea hand where I'm going and a hand where I am, do the lean forward dip, push up, plop right on there, take my feet, and we're good to go.
So the next transfer thatI'm gonna be making today is the transfer into the tub, I've got a nice little shower chair set up right here, but it doesn't come allthe way out to the edge like some of the bigger ones do.
So I get up as close as possible take my feet off and then I take my left leg, which is the leading leg and I go ahead and putit inside of the tub.
I then have a hand where I'm going and a hand where I am at, and I then kinda straddle the side of the bathtub, and I then put a hand where I am and a hand where I wanna go and I transfer in there, plop my foot over and now I've got this big wide split and I grab this and put it in and I'm good to go.
I do a little bit differentlywhen I'm getting out cause I'm drying off with a towel what I'll do is I'll put this one up here I'll dry it off completely drop it off the edge, I'll bring this one up here, dry it off completely, drop it off the edge so both my feet are out, I come up and sit on the edge and then same concept where I take where I am, where I wanna go, push and twist.
And there we are.
– I love epsom salt baths it's really good to releasethat tension in our back especially from sitting.
To get into the tub, I first transfer to the side and then I slowly lower myself down in.
So, as with every transfer I scoot to the edge, I throw one leg over and I leave one leg out.
And I kinda ride it like a horse, I pull this leg back up, cause sometimes it slides away from me, I take my one hand, put it in the tub and I just slowly lower myself.
And then I'll pull this leg in with me.
The other reason this is really good is say you go to a friendor family member's house, who doesn't have a shower chair for you, you're able to still take a shower or take a bath and clean yourself while you're staying with somebody.
To get back out, it's verysimilar to a floor transfer.
I put both my legs up asclose as possible to me, the only issue is yourfeet will want to slide out especially when you're wet, and so the first coupleof times you do this I do recommend doingit with a family member or someone there to helpyou in case you need it.
I bring both feet close to me and I will put one hand here, my left hand here by my hip, my right hand's gonna be here, I tuck my legs against the surface and I try and put some weight on them, and then I'm gonnatransfer up to this ledge.
And you're gonna loseyour balance a little bit, and so what I do is I try to pull my chair to get it right where it cankinda catch me, like that.
And so I transfer from the surface to the even surface, my chair.
And then I just pull myself back in.
If I'm traveling, I will carrya stadium cushion with me, it's about four dollars at Walmart, it's probably that thick and I will sit on that, or if I'm taking areally, really long bath I'll sit on that, but typically I just transfer in and I'm in and out because it's so uncomfortableto take shower in a bathtub, typically they don't havethe handheld shower head and so you're using a cup or something to get the water on yourself so it's pretty quick anyways, but if you are concerned about your skin, definitely get a stadium seat cushion and throw that in there.
All right, so the nexttransfer's the car transfer.
I'm gonna open my door, I pull up at an angle but everybody pulls up a little different, so I put my right leg in, left leg's on the ground, I scoot to the edge of my chair I kind of point my butttowards the car, my head away, my right hand's going on the seat my left is grabbing the handle on the top and one, two, three, one motion, I pull myself in, and then grab my left leg, I pull it in, I position my feet where I need them.
Now I've gotta get my chair in the car.
And then I grab my blanket, it protects my body, my clothes, from my wheelchair, as I'mputting my wheelchair in.
The worst thing is having dirty clothes from pulling your tires over your body.
So protecting your appearance is something that's keyto being an independent wheelchair user.
So first, I pop one wheel off, putting it in the backseat, I then turn it, set it on the ground, then I pop the other wheel off, I let the frame hit the ground, if you look I'm using myshoulder on the door frame to hold my balance becauseI'm a T four injury and I don't have good balance.
Then I grab the body of the frame, again using that doorframe and I'm kinda leaning my head on it, I grab underneath the chair, I pull it first up onto my body, but I never let itactually sit on my legs, then I take it and put it in the back.
I put it in the back seat, because in my first car, I would load it in the front seat and it damaged my dash and left scratches and then one time I slammed on the brakes and it went into the windshield leaving a massive crack.
The last thing we want is our wheelchair to gothrough the windshield.
So to get my wheelchair out, I turn my body, I grab the frame body, and I put it kinda on my lap, but I'm supporting it with my arm kind of in a dumbbell curl type of style, so I don't let it lay on my legs, cause we don't ever wannaput weight on our legs.
I pop one wheel on while it's in the car, what this does is giveit something to lean on when you put it out, I'm letting my shoulder rest on this frame and that's supporting mefor my poor core strength.
I let my chair rest on the ledge while I grab the other wheel, so then the last wheelis super easy to put on I can actually lean the chairon the first wheel I put on.
I lean out, pop it in real quick give it a quick spin and I'm ready to go.
So opposite of getting in, I put my left leg out first, I move my right leg allthe way to the side, I scoot to the edge of the seat letting my left hip hang off, I put my right legagainst the hand control to hold it from flopping back in, I put my left hand onthe left bar of my chair, and my right hand on the door frame, and I turn my head away from my butt, this is a key in any transfer, and getting where you want to go is putting your head away from your butt, so one movement and we're over.
So when I transfer mywheels actually are locked but a lot of people don't realize it because I don't have scissor brakes or the ones that you push down, I have D's locks, and what happens is you hit one lever and a pin goes into the hub.
– You can leave them engaged while you're taking the wheels on and off you don't have to unlock the wheels in order to take it on and off.
So since I'm super incomplete and can stand and walk a little bit my transfering style isn't really gonna beuseful for new folks, so if you wanna see what that looks like, check out this video right up here.
– The best part about having a car is having a big trunk, but it's not fun, whenthings slide to the front, I wanna get that jacket, I slide down to the edge of my chair, my left hand is on theinside of the trunk, right hand's on my chair I'm gonna look away, and push myself in there.
I grab my legs to kinda slide in I turn a little bit and then I can lean in and grab that jacket I needed, this is sometimes hard cause your legs willget caught on the chair and you're kinda stuck in the trunk now, I kinda slide to the edge and be careful not to fall completely, make sure your legs are in a good position to get back in your chair, and then to shut the trunk, I just grab right here, slide it, and we're on our way.
The next transfer's a couch transfer.
Sometimes when you're at a friend's house you can feel isolatedbeing in your wheelchair.
I pull up to the couch the same way I pull up to my bed, I do it at an angle, put both legs down, my left hand goes far away from my body, my head's looking awayfrom where my butt's going, and we're on.
I kinda scoot myself backwards reposition my feet, I'll push my wheelchair away and I'm hanging out with my friends.
– So one of the things that I find so precious about being able to transfer, I mean pretty much onto anything, is feeling a part of, being able to participate in life and in fun with allyour friends and family and although the chair isnot a sentence or a curse, it's definitely somethingthat when you're in the chair and everyone else is sitting on a couch you feel real isolated and not a part of.
You know whether I'm at a bar, or I'm at a restaurant, or I'm at a friend's house it's just nice to be out of the chair.
– You feel included.
And it's just bringing that inclusivity back to your life, you're feeling human again.
– So the thing that you're gonna notice through all the transfers is that we always comeup to the closest edge we possibly can.
And allowing our feet to be free and just move around as necessary.
Very similar to how I got on, it's in reverse, I grab onto this area here, I put my hand behind me, and I push and move all in one motion, put my feet back on, scoot back, and I'm good to go.
So in real life situations, if it was only a high top available, I would more than likely just say no, I'm not trying to dieclimbing up onto this chair.
But this is just to show you guys that it is possible to be done.
Just don't forget that I have all my abs, I have a low level of injury which means that my entire core is intact so I might be able to do ita little bit more gracefully.
So again, I just keep mybutt towards the front, I pull my feet off, lock my wheels in, and I'mgonna choose the far corner and then I'm gonna try thehighest point on my wheelchair that's stable, so sincemy wheels are locked I'm gonna choose that.
Press down on both, kinda like a dip, and then climb my way up and this is a super uncomfortable chair that I would not like being on like if I was out to dinner with friends, I'd be like, hey guys, can we get a real booth, cause I don't like this.
Getting off is much easier, you just kinda drop your way in, like as long you got a decent cushion and your wheels are locked, you can just flop right on in.
(bomb explosion) Ta-da! All right so the floor transfer is one of the most important transfers.
One of the most scary things about being a wheelchair user is falling out of your chair.
– Hi kitty, hi, oh crap, ah! (Jesi laughing) – I've gone ahead and scooted forward I've dropped my feet off and I'm gonna take my handand take it towards the ground while also holding onto mywheelchair at the same time.
And once I'm touching I can then kind of, just plop myself down.
So this is good if youwanna sit on the ground and play with your kids or if you wanna sit on the ground and play board games with your friends or if you wanna go to an outside concert and have a picnic or lay in the grass there's a bunch of reasons you wanna get down on the floor.
The biggest fear a lotof wheelchair users have when they're out wheelingaround in the real world is falling out of their chair and not being able to get back in and then you don't take as many risks.
The way that you can start to be more comfortabletaking more risks is master this transfer.
So there's no perfect method for everyone, you're gonna see Jesi do adifferent style of transfer than I'm gonna do.
You just have to find the one that works best for you.
What I do is I get my butt up against the foot plateas much as possible, and I bring my legs up as close as I can to myself.
I'll put my hands on thislittle bar right here that connects my castors, and then I'll slowly climb my way back up.
So I'll grab here and here and then when I push up I'll grab this one, switch over to that, and pull myself in.
That's a lot of hip, that's a lot of core.
– When I was first injured, I'd find myself on the floor more than I was in my chair.
Whether it was flipping over backwards, sliding too far forward and then I couldn't get myself back up.
I'd be stuck on the floor for hours waiting for someone to come home.
The floor transfer is the biggest, most important transfer you're gonna learn in yourlife as a wheelchair user.
Ways that you can get stronger, one way, is taking your hands, putting them on your wheels, and pushing up and you're just doing wheelchair dips.
And I typically would do, about five sets of 10 of those.
Getting in the gym and continuing to build your arm strength, what core strength you can and your shoulders is also a crucial way to be able to do the floor transfer.
As with every other transfer I slide forward in my chair, I put my feet on the floor, I put my hand down in front of me, I leave one hand on my chair and slowly guide my butt to the ground.
I'm gonna show you the front transfer, I personally can't do it, I struggle to get that twist at the top, but if you're able toget up on your knees, there's a way that people, they push up, they like, put a hand up here, put a hand up here, andthey like push their body up and just twist theirbutt into their chair.
That's not something that I can do, no matter how, how hard I try.
So my approach is a little different, I do have a stronger side, it's actually comingfrom the opposite side, so I'm gonna show you my weaker side so you can have an idea of what my floor transfers looked like when I first started.
I get next to my chair, like this, I slide forward about halfway with my hips to my footplate, I slide my feet asclose to me as possible, using my chair to lean my knees against so they don't fall out, and I'll kinda angle this foot out, this hand right here and this hands kind of, my right hand's behind me, so I'm gonna use it to push, your head needs to go away fromwhere your butt's gonna go.
So my head's gonna go the opposite way, I'm looking over my shoulder, I'll put weight on my ankles, and sometimes I'll bounceif I need that extra lift, but it's kind of a one, two, three, and then you're back in your chair.
To come back up and getyourself back up right before I had core strength if I was down like this, and trying to get back in my chair, I would actually walk myself up my leg, like that, just in case I couldn'tget my hand from here and be able to lift.
There's a ton of differentways to do this transfer I recommend trying it with somebody there to help you back in your chair and finding what wayworks perfect for you.
– All right, so thelast transfer of the day is getting back into bed and going to sleep.
Scoot forward, feet on the ground, place where I'm going, place where I am, I like to scoot myself back and the reverse of how I got in, I like to throw my elbow down, pull my feet up, and plop down and get all comfy.
– Finally get to get out of my chair, it's my favorite part of the day, I love to lay down.
Scoot into the edge, same transfer, hands in the same place, I pull myself back, grab a leg, grab another leg, and we're done.
– Thanks so much for watching I hope you really enjoyed this video.
If this is your first time watching a wheelchair basics video, go back and check out the first two, we've got one on pushing your wheelchair and doing wheelies.
Special thanks to Jesi Stracham, she's gonna be linked down below for helping me out in this video today.
Be sure to check outJesi's YouTube channel, she's gonna put some bloopers and behind the scenes from today and we have a lot of them.
Also we have a secondchannel, Andrew and I, we make a podcast every week if you're interested go check it out, that's also gonna be linked down below.
Thanks for watching and I'll catch you in the comment section.
(epic techno music).