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Single-person, full-assist repositioning in shower wheelchair

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  • Single-person, full-assist repositioning in shower wheelchair

    I am a C4/5 quadriplegic with no real strength for transferring/repositioning to speak of. Since my injury 14 years ago, I have only used a single caregiver for each shift. I do transfers with a slide board. In the power chair, I'm able to lean forward over my legs so that my caregiver can pull me back and centered in the seat using my pants.

    In the shower chair, I typically teach another repositioning technique to my caregivers that was taught to me during rehab. The caregiver braces my knees with their thighs or hips, and I lean forward onto his/her shoulder. With his/her hands locked around the center of my back, he/she pivots my body forward to lift up my butt, and they shift me back/centered with their thighs/hips. I hope that makes sense. Does anyone else use this technique? Does it have a name?

    I've never had much trouble with it, and I try to make sure that the caregivers have proper technique so as to not hurt their back. However, a new caregiver that I'm training is having trouble with it? She can't seem to lift my butt off the seat. My other caregivers and I have communicated everything about the technique, so I'm not sure if there is something that we are missing, or if my new caregiver isn't strong enough.

    Is there a resource online that I can provide to her?

  • #2
    That technique is still taught, but really is unsafe for the caregiver. It is similar to a "quad pivot" transfer in the amount of stress on the low back, even when done "perfectly" (measured at 600% over the recommended low back compression force). Much safer for both of you to use a mechanical lift, either floor based or ceiling track for dependent transfers. Even a dependent slide board transfer puts the caregiver at significant risk over the long term for musculoskeletal injury.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.