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  • Transfer between power chair and manual chair

    I was really lucky to get advice and support from my therapist when I was in inpatient in order to get Medicaid to pay for a Permobil F5 Corpus - really the Rolls-Royce of power chairs. At the time we all thought that I would be unable to push a manual chair, so all the tilt, recline, and standing features of the F5 were super attractive for my well-being. However, by the time they finally approved the chair a full year later, I had gotten much stronger and decided to get myself a manual chair to push most of the time. And yet, I still have this F5 that serves as my standing frame, and also an amazing way to do home exercises like bench/shoulder presses with a weighted bar, and bicep curls with bands looped around the front casters. Kind of like having a home gym.

    The problem I have is getting between the chairs, since I really prefer to use the manual chair most of the time, and just use the power chair for these special purposes. Transferring between them has proved incredibly challenging, with an extra long slide board needed since the two chairs cannot get very close together, and the sideboard has to sit in front of the wheel on my manual chair, so I'm way out in front. It always feels super tenuous.

    Do any quads have tips and tricks for transferring between power chairs and manual chairs? I'd like to get to the point where I feel comfortable doing this alone so that I don't have to wait until I have a caregiver present in order to stand or do some exercises. I feel like being alone would make it tricky to use an intermediate step like transferring to a bed and then transferring back to the other chair, though if that's really the right answer I'm not opposed. But I'd definitely like to keep it simple and minimize the number of transfers if I can!

    Thanks in advance!
    C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

  • #2
    I have the same problem, but only use the Permobile as a back-up chair. On the rare occasion I use it, it's a scary transfer even using the power up and down mode to make it a gravity transfer, and with a transfer board. Is your transfer board super slick - using Pledge on it? Is there a way you can set up a "docking" spot in your residence where you have both chairs within easy reach of something to prevent a fall - such as a sturdy end table, couch, etc.? You would park in that same spot for each transfer. In short though, if you aren't entirely safe it's not worth it to do this kind of transfer, even if it's so dang frustrating to wait for help.
    Hope you let us know if you work something out.

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    • #3
      Is a 3 step transfer possible? Permobil to bed, bed to manual?

      Comment


      • #4
        I was scared to death of my power chair I slid off board several times trying to transfer from the bed to it and my van I finally said no ,more ur braver than me

        Comment


        • #5
          Chair to chair transfers are difficult enough for a quad, especially when the chairs are of different type. If you can afford it, the best way for the cleanest, safest transfer is with an overhead lift, hoyer or ceiling/frame mounted. It will deposit you in the perfect position for pressure relief and chair performance. Even if you don't use it daily you can use it for this purpose. If you don't want to have it in your bedroom, you can keep it in the garage.

          I would be careful about bench pressing, using weights or even heavy resistance bands while tilted back. You are going to stress the back shell/frame and eventually crack the plastic or break some of the fittings. Good luck getting the chair fixed in this environment and if you are on Medicare, they may not pay for it since it will not be due to normal wear and tear.

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          • #6
            When I’m not self-isolating, this is a transfer I do at least once a day. Both my manual and motor chairs are at about equal height… Maybe one or 2 inches of difference. It’s one of the most important things for me to check on getting a new chair, is my ability to transfer between the two. I try to get my manual chair beside the motor chair at an angle, ideally the front wheel of the motor chair will be at 90 degrees so I can get really close with my manual. That leaves about 2 to 3 inches of dead space between the two chairs, which I can transfer over. I don’t find it any more complicated than transferring to and from bed.
            www.worldonwheels.ca

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            • #7
              I would choose each chair independently and I would have the least priority as that of chair to chair transfers. Power chairs will always have a higher seat to floor base and essentially zero dump. You can get a higher the floor base with the manual chair, but that will only make your life more difficult in many other respects.

              You have much more flexibility with manual chair fitting. Get the best manual chair you can in terms of performance and stability and if you do not transfer alone, like I said, get a lifting device to move between the two.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by triumph View Post
                I have the same problem, but only use the Permobile as a back-up chair. On the rare occasion I use it, it's a scary transfer even using the power up and down mode to make it a gravity transfer, and with a transfer board. Is your transfer board super slick - using Pledge on it? Is there a way you can set up a "docking" spot in your residence where you have both chairs within easy reach of something to prevent a fall - such as a sturdy end table, couch, etc.? You would park in that same spot for each transfer. In short though, if you aren't entirely safe it's not worth it to do this kind of transfer, even if it's so dang frustrating to wait for help.
                Hope you let us know if you work something out.
                Thanks, triumph, good perspective. I have a pretty slippery transfer board, but it could probably be more slippery with Pledge. That said, I've had a problem with a wound on my butt before, so I tend not to slide at all but just use the board as a way for me to use a series of smaller bumps rather than just one big impossible transfer. I like the idea of using a dock, though. It'll still be scary, but I'll certainly have more confidence that way.
                C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tetracyclone View Post
                  Is a 3 step transfer possible? Permobil to bed, bed to manual?
                  definitely possible. However, in service to my shoulders I'd like to avoid any unnecessary transfers if I can. I'm also unsure that I'd be able to properly position both chairs at the bed and still leave myself room to maneuver without help from someone else. Worth trying out when I have someone around!
                  C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vjls View Post
                    I was scared to death of my power chair I slid off board several times trying to transfer from the bed to it and my van I finally said no ,more ur braver than me
                    I haven't done it yet, so we'll see!
                    C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by crags View Post
                      Chair to chair transfers are difficult enough for a quad, especially when the chairs are of different type. If you can afford it, the best way for the cleanest, safest transfer is with an overhead lift, hoyer or ceiling/frame mounted. It will deposit you in the perfect position for pressure relief and chair performance. Even if you don't use it daily you can use it for this purpose. If you don't want to have it in your bedroom, you can keep it in the garage.

                      I would be careful about bench pressing, using weights or even heavy resistance bands while tilted back. You are going to stress the back shell/frame and eventually crack the plastic or break some of the fittings. Good luck getting the chair fixed in this environment and if you are on Medicare, they may not pay for it since it will not be due to normal wear and tear.
                      There is certainly an appeal to an overhead lift. At the moment, I can't justify tearing up the rental apartment I'm in as I suspect I won't be in it for long. And, with both these chairs and a hoyer lift I'm a little bit low on space for yet another frame! But worth thinking about for the future.

                      I wouldn't worry too much about my bench pressing. I use that term only because it describes the correct motion, but my little weighted bar is so damn light (as is my upper body) due to my two years of atrophy that I'm not putting much force on anything at this point!
                      C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by christopher View Post
                        When I’m not self-isolating, this is a transfer I do at least once a day. Both my manual and motor chairs are at about equal height… Maybe one or 2 inches of difference. It’s one of the most important things for me to check on getting a new chair, is my ability to transfer between the two. I try to get my manual chair beside the motor chair at an angle, ideally the front wheel of the motor chair will be at 90 degrees so I can get really close with my manual. That leaves about 2 to 3 inches of dead space between the two chairs, which I can transfer over. I don’t find it any more complicated than transferring to and from bed.
                        Sounds like your chairs are built a little different than mine. In particular, the F5 has caster wheels sticking out the front that prevent me from getting my manual chairs casters anywhere near it, so if I try to come in at a steep angle I can only get the corners with in about 8" to 10" of each other, depending on how willing I am to lock the casters together. And the front drive wheels simultaneously don't turn, and stick out from the side of the chair about 4", so by the time I factor in my push rims, wheels, and spacing, parking parallel still leaves me about 8" away. This is why I have to use the extra long slide board, because using my normal length one I can't get one end properly underneath me and still have a supportive platform on the other end.
                        C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by crags View Post
                          I would choose each chair independently and I would have the least priority as that of chair to chair transfers. Power chairs will always have a higher seat to floor base and essentially zero dump. You can get a higher the floor base with the manual chair, but that will only make your life more difficult in many other respects.

                          You have much more flexibility with manual chair fitting. Get the best manual chair you can in terms of performance and stability and if you do not transfer alone, like I said, get a lifting device to move between the two.
                          Certainly I could see a way to cherry pick our chairs just for the purpose of chair to chair transfers. But there are a lot of factors they go into those decisions, and I'm really happy with both my chairs (the manual one is a Motion Composites Apex). Fortunately, while there's a little bit of height difference it's not too significant. The real problem is just the big gap. A lift certainly has appeal, but I'm hoping to find a way to avoid it because I can't really make that work in the near-term.
                          C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone for the ideas and perspectives! I hoped that there would be an easy answer that everybody else knew and I was dumb to, but it sounds like this is just a case of it's really hard. I'll probably experiment some more to see if I can figure out something that works, but I guess it's good to know that I'm not missing something obvious.
                            C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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                            • #15
                              One reason I have thought to figure this out for myself is IF I ever went to a vehicle with wheelchair in the driving position, it would make sense to install the lockdown on a power chair, as my everyday chair must remain capable of using my ZX1 which docks right onto the camber bar.
                              That's not gonna happen in my lifetime, but interesting to think about.

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