Transferring from the sofa: Are there any devices to help my mom move from the sofa to her wheelchair?

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Are there any devices to help my mom move from the sofa to her wheelchair?


My mom has begun having difficulty transferring from the sofa to her wheelchair - she cannot stand. Are there any devices that would help?

Our answer

Transferring between a sofa and a wheelchair can be challenging, but thankfully there are a number of devices to help make it easier.

The effectiveness of these products depends on a range of factors, including the user’s ability, the presence of a helper, and the home environment. That is why it’s always a good idea to consult directly with a registered health professional - such as an Occupational Therapist or a Physiotherapist. They can make a proper assessment, addressing safety considerations and ensuring that equipment is appropriate for the client and their environment.

Generally, in cases where the user cannot stand overhead lifts are preferred in order to minimize risk. However, depending on the user you may be interested in exploring other options. We have listed a couple of devices below for you to explore:

  • Roturner by Jaide Products Inc. is a patient transfer aid that helps an individual to move from a seated position to a standing one, then turn, and then move back to a different seated position. The device does require that the patient can weight bear and it requires an assistant to help with locking and turning. The standard unit costs $1,855 (Cdn).
  • BodyUp Transfer System (available from Wolfe Mobility) is a manual transfer system to help assist in transfers, including between a sofa and a wheelchair. This device does require a caregiver to operate. It can also be used as an indoor wheelchair, but only for a short periods of time in order to avoid compromising skin integrity and if pressure ulcers are a concern, the transfer seat should not be left under the individual at any time. This product costs about $3,800 (Cdn).

If there is no one available to help with the transfer, then there is more risk to the user and more required of them in terms of strength and stability. In those cases there are plenty of simple products that can assist, such as furniture risers and supports. This article lists several of these options. There are also many products available that are designed to help someone getting up from a seated position, some of which are mentioned in this article.

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