Moving Between Wheelchair and Car:
This type of transfer typically requires the use of the traditional manual style lift that has a straight bar. You will need to use the T-bar attachment for the lift and a Standard Sling in order to achieve adequate clearance to get into the vehicle. In general, two-person assistance is needed to safely complete this transfer.
- Position the wheelchair next to the vehicle and apply the brakes.
- Position the sling appropriately (see positioning the sling).
- Open the passenger side door and recline the car seat.
- Place the car cushion (if needed) in the car seat.
- Widen the lift base to the widest position and move the lift into position.
- Connect the sling to the hooks on the chains. Lengths used for the chains can vary; please use the number of links recommended during training with the therapist.
- Use the manual pump to lift the person off the surface.
- Once clear from the surface, pull the lift back and turn to move between the wheelchair and the vehicle.
Moving Into the Vehicle:
- Once elevated in the lift, pivot the person around so that their head will go in first.
- The top of the bar and the person's head must both be inside the vehicle. You may need to lower the lift slightly to get both of them inside and then pump up slightly once the bar is inside to get better seat clearance.
- As the head moves into the vehicle, the person needs to be rotated around to move the legs/knees toward the front seat. At this point, a second person assisting from inside the vehicle may be needed.
- Once the person is positioned appropriately over the seat with legs inside the vehicle, the lift can be safely lowered and the sling can be unhooked. Pressure applied at the legs to push person's bottom further back into the seat may be needed.
Once the person is safely lowered, apply car safety restraints including lap and shoulder belt and any extra supports deemed necessary by the therapist. Raise the seat back up to vertical or only slightly reclined position. DO NOT leave the seat back reclined while traveling. Reclining the seat more than 30 degrees decreases the effectiveness of the restraint systems and can be dangerous.
Moving Out of the Vehicle:
- Move the lift into place and connect the sling to the chain hooks. Remove the car safety restraints.
- Use the manual pump to begin to lift the person from the surface.
- Move legs out of the vehicle. Use the pump to further raise the person in the lift to try to clear their bottom from the seat.
- Once the person's bottom is off the side of the seat, you may have to lower the lift bar slightly to allow for clearance of the head and the top of the bar out of the vehicle.
- Move the lift/person to the wheelchair. Position the person appropriately and use release valve to slowly lower into the chair. You may have to push back on the knees as you lower to get the bottom to the back of the seat in the wheelchair.
Watch this video for a demonstration of a car transfer using a manual Hoyer lift. If you have any questions about performing this type of transfer, you should contact the physical therapist.
- This is not an easy transfer to perform. Keeping the person safe is most important and extra help may be needed to complete this transfer safely.
- Spasticity can affect performance and safety of this transfer.
- Foot protection should be worn to prevent injuries to the feet/toes.
- Weight shifts should be done according to the regular schedule while traveling in the car.