The general principles of safe lifting should always be used when transferring someone to the beach wheelchair. It is important to plan the lift carefully to avoid injury to the carer and the user. If you are not familiar with transferring the user already, it may be useful to seek training in safe transfers before using the beach wheelchair.
Remove armrests before transferring.
Planning the lift or transfer
- If the user is able to communicate clearly, then ask them about their needs and ability to assist with the lift
- Assess the environment, including room to move safely and removing any obstacles
- Arrange the area so that you are lifting over the shortest possible distance and there is no twisting
- If in doubt, ask a second person to assist
- If two people are involved, appoint a leader to call the lift.
Safely executing the lift
- Get close to the person and hold them close to you
- Take a firm hold, not too tight
- Position feet well apart
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight
- Leader counts ‘1,2,3 lift’
- While lifting, use your legs, not your back
- To change direction, move your feet, don’t twist.
Many people who transfer independently can transfer onto the beach wheelchair with little or no assistance. If they need to transfer in two stages by propping on the large wheel, it may be useful to cover the wheel with a towel.
The beach wheelchair is supplied with a leg support strap only. Do not use straps when entering the water. It is easy to attach additional straps to the seat and leg support bars to meet individual needs. Some users may require cushions and towels (not supplied) for additional comfort.