Getting in and out of a car can be challenging, especially during the winter months with cold and icy conditions. This video identifies safe practices for survivors and caregivers alike to ensure this transfer is safe! Additionally, this video highlights adaptive equipment that can make this transfer safer and easier.

Preparing for the Transfer (0:00-2:20)

  1. Use a gait belt to increase safety and provide more control during the transfer.
  2. Adjust the car seat as far back as possible.
  3. Position the wheelchair and lock the brakes.

Standing up from the Wheelchair (2:20-3:38)

  1. Be sure to use good body mechanics when assisting your loved one in standing up. Use your legs, rather than your back, when lifting.
  2. The survivor of stroke needs to scoot toward the front of the chair. This can be done by leaning backward and sliding the hips forward.
  3. Then they can place their hands on the wheelchair armrests to stand. In standing, they can grab onto the car or their care partner’s arm. Try to avoid grabbing onto the door, as this could swing back and forth.
  4. Time to stand up! It may be helpful to perform 3 rocks forward to build momentum if standing up from a low surface. Either the survivor of stroke or the care partner should count aloud to three, so both know when to start standing.

Pivoting and sitting in the car (3:38-4:29)

  1. Take small steps to pivot bottom toward car seat.
  2. Make sure the survivor can feel the car on the back of their calves.
  3. When in the correct position, the survivor can sit down.
  4. Once seated, swing the legs into the car. The caregiver may need to assist with this.

Car Cane (4:30-5:30)

A car cane is a great device used to add extra support when getting out of a car. Simply place the pointed end into the hinge on the car door. Then place your hand on the handle and push up. This serves as a very sturdy base of support during this transfer.