Assisted transfers are used by medical professionals, caregivers and loved ones when someone cannot move or change position by themselves. It is very important to perform them correctly both for the safety of the person being helped as well as the person helping.

Some Important Guidelines for Caregivers and Loved Ones:

  1. Have your body as close as possible to the person being transferred to make it easier and safer for you  to move them.
  2. Use a wide base of support, meaning your legs are farther apart so you are more stable.
  3. Bend at your hips and knees, keeping a straight back and using your legs, not your back, to  do the 'heavy lifting.'
  4. Move or pivot your feet when turning, do not twist at your back.
  5. Always let the person you are helping do as much as possible on their own. Assist them only as much as they need so they gain strength and confidence in their abilities. This means you do not necessarily have to pick up their whole bodyweight, but only as much as they cannot manage on their own.

The videos below are a good demonstration of how to perform different types of transfers depending on someone's ability level. Even if the person you are helping does not having a stroke or is not using a wheelchair as is shown in the videos, these same techniques apply to anyone who is moving a person who needs help sitting up or help getting from a bed to a chair.

Physical therapists have a huge role to play in the rehabilitation of people who have survived severe reactions to COVID-19 and who demonstrate residual functional deficits or limitations. We may see intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICU-AW) or the rapid loss of muscle mass, bone mineral density and effects on other body systems from prolonged bedrest and illness. There is also potential damage done by the virus itself to neurological, cardiovascular and pulmonary structures, among others.

Using standardized functional outcome measures provides us with a common language through which we can demonstrate progress for our patients, the success of our treatment interventions, and the ability to compare our findings across multiple countries, settings and practitioners. Together, we can discover the best practices for treatment at a time when our patients are particularly vulnerable. They need us to be up-to-date and offering the best possible care we can. We owe it to them.

Click here for a downloadable packet of suggested functional tests and measures that can be a helpful starting point. It includes outsourced videos and information on how to perform the tests properly.

Other high quality resources for best practices and up-to-date information: