Standing Step Transfer


A standing step transfer is a technique to move from one surface to another. To do this transfer, you need some leg strength and good balance. You can use a walker or cane to help with the standing part of this transfer. Practice this transfer with your therapist before trying it alone. Your therapist can also help teach an assistant the safest way to help you.

  1. Place your wheelchair at the side of the platform on a slight angle. The front of the chair should be closest to the bed.
  2. Put your brakes on. Remove or swing away the footplates.
  3. Move yourself forward on the wheelchair cushion. Both your feet should be flat on the floor.
  4. Put both hands on the armrests of the wheelchair. If using a walker, put it in front of you. Put one hand on the walker and the other on the wheelchair armrest. If using a cane, put one hand on the cane and the other on the wheelchair armrest.
  5. Lean forward and push yourself into a standing position using your arms and legs. Stand for a moment to get your balance.
  6. Turn slowly, with small steps, until your back faces the platform you are transferring to. Step back until you can feel the edge of the platform against your legs.
  7. Lean slightly forward as you bend your hips and knees. Reach with your hands for the edge of the platform to give you support as you sit down. If you are using a walker or cane, leave one hand on it. Reach for the platform with the other hand. Sit down slowly.
Standing Step Transfer with Assistance

When helping, your assistant should be partially turned towards you. They can place their hands either under your bum, under your arm, or under your elbow.

The following instructions are for you to instruct your assistant:

  1. Move forward in your chair. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Your assistant should get ready by holding your hand and arm. They should hold your arm steady and should not pull on it. Your assistant should always keep their back straight and knees bent a little.
  3. Place one hand on the armrest of the chair. Your assistant should already be holding the other hand or arm.
  4. To get up, lean forward and push down with your arms and legs and, if needed, on your assistant’s hand.
  5. Once up, your assistant should just guide and support you. Turn by taking small steps.
  6. As you descend, your assistant should hold your arm without pulling it. They can also put their hand behind your shoulder. They should guide you as you lower for a slow descent.
Tip: When you and your caregiver are ready to transfer, you can say “1, 2, 3, UP!”