A transfer is a method of moving from one surface to another. Common examples performed throughout the day are transferring to and from the bed, chair, toilet and car.
It is important to retrain transfers where possible as it enhances your independence, and helps you lead a dignified life. Each technique of transferring can be different, so it is important to learn skills in all areas. Where possible, a transfer should involve weight bearing on the lower limbs to reduce the effort required to lift against gravity. This reduces the energy associated with transferring and reduces the risk of injury.
Neurological physiotherapists are physiotherapists with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spinal cord, inner ear and nerves. With our understanding of how the whole system works, we can identify the contributing factors to a poor transfer, such as:
Retraining transfers may be possible with interventions specific to your identified factors and this will form part of the design of a rehabilitation program. It may also be necessary that we prescribe additional specialised equipment (such as ceiling or mobile hoists or other transfer aids) or prescription of specific footwear. This may also involve an in-home consultation with an occupational therapist or orthotist in designing a custom solution to the problem.
Neurological physiotherapists are also able to train family, carers and other members of the team in how to best assist someone in transferring safely, so as to minimise risk and injury to all.