Navigate Up
Skip Navigation Links.
Collapse Patient Education MaterialsPatient Education Materials
Expand AIDS/HIVAIDS/HIV
Expand Back SurgeryBack Surgery
Expand Behavioral HealthBehavioral Health
Expand Breathing DisordersBreathing Disorders
Expand Cancer: MiscellaneousCancer: Miscellaneous
Expand CardiologyCardiology
Expand Cardiology DrugsCardiology Drugs
Expand Catheters, Drains, and PortsCatheters, Drains, and Ports
Expand ContraceptionContraception
Expand DiabetesDiabetes
Expand Eye CareEye Care
Expand FluFlu
Expand GastrointestinalGastrointestinal
Expand Infection ControlInfection Control
Expand Infectious DiseasesInfectious Diseases
Expand LiverLiver
Expand Men's HealthMen's Health
Expand MiscellaneousMiscellaneous
Expand Neurology/NeurosurgeryNeurology/Neurosurgery
Expand Nutrition and DietNutrition and Diet
Expand Older Adults & CaregiversOlder Adults & Caregivers
Expand OrthopaedicsOrthopaedics
Expand Ostomy CareOstomy Care
Expand OtolaryngologyOtolaryngology
Expand Pain ControlPain Control
Expand Pregnancy and ChildbirthPregnancy and Childbirth
Collapse RehabilitationRehabilitation
Expand Safety TipsSafety Tips
Expand Sexually Transmitted DiseasesSexually Transmitted Diseases
Expand SkinSkin
Expand SmokingSmoking
Expand SurgerySurgery
Expand Women's HealthWomen's Health

Double Amputation: Chair to Bed Transfer

This page is for people who have had a double amputation of the lower extremities (limbs). It may take you some time to get used to using your wheelchair, especially when you move from the chair to bed. Below are tips for making the transfer from wheelchair to bed safely.

Wheelchair to bed

  1. Wheel your chair to the side of the bed. You should be facing the side of the bed head-on (perpendicular to the bed, see picture at right).
  2. Swing away the wheelchair’s leg rests.
  3. Roll your wheelchair as close to the bed as possible. Try not to leave any gap between the chair and the bed. Lock the wheelchair’s brakes.
  4. Put your hands and arms on the wheelchair’s arm rests. You will use your arms to support some of your body’s weight. “Walk” your legs forward by shifting your weight from side to side. Continue shifting and moving until you are completely on the bed. Then you can position yourself comfortably (see picture right).

Bed to wheelchair

  1. Be sure the wheelchair is facing the bed with little or no gap between the chair and the bed. Be sure the brakes are locked.
  2. Sit on the edge of the bed with your back toward the locked wheelchair (see picture at right).
  3. Reach backward for the arms of the chair. Use your arms to support your weight as you lift yourself up and back into the chair.
  4. Unlock the brakes and wheel away from the bed so you can swing the wheelchair’s leg rests back into place.

General tips

  • Always lock the wheelchair before any transfer.
  • Whether getting into or out of bed, put the wheelchair closer to the head of the bed. This makes it easier to position yourself on the bed.
  • Before moving in or out of bed, get rid of extra blankets or items that might get in
    your way.
  • When scooting backwards, lean your body forward so your head is over your knees.
  • Try to plan the transfer so the surfaces you are moving to and from are the same height. For example, it is difficult to move from a low wheelchair to a high bed.
  • Use a wheelchair with anti-tipping devices.

Your physical therapist may show you other ways to make safe transfers depending on your physical condition and home setting.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com