Hemiplegia causes paralysis on either side of the body. Left hemiplegia damages the right side of the brain, which affects the left side of the body. Stroke is a common cause of hemiplegia.
This paralysis affects a hemiplegic's mobility, and some hemiplegics need help transferring from floor to chair.
When hemiplegics participate in the transfer process, they develop body strength, which aids their recovery.
Before the Transfer
A standing pivot transfer allows the hemiplegic patient to stand on the floor, turn in a certain direction, and sit down in a chair.
Let the patient transfer by himself if he desires, but put a gait belt around his waist in case you need to assist him. For added support, you can also place your hands on his hips, shoulders or upper body.
As you go through the transfer process, explain each step to the patient, and show him which direction he will be transferring to.
Lock the wheels on the wheelchair or hospital bed.
It's important that the wheelchair be at the same level of height as the hospital bed, to make the transfer easier. Take the foot pedal off of the wheelchair, and remove the arm rest on the side to which the patient is transferring. Place the wheelchair at a 90-degree angle to the hospital bed, moving the wheelchair as close to the hospital bed as possible.
- A standing pivot transfer allows the hemiplegic patient to stand on the floor, turn in a certain direction, and sit down in a chair.
- Take the foot pedal off of the wheelchair, and remove the arm rest on the side to which the patient is transferring.
Standing Pivot Transfer
The patient's strong side should be closest to the wheelchair.
Have the patient scoot to the edge of the bed by moving one hip forward, and then the other. If the patient has sufficient leg strength, let her move her hips without assistance.
Once the patient is at the edge of the bed, place her feet flat on the floor, with her stronger foot slightly in back of her affected foot.
With the patient sitting up straight, have her move her body forward, while you grasp the back of the gait belt around her waist.
- The patient's strong side should be closest to the wheelchair.
- With the patient sitting up straight, have her move her body forward, while you grasp the back of the gait belt around her waist.
To steady the patient's legs and keep her knees from buckling, block her legs by positioning your feet and knees in front of the patient's feet and knees.
To control the patient's upper body, have her put her arms around the upper part of your back, or your elbows. Don't let the patient steady herself by holding onto your neck, as you could easily be injured.
With his upper body straight, help the patient lean forward over his knees.
Count slowly to three, and on the count of three, help the patient transfer from the bed to a standing position. When the patient first comes to a standing position, his knees should come forward. Keep your body straight, and bend your knees, to prevent injury.
Once the patient is standing, turn your feet toward the wheelchair, and turn the patient so that he's in position to transfer to the wheelchair.
Help the patient lower his body onto the wheelchair. If needed, he can use the armrest to help lower his body all the way down.
Once the patient can maintain a sitting position by himself, have him scoot as far back in the wheelchair as possible, to support his back.