What are some tips for transferring my mother from her motorized chair to the bed or bathroom?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother is losing her ability to transfer herself from her motorized chair to her bed, toilet, etc. Since she lives with me and I cannot lift her (she's 90 and I'm 70), I am afraid I'll have to put her in a nursing home if I can't figure out a way to assist her. Do you have any ideas?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

I would like to suggest that you get a consultation from a physical therapist or a geriatric care manager. She might be able to learn strengthening excercises so that she can can do the transfer from the motorized care herself. A professional could help evaluate your dear mother's motivation and ability to adjust.

There are devices called Hoyer Lifts which can help with a transfer.  But even with that, it would probably be too much for you alone to do. You could get a caregiver to help lp in the morning, getting your mother up, helping with breakfast, personal care, range of motion excercises, and doctor appointments.  Your mother would be in her chair for lunch and resting in the afternoon. She would probably need to wear pull ups, in case she needs to urinate.  Then you would need someone to help in the late afternoon until she goes to bed.

Your mother may benefit from long term care in a nursing home.  Think of it as a chance to expand into a  circle of care.  Try to find a home as close to where you live as possible.  Apppreciate the fact that both of you are receiving the help you need.  Most of your time will be spent caring for the caregivers so that they can better take care of your mother.