Transfer—Wheelchair to Toilet

If your loved one will use a wheelchair, you need to know about transfers. For safety’s sake, learn how to help your loved one in and out of the wheelchair. One basic method is shown here.

Healthcare provider using gait belt to help patient transfer from wheelchair to toilet.

Healthcare provider using gait belt to help patient sit on toilet from wheelchair.



1  Stand the patient up:

  • Lock the wheelchair.

  • Be sure the person’s feet are under his or her body.

  • Grasp the back of a belt or pants and lift.

2  Move onto the toilet:

  • Keep the person’s weaker knee between your legs.

  • Pivot the person around in front of the toilet. Always transfer toward the person’s stronger side.

  • Gently sit the patient down onto the toilet.

  • Help the patient adjust his or her clothing.

  • Never pull on the person’s weaker arm or lift the person by the armpits.

Take care of your back

Lifting a patient can be hard on your back. To reduce the risk of a back injury, remember to do the following:

  • Organize the steps in your head before you move.

  • Keep the patient close to you.

  • Keep your knees bent and your back straight.

  • Consider using a gait belt.

  • Get help when you need it.