Mobility and Transfers
Before purchasing any additional equipment, always check with insurance providers to see what is covered. Many of the products - while adding a great deal of convenience, come with a steep price tag. Shop wisely and try to find assistance where you can. Also, consider the supplies needed and ask yourself how this compares to facility care where many of the products are already available for use. If you are not considering staying at home, this may be the time to consider the move if you are contemplating aging somewhere other than at home before making purchases.
Always check with your doctor or an occupational therapist to find out exactly what products will work best for your unique and specific situation. Many times, insurance or Medicare will pay for standard equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs or computers. Visiting a local medical supply company can allow you to see the products up close and in person to make sure it would best meet your needs. When comparing prices, shop online to make sure you are getting the best deal possible when purchasing equipment.
Remember, sometimes the cheapest devices meet the greatest needs. Also, encouraging mobility as much as possible, even when it seems impossible, can keep people moving, especially the core of the body. Patient lifts should only be used in the direst of circumstances when care partners cannot assist to ensure safety. Often, patient lifts will also require more than one person to operate - so keep that in mind prior to purchasing as well.
What is a patient transfer device?
A transfer device, also referred to as patient transfer equipment or transfer aid, is a mobility aid to move people more easily with mobility challenges to and from a wheelchair, chair, car, bathtub, or toilet safely. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of death for people over 65, and transfer-devices lower the risk of patient falls and care partner strains and injuries.
Consider the Level of Assistance Required
Self-transfer mobility aids are made for people who only need a bit of assistance when transitioning between sitting and standing. These transfer aids usually require some arm strength, but often don't require any caregiver assistance to use safely. Examples of self-transfer devices include a swivel seat cushion, vehicle assistance straps, and car door automotive handle standing aids.
Assisted transfer devices are best for individuals who need some caregiver assistance. These devices work with the effort to the patient and the caregiver, but don't require the same level of patient strength that self-transfer aids do. Transfer belts and boards are examples of devices designed for assisted transfers.
For patients whose mobility is severely impaired and who rely on caregivers for any transfers, aids that allow for multiple caregivers to handle them are most appropriate. These include transfer blankets and slings that a team of caregivers uses at once to ensure a safe transfer of an immobile patient.
Best Transfer Aids for Extra Assistance
Patient lifts are used to move patients who have little or no independent mobility. They are designed to take the physical strain of patient transfers off caregivers and provide a safe and comfortable patient experience. They are also known as handicap lifts, people lifts, mechanical lifts, and hospital lifts.
Disclaimer: The Parkinson Association of Alabama (PAA) does not endorse or recommend any specific product or brand for purchase. It is to each person's discretion what products to purchase. The PAA cannot be held liable if the product does not produce its desired solution.