3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Physical deficits

Physical deficits

14) Weight transfer

What is weight transfer?

This is the ability to safely move your weight from one side of the body to the other. It is crucial for safe walking as the weight needs to move over to one side to allow the leg on the opposite side to move forward.

At first walking can be very tiring and may take a lot of effort, concentration and help. Once the therapist is satisfied that the person is safe to walk short distances, other ward staff will be shown the best method to use for that person and walking outside normal therapy sessions will be encouraged. Walking devices or aids may be supplied, if needed, to help with walking. 

Only when the person can safely transfer weight from one side of the body to the other can they start to attempt to take a step with support. It may be that some people only reach this stage but cannot progress further. They may not be able to perform another functional task at the same time. For example to be able to step you also have to be able to look where you are going, avoid obstacles etc. We need to be able to bend and reach for objects around us.