3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Daily living activities

Daily living activities

15) Lifting a manual wheelchair into or out of a vehicle video

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Getting a wheelchair into a car

  • Make the wheelchair as light as you can.
  • Remove the footplates. The latch is usually just under or to the side of the footplate.
  • Remove cushion.
  • Armrests can also be removed to give extra space in a small car. The latch is usually at the front of the armrest.
  • Fold the chair by pulling the middle of the seat upwards. Tilt to wheelchair towards you so gravity helps you.
  • Lower the back rest into the folded position by releasing the latch on each armrest.
  • Take off the wheelchair brakes and wheel the chair to the car boot to avoid lifting the chair.
  • Put brakes on.
  • Bend your knees, keeping your back straight but not rigid.
  • Take a firm hold of the wheelchair rims, tilt the wheelchair towards you slightly and lift in one smooth movement.
  • It can help to place an old towel or rug in the back of the car to protect the boot sill from damage as you lift the chair. This is also useful to dry the seat and wheels if the wheelchair gets wet.
  • Adjust the wheelchair to fit into the boot space.
  • Place the wheelchair cushion between the wheelchair and the boot door. This will help to stop the wheelchair moving about in the boot when driving. You could also use one of the rear seatbelts threaded through the wheelchair to help anchor it while driving.

Under no circumstances are electric powered wheelchairs to be manually lifted.