Looking for advice on equipment to transfer loved one from wheelchair to car


It's getting harder to transfer my brother from his wheelchair to my van (Honda CRV).

He's still able to stand up but has great difficulty in pivoting. I'm looking for an equipment that would allow me to transfer him to my van and ideally, that can be use as long as possible. Do you have suggestions?

When searching the internet, I came across the Milford-person-lift. Do some of you have experience with it? My brother is about 200 lbs.

Thank you.


16 Replies

  • Hi

    Not sure if it would help we bought a handy handle off internet, i'll let you google it!


  • Thank you Julie. We have one of those. Unfortunately, it does not help us with the pivot (turning from the wheelchair to the car seat).

  • Hi, we have a VW with an electric Turney seat, this seat comes completely outside the vehicle and then lowers to wheelchair height, I am then able to stand my wife (CBD) up from her wheelchair and with a slight twist (she cannot move her legs) lower her on to the Turney seat, the chair then lifts her into the vehicle. The other way of course is to have a vehicle that has a ramp that will accept a wheelchair and your loved one stays in and travels sat in the wheelchair. Under 65 yrs you can get financial help in UK but over 65 yrs you have to pay. I wish you well, either way is expensive. I brought both the seat and van off eBay.

  • Thank you Tjayoo. There is a program that would help paying part of the cost of modifying a van but my brother does not qualify because I'm not living with him. Another rule is that the person who needs a car/van modification has to have a life expectancy of 5 years.

    His neurologist mentioned that he was in late stage of PSP last July. As much as I like the flexibility of being able to go places with him and his wheelchair in my van, I'm not able to buy another van.

    I've looked at the Turney seat on the internet. I did not know such a seat existed.

  • Hi Etoile, As you are not living with your brother, there does seem little point of going to great expence. I used to put a mobile ramp to push the wheelchair up and then strap the wheelchair in, then the wheelchair either got heavier or I got weaker and was doing my back in, so I don't recomend. May I suggest if it is just an occasional outing you would like to take with your brother on, that a local taxi with a wheelchair facility be used, far cheaper than a van convertion. I wish you well in finding a solution.

  • I usually visit my brother once a week. Until recently, I had no problem managing the transfert. We would go to 2 or 3 places during one day.

    It's possible to use a transport for wheelchair patients but this is such a pain - long wait. I was just trying to find out if there is a solution/equipement that would allow us to continue our outings. I will have to adapt like my brother and use the transport if there is nothing else.

  • We used a Milford for six months then had to get a wheelchair vehicle with a winch and ramp.Better to go for a WAV straight away as lost a lot of money on the Milford.

  • Thank you for your reply Pantopete. As I mentioned Tjayoo, my brother is in advance stage but not bedridden yet. It's not an option to buy a WAV for me. I was looking for some equipment that could be between the stage of "patient able to transfert" and an adapted vehicle/taxi. Did you have to buy the Milford or an agency providing it?

  • Hi again. We were self funding and really the cost would have bought a 2nd hand WAV . PETER.

  • If you have a very flat surface for the transfer you might try a ReTurn 7500. This equipment is for indoor use but it might work outside. A Comfy Transfer belt might also help. Both these are supplied free (NHS) via a District Nurse. The DN must have come across such transfer problems that you describe so approach them before spending cash. It's surprising what is available but unless one asks .......

    Happy Christmas, New Year and good luck


  • Hello Sayer. I looked into the ReTurn 7500. I doubt it would work because my brother has a very very poor balance. Since he weights 200 lbs, it's difficult to stop a fall past a certain point. If I'm in front of the ReTurn 7500, I cannot hold him straight. I will show the equipment to the OT and PT. If I'm with another person, they may agree to it. Happy Christmas, New Year and thank you.

  • Thanks for your reply. Did I mention the use of a Comfy Belt? Ask your OT/physio if they think it might help. They should supply one if needed.


  • My husband had PPA and CBD/PSP, with many of these same mobility problems. We were provided with an Etac turner by our hospice OT, and that was a great help for transfers from wheelchair to car for about six months, see here etac.com/products/manual-tr.... Then even that got tricky and we got a WAV (wheelchair adapted vehicle) and tilt-in space wheelchair, which meant I could safely and easily take him out in car. Sadly he died only 6 weeks later. Everyone is different in how these illnesses progress it seems. If you are in the UK do speak to your NHS and hospice OT services before buying things.

  • Hi Fiona_S. I'm sorry about your lost. I hope you are surrounded by people who can help ease your pain.

    Thank you for your reply. When you say "even that got tricky", can you elaborate a little bit? Is it that you're loved-one would not hold the Etac turner or that he had a very poor balance? Were you using a belt?

    I started to look into tilt-in space wheelchairs for my brother. I'm not sure he would be willing to have one but I would like that he tries one. Currently, he's uncomfortable in his wheelchair but he does not want to have a nap in the afternoon to change position. He's in the same seating position all day (same wheelchair). He would not have thought this way before the illness.

  • Hi Etoile

    Yes a belt might have helped. I did not use one. At the day hospice which he went to once a fortnight they had a bigger aid, with a belt, and 3 nurses/carers. If I wanted to take him out in the car it was me on my own. The trickiness came when he lost the upper body and arm strength to pull himself into a standing position on the turner and maintain that safely whilst I (or a carer) twiddled it round. We reached the point where a second person was needed to steady him for any transfer. Plus he would slump forward or sideways in a wheelchair and was not safe to be left alone unless in his reclining armchair, or tilt in space wheelchair. OTs and Physios from the Hospice advised us on equipment, and were telling us we needed a hoist. We declined that as our house is very small, and I was not keen on the idea. His weakness worsened because of swallowing difficulties and general loss of muscle thereafter. He lost weight from 72 down to 52 kg (114 lb) which indicates how ill he was by then. So do take advice from others, as all cases are so different. I didn't have to contend with the backwards falls that seem often a feature of PSP. Sounds like you have additional balance problems to contend with too.

    My greatest consolation now comes from my super fit young black labrador dog, and I do have some good friends and a very supportive neighbourhood, although family do not live nearby. Not an easy time of year though.

    Wishing you all the best.


  • Trying googling something called a slide board or transfer board. My dad is about same weight as your brother and I had reservations about it working so never got one. Just tossing another idea out there.


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