Transfer poles are one of the most under-utilized and most underappreciated yet critical aspects of senior safety solutions. As any family caregiver knows, helping a loved one with limited mobility safely navigate the home can be a challenging task.
Many people have misconceptions about how they work and how they can be used effectively. The reality is that these sturdy little guys can do just about anything as long as you know what you’re doing and how to use them effectively. Transfer poles are a relatively inexpensive and simple homecare tool that can make a huge difference for seniors or those that could just use a hand.
Transfer poles certainly don’t dominate the décor of a home, but they do provide a great deal of help in daily activities.
What are Transfer Poles?
A transfer pole is a long, sturdy pole with a grip on one end and a flat surface on the other. It is also called a security pole as it provides extra safety and stability for seniors and individuals with limited mobility. They serve as a stable platform for seniors to transfer from a seated or lying position to a standing position.
However, transfer poles are often an afterthought in the design of a home or facility. But they can be a life-saving addition for those who have difficulty standing or who are at risk of falling.
How Can Transfer Poles Benefit Seniors?
Make no mistake about it. Transfer poles are not just for seniors and people with disabilities. Transfer poles are suitable for any situation.
Transfer poles can be used to:
- support standing while showering
- sitting at tables
- getting in and out of chairs and beds
- navigating around the house
- getting into and out of a shower stall or tub, and much more!
Types of Transfer Poles
Your choice of transfer pole depends on your size, strength, and mobility level. When it comes to purchasing a transfer pole for your senior loved ones, there are many factors to consider. The most important decision is what type of transfer pole to buy, from the design to the materials used.
There are many types of transfer poles and each has its own benefits. Before you choose which one is best suited for your loved one’s needs, let us look at some of the distinct features of each one:
- Standard poles reach from the floor to the ceiling with a surface to help you keep a grip. They are the most stable type of pole and are best for seniors who are unable to stand on their own or need help getting up.
However, some ceiling fixtures are not compatible with these types of poles. Standard transfer poles are best suited for flat ceilings. If you have sloped ceilings, these may not work for you.
- Free Standing Poles are good for seniors who are able to stand on their own as they do not require installation.
- Portable Poles are the most versatile type of pole as they can be moved around the house- or even outside!
- Grab poles include one or more grab bars for extra support and safety
- Heavy-duty models are best for patients who weigh more than the standard weight capacity.
- Wooden Poles are the most traditional type of transfer poles and are often the most affordable. They are also the heaviest, so they may be difficult to move around.
- Metal Poles are the lightest and most durable type but they are also the most expensive.
- Plastic Poles are the most lightweight and are often the cheapest. However, they are not as durable as metal poles.
Transfer Pole Installation Tips and Reminders:
- Pick a spot that is easily accessible for your loved one
- Make sure to install the pole so that it is sturdy and secure enough to support the weight of everyone who might be using it. The best way to do this is by working with a professional.
- Provide a comfortable place for your loved one to rest while using the pole
- Install the poles where they will be easy to reach
- Make sure they are installed where they will not obstruct traffic or doorways
- It is also a good idea to install it near power outlets so your loved ones can plug in their medical devices.
When it comes to senior safety, one of the most important things to consider is transfer poles.
Installing transfer poles is a great way to keep your loved ones safe while they are aging. They not only provide seniors with the independence they need to get around safely but also allow you to maintain your peace of mind.