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Car Transfer: Front Seat

This page will tell you how to safely get in and out of the front seat of a car. Getting into and out of a car requires a great deal of bending. The following tips will make it easier for you.

1. Be sure the front seat is as far back as it will go. Recline the seat back if you’d like.

2. The car should be parked several feet away from the curb. With the front door open, stand on the street, as close to the car as possible.

3. Turn so your back is facing the seat. Back up until you feel the car seat behind both legs.

4. Place one hand on the back of the car seat. Place your other hand on the car dash board. Never use the car door for support.

5. Carefully lower yourself onto the car seat. Slide back until your knees are on the seat (see picture at right). If you’ve had a total hip replacement, remember your precautions. Lean backwards, keeping your shoulders behind your hips as you slide back.

6. Bring your legs into the car one at a time. Move each leg a few inches at a time. If you need to, use your hands to help move your legs (see picture at right).

7. Continue to do this slowly until you are facing forward. Be sure that your hips and knees are at the same level while seated (below).

Safety tips

  • If you have had a total hip replacement and the car seat causes your knees to be higher than your hips, use a firm pillow to raise the level of the seat.
  • Place the pillow in a garbage bag, and then put it on the seat. This will make it easier for you to move on the seat.
  • Use pillows to cushion your back, if your doctor says you may.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Note: Your therapist may show you different ways to get in and out of a car depending on your situation. Follow the instructions you are given.

Reviewed January 2011

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