Tub Transfer

This page is for people who use a walker, cane, or crutches. To bathe, you will need a special chair, which sits in your tub. This sheet will tell you how to safely get in and out of the tub chair.

Before you bathe

Be sure you have everything you will need — soap, a towel, a reacher, and a sponge — within easy reach.

Getting into the tub chair

  1. The tub chair should sit in the tub facing the faucet. Using your walker, cane, or crutches for support, walk to the side of the tub.
  2. Stop next to the tub chair, then turn so your back is facing the tub.
  3. Back up until you feel the tub behind your knees.
  4. Place one hand on the side of the tub chair, and keep one hand on your walker, cane, or crutches (see picture at right).
  5. Slowly lower yourself onto the seat. Scoot back so you’re firmly on the chair.
  6. Once you are seated, lift your legs over the side of the tub one at a time. Let go of your walker, cane, or crutches. Turn to face the faucet.
  7. You should wash yourself while seated. A special hand-held shower hose attachment for your faucet can make this easier (see picture below).
  8. Be sure to keep a towel within easy reach. Dry off while seated on the tub chair.

Getting out of the tub chair

  1. Turn on the chair, and lift your legs over the side of the tub one at a time.
  2. Push off from the tub chair, then stand up outside of the tub. Always have your balance before reaching for your walker, cane, or crutches.

Safety tips

  • You may need to sponge-bathe until your doctor says you may shower or bathe sitting in the tub.
  • Avoid standing or lowering yourself into the tub to bathe. This can be dangerous. You may slip and fall.
  • Use a long-handled sponge, a leg-lifter, a hand-held shower hose with an on-off switch, and any other items you were told about in therapy.
  • Consider adding grab bars or a tub rail to provide extra support.
  • If you have had a total hip replacement, remember your precautions when bathing.

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

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com