The horizontal transfer of bed-bound patients used to require two or more care workers.

With the introduction of glider mats and transfer sheets, a single caregiver can help his or her family member or client move to the edge of the bed when changing the linen, carrying out hygiene-related tasks, getting dressed or putting them into position in preparation for lifter use. Of course, an extra hand should never be refused; single carer horizontal transfer should only be attempted on low to average weight patients and in two motions – first the upper body and then the rump and legs.

We supply three types of glider mat for horizontal transfer. The first is a rigid mat or board that allows transportation over a broader distance such as between beds or between bed and stretcher. Such boards must be made of sturdy but lightweight material with a slippery upper surface and an anti-skid coating on the back. Our rigid transfer boards allow for a 20cm gap and drop between surfaces; they also include handgrips.

The second type of horizontal transfer equipment at Healthcare Equip is the roller board – a lightweight, foldable board often used in hospitals. Roller boards or glide boards are combined with washable glider sheets that enable the sheet to roll over the board while under the patient and so transport him or her to a different area of a flat or near-flat surface while lying down. Usually, two caregivers should be present when using this type of transfer equipment.

The final type of horizontal transfer equipment is the glide sheet or slide sheet, an option most commonly found in homecare settings due to its low cost and ease of use. Featuring a non-slip base and a slippery upper surface, glide sheets are found in a multitude of sizes to help reposition those with restricted mobility when sitting or lying down. Glide sheets must have a silicon-based coating and can usually be implemented by a single caregiver, depending on the weight of the client or family member and their degree of interaction.

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