Choosing a hoist for moving and transferring people
By Paola 0 on Choosing a hoist for moving and transferring people4 min read
A hoist is a device that can consist either of a static or a mobile frame. This frame is composed by a lifting mechanism powered by battery, which reduces the need of lifting a person manually.
Hoists can be used to lift people; help them to stand and move, and transfer them in and out of bed, bath, or chair. It can make tasks a lot easier and more efficient for carers and provide comfort and support for the patients themselves. Ultimately the aim of using any manual handling equipment should be to reduce the risk of an injury to the lowest level possible but knowing how to use a hoist properly, is essential for the safety and care of patients.
Currently, there are two main types available on the market, the mobile and the overhead hoist. They are designed to meet different needs and fit into specific space outlines.
The mobile hoist is the most common type. It is designed for everyday use and is lightweight. As such, this means it is easy to manoeuver and unlike overhead hoists, it doesn’t require a track or rail.
If considering a mobile hoist, you need to take into account the space required to move and turn the hoist, especially when a person is being carried. You need to think whether there is enough room to manoeuvre it into the right position; if the legs of the hoist will fit under or around any furniture, such as bed, bath or chair; whether the floor surface is smooth enough to allow it to operate easily: thick carpet or threshold strips are difficult to move over.
They also need to be stored when not in use, preferably in an area where they are out of the way, and with a charging point for their battery.
Ceiling hoist is a different type of hoist that is fitted to the ceiling, making it ideal for users with narrow rooms and doesn’t take up floor space. In addition, it is designed to be safer not only for the patient but also for the carer as there are no risks related to the manual handling of the equipment.
In selecting a system, thought also needs to be given to structural considerations: ceiling joists may need to be reinforced, and doorways altered, to accommodate the track. A survey is always required before a ceiling hoist can be installed.
Ceiling hoists provide a powered lift of the service user, but may then be powered or manually moved between locations (traversed). The motor is usually at track height. In order to charge it, it has to be moved to a charging station when not in use.
Mobile and ceiling hoists are both valid for people with mobility restrictions. However, we recommend you consult with a specialist to understand which option is best for you.