Mobility issues can be a source of great frustration for the elderly or those living with disabilities. They can rob us of the freedom and autonomy that allow us to live our best lives. They can prevent us from being able to do the things that bring us pleasure and fulfilment. But with the right mobility products, we can take back our lives and feel in control once more.
And if you’re finding it hard to get around your home (or you care for someone who is), a Ceiling Lift System can be incredibly helpful. It can grant those with mobility issues greater independence while making life easier and less strenuous for caregivers. There was a time when these Patient Lifting Systems were too bulky, expensive and complicated for home use. But as technologies have become more sophisticated and affordable, Hospital Ceiling Lifts have come into the home.
Now, we’re proud to supply a range of Ceiling Lifts For Patients of all kinds, encompassing a wide range of different needs. Here, we’ll look at some of the best brands and models on the market to help you find the right one for you or your patient. But first...
Table of Contents
What is a Ceiling Lift?
A Ceiling Lift (also known as a Home Patient Lift, Patient Ceiling Lift or Overhead Lift System) is a motorized device that aids patient mobility around the home. It lifts and transfers the patient’s weight from point to point along an overhead track. For instance, helping them to get from their wheelchair into their bed or bath.
Depending on the patient’s needs and circumstances, the track can be ceiling mounted, or can be portable with a self-standing or free-standing track (we’ll discuss this in more detail later).
The lift is accompanied by a sling (almost always sold separately) which is used to hold the patient being transferred. They are usually powered with most new models powered by lithium-ion batteries. However, there are some which are hydraulically powered and have a manual pump. Electric ones are preferable for caregivers because they require virtually no manual effort.
Ceiling Lifts are very popular among all kinds of patients, because they make it possible for people to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes rather than have to stay in a hospital. They are also popular among home-based caregivers as they spare them the effort of having to manually lift the patient (which can be risky for both patient and caregiver).
Who needs a Ceiling Lift, and why should I buy one?
Virtually anyone who has difficulty maneuvering around the home can benefit from a Ceiling Lift System. They can be useful for people with both temporary and permanent mobility loss, as well as those with progressive conditions that may continually reduce mobility over time (like Motor Neurones Disease or Huntington’s).
The following demographics can benefit enormously from a Ceiling Lift or alternative Overhead Patient Lift for Home Use:
- Those experiencing a loss of mobility due to injury
- Elderly patients who are not as steady on their feet as they used to be
- Those with Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Those with degenerative conditions like Huntington’s Disease and Motor Neurone’s Disease.
- Bariatric patients whose mobility is limited by their weight.
- caregivers who experience back pain and stiffness from helping patients into beds and baths from their wheelchairs.
Benefits of Ceiling Lifts over Floor Lifts
When choosing Overhead Patient Lifts for Home Use, patients and their caregivers can choose either a Ceiling Lift or a Floor Lift (also known simply as a Patient Lift). Both have their pros and cons, for patients and their caregivers.
A floor-based Patient Lift System will generally be more a little more affordable, especially if you choose a hydraulic model (we have floor lifts available for less than $1,000). However, they tend to take up much more space in the home, and while they have wheels for transportation, they can be unwieldy, especially in small or narrow spaces like bathrooms.
In this table below, you can see how the two stack up next to one another.
Virtually zero manual effort for caregivers
Space-saving and doesn’t impinge on interior decor
Wide range of options and movements
No storage space required
Can be potentially be taken with you on vacation
Although a Ceiling Lift won’t offer the same kind of portability that you may get from a Floor Lift, there are, as you can see a number of advantages when you choose Patient Ceiling Lifts at Home.
Ceiling Lifts are space-saving and allow the home environment to look and feel as normal as possible. Most patients prefer when their medical and mobility equipment doesn’t impinge on their interior decor. They are also generally more comfortable for patients with a significantly reduced risk of injury for both patient and caregiver.
What’s more, they are very easy to use. Just take a look at this video…
What should I consider when choosing a Ceiling Lift?
A Ceiling Lift System is a major investment, and not one that should be made lightly. You’ll need to balance a range of considerations based on your budget, the patient’s needs and the topography of the home in which the Ceiling Mounted Patient Lift will be installed.
What do you / the patient need help with the most?
Does the patient need help moving from a sitting to standing position, and back to sitting again? Or do they need a helping hand transitioning from lying down to sitting up in bed? Or perhaps they need help moving from a bed or bath to a wheelchair and back again? Or perhaps of the above?
The more likely you or your patient are to use it, the more a Ceiling or even Wall Mounted Lift makes sense.
How Long Will You Need It For?
There are many different reasons why a patient may need a Ceiling Lift. Sometimes it will be the result of a permanent or degenerative condition, while other times it may be to aid in recovery or convalescence after an injury.
Temporary / short-term use : If the Ceiling Lift System is intended to assist to in recovery or in a transitional period in a patient’s care strategy, you’ll likely opt for Portable Patient Lift Systems. A portable lift with a track and 2 posts can be perfect for lighter duties like assisting sitting in bed. Installing a Ceiling Lift System may be overkill if it’s only needed for a couple of months or so.
Long-term use: If the patient has longer-term or permanent needs, installing a permanent Fixed Ceiling Track is the better option. It can be used wither with a Fixed Ceiling Lift of a portable unit. A portable lifting unit can be removed from the track and used at other locations where a track is set up like a hospital or vacation home.
If you prefer to opt for a portable unit to use in different locations, you may want to consider its weight. Portability doesn’t always mean practical portability. Ideally, you should opt for a portable lift that weighs around 11 lb or less. Keep in mind that some units can weigh upwards of 30lbs which may not make the practical for carrying over long distances. Some also come with a carrying handle on the unit itself for your convenience.
The construction / condition of the ceiling
Needless to say, a Ceiling Lift and track need to be installed on the ceiling. Depending on your / the patient’s home, this may not be possible or practical. A stucco ceiling, for instance, will not accommodate a Ceiling Lift. Likewise, if you live in a rental property, your landlord may not be permissive of the installation of a Ceiling Lift or track. An Overhead Track Lift system may even require a building permit in some cases.
Alternatively, you may find that a portable lift with an overhead stand is a better option in these circumstances. Or, if you have access to a strong supporting wall, you may benefit from a Wall Mounted Patient Lift.
The demands and limitations of the space
Some bedrooms, bathrooms and other spaces where Ceiling Lifts are commonly used are more spacious than others. A wheeled Patient Lift / Floor Lift not only takes up a lot of space, it also requires significant space to maneuver around. You should always keep the measurements of the lift in mind to ensure that it can be moved where the patient needs it to go.
Ceiling lifts require minimal floor space, and even portable units only need room to accommodate the overhead stand. Installed Ceiling Track Lift systems require no floorspace at all, making them efficient and desirable for the home.
Most Patient Ceiling Lifts for Home use are battery powered with built-in charging systems. They tend to be powered by 24-volt and batteries. While most newer models will use lithium ion batteries, some may instead use rechargeable lead acid or NiMH (nickel-metal hydride). This will determine how many lifts you get out of a single charge and how long you can use the unit for before recharging is necessary.
While every model differs, you can expect about 20 lift cycles (up and down) for Ceiling Lifts that use older batteries and around 80 lifts per charge with newer lifts that use lithium ion batteries.
The patient’s weight is also an important factor when choosing a Ceiling Lift. Bariatric patients will have certain needs that can’t be accommodated by all models. You should check how much weight the unit can safely lift. Upper limits can vary from around 340 to over 700 lbs. There are even units specifically for bariatric patients.
A Ceiling Lift needs to be accessible and easy to use for the caregiver. Controls for the lift are usually found on the unit itself, although hand-held controllers can also be found on some models so that the patient can operate the unit themselves, thereby giving them greater autonomy and independence. In most cases, all it takes is the simple push of a button will raise and lower the Ceiling Lift.
Whenever you operate your new Ceiling Lift, you need to be assured that the safety of both the patient and caregiver are protected. As such, safety features that you should look for include:
- Emergency lowering system that ensures the patient can be safely lowered if, for whatever reason, the unit experiences a loss of power
- An overspeed governor to prevent the lift from lowering too quickly
- A mechanism in the sling attachment that prevents the sling loops from accidentally becoming detached
What does your healthcare provider say?
Before you make any decisions regarding a Ceiling Lift, you should check in with either your family physician, an occupational or physical therapist or any other healthcare professional who knows the patient’s needs well.
They can help you to identify the requirements and spec for the Ceiling Lift System to ensure that your setup is perfectly suited to your / the patient’s needs, both now and in the future. Of course, we are also happy to guide and advise our customers, in line with your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
Different types of Ceiling Lift and which is best for me?
As we can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a Ceiling Lift System. Which is why we’re on hand to explain which models may be best suited to fit your needs. But before we get into specifics, let’s take a look at some of the different types of Overhead Patient Lift, so you know which is the best fit for your needs…
Portable and Permanent Ceiling Lifts
Depending on the patient’s needs, you’ll need to decide whether they are best served by a portable or permanent Ceiling Lift System. Both use an overhead track along which the lift can transport the patient, however some are designed for portable use while others have fixed motors.
Permanent / fixed motors are heavier, and have trolleys that are quick to release and easy to service. They are affixed to an indoor ceiling track, that is installed in one. The unit remains attached to the track at all times.
However, some models are available with portable frames and attachments. These have smaller motors and allow the lift unit to be unhooked from its track and used elsewhere. Thus, different tracks can be installed in different areas such as the bedroom and bathroom.
If you or the patient have a number of rooms in which it’s likely that a Ceiling Lift System will need to be used, a Portable Ceiling Lift may be an effective way to reduce the cost of the system. However, if the Ceiling Lift system and corresponding frame / track will only be in one room, a permanent Ceiling Lift is likely the preferable option.
Two and four function motor
Virtually all Ceiling Lifts use a motor system in one way or another. However, there are two common options when it comes to motor functionality.
The first (and often the most affordable) option is a two-function motor. These are used to lift and lower the patient at the push of a button. While this is much easier for the caregiver than lifting the patient manually, once the patient is lifted, the caregiver will have to manually push the patient along the ceiling track to get to their destination.
Four-function motors, on the other hand, use the same powered lifting and lowering as two-function motors, but they also use a motor to move the patient horizontally along the ceiling track.
If you are the patient and you want to be able to use the Ceiling Lift System autonomously, you’ll likely want to opt for Ceiling Mounted Patient Lift Systems with a four function motor.
Standard and bariatric weight capacity
The weight capacity of your Patient Lift Systems is a key consideration for logistical and safety reasons. Every ceiling lift has its own specific weight capacity, but some may be better suited to your needs than others.
Most lifts are capable of supporting patient weight of 300-450 lbs. If the patient exceeds this weight threshold, however, there are also specific ceiling lifts intended for bariatric patients who exceed these weight limits with some capable of lifting in excess of 700 lbs.
Limited and extensive lifting range
Like Wall Mounted Patient Lifts and floor-based Patient Lift Systems, different Ceiling Lifts are all capable of reaching different height ranges. And this should be weighed against the patient’s mobility needs.
This lifting range varies from lift to lift; with some capable of lifting up to the full height of the room, while others have a more limited lifting range. This may not be an issue if the Ceiling Lift is only necessary to help the patient sit up in bed in the morning. But it may prove an encumbrance if not carefully considered.
To make sure your ceiling lift is perfectly suited to the space, measure the heights that are required for the patient to reach. For instance, what’s the maximum height from the bed, their arm chair or their wheelchair?
Understanding your sling options
Finally, the sling is a crucial part of the Ceiling Lift’s functionality. And while these are always sold separately, their importance cannot be understated.
The sling is responsible for ensuring the patient’s comfort and support when using the Ceiling Lift. Even if the Ceiling Lift System you choose lift does come with its own sling, you’ll probably want to look into alternate slings to improve comfort, stability and suitability for purpose.
What are the 3 types of slings?
Slings come in two point, four point and six point configurations depending on how much support is needed. Common types of sling include:
- Hygienic slings- Hygienic slings are designed for commode use or use while bathing. They provide less support but are easy-wash and quick drying.
- Specialist slings- Specialized slings offer greater specificity when matching to the patient’s needs. They may include full body slings, padded slings, disposable slings, full body slings, or even stretcher slings for transfer while lying down.
The 4 Best Ceiling Lifts on the market today
Now that we know a little more about Ceiling Lifts, how they work and what you should consider and look for when choosing one, let’s take a closer look at some specific models.
Our years of expertise in all kinds of mobility products make us perfectly paced to recommend and supply the best Ceiling Lift Systems for your needs. These are, for our money, the 4 Best Ceiling Lifts on the market right now in 2021. Here we’ll take a closer look at whey we love them and whom they’re best suited to…
Best Portable Ceiling Lift- Handicare P-440
If you’re looking for a Portable Ceiling Lift that’s light and compact but won’t let you down on performance, look no further than the Handicare P-440. This light and agile Ceiling Lift weighs in at just 10 and a half pounds, yet has the lifting capacity to help patients move with freedom and comfort.
Designed to be safely operated by a single caregiver, this highly portable unit is capable of lifting up to 440 lb, making it more than up to the challenge of lifting most patients. The integral full-width carry bar with a unique contoured shape makes it comfortable to carry from room to room or even on vacation. The handle provides a connection point to allow for seamless room-to-room transfers.
Positive locking latches make securing the patient quick and easy without sacrificing comfort. Speaking of which, the comfortable and ergonomic handle ensures that it’s easy and to use for all kinds of patients, while the pneumatic hand control is responsive and powerful to use yet fits comfortably in the palm of a caregiver’s hand.
This unit also has some great safety mechanisms including an over-speed governor, built-in safety limits, slack strap sensor, and emergency lowering capability. Don’t let its light weight fool you, the P-440 Ceiling Lift delivers power, precision and performance.
What’s more, with huge reductions on this model, you know you’re getting even better value for money!
Best Bariatric Ceiling Lift- Handicare C-800
Some patients need their Ceiling Lift to work a little harder for them. And for heavier patients, the Handicare C-800 Bariatric lift does not disappoint.
This is actually the smallest Bariatric Ceiling Lift in its class, weighing in at a diminutive 24 lbs. But don’t let its size fool you, it’s extremely powerful, capable of lifting up to 800 lbs with ease. This Ceiling Lift offers a buttery smooth patient lifting experience with 5 inches of additional lifting height, making it perfect for those who need a little extra height from their lift.
This lift allows a single caregiver to carry out lifts with ease, completely eliminating the need for task-specific floor lifts. Soft starting and stopping it can offer vertical lifts with up to 7.5 ft of vertical movement, and while the lifting action is smooth and pleasurable it’s also fast to reduce transfer times. The metal and acetal construction makes this unit extremely sturdy, but you’ll find using it as easy as changing the channel on your TV.
It also boats an impressive raft of safety features that will ensure that patients and carers remain as safe and comfortable as possible. These include weight sensor cut out at 5.5 amps, Audible low battery indicator, visual battery/charge level display, emergency lowering and emergency stop. There’s also an auto-shut off when not in use to conserve battery life.
The C-800 is available with a choice of either manual or power traversal.
You can see it at work in this video:
Again, we can offer fantastic savings on this model. So don’t miss out on a fantastic bargain today!
Best fixed / permanent Ceiling Lift- Handicare C-450 Power Traverse RTC
Like the C-800, Handicare’s C-450 is the smallest fixed Ceiling Lift in its class. But beneath its sleek and petite exterior is a plethora of precision-engineered lifting power. With waterproof pneumatic controls, onboard controls, and clear digital display it’s easy and safe to use for carers and patients in a wide variety of contexts, whether sitting up in bed or slipping seamlessly into the bath. Easy to use and maintain, it provides up to 7.5 ft foot strap vertical movement, making for easy lifts from the floor. And with at least 7 inches of additional lifting height, you can be sure that there’s hardly a home where the C-450 Ceiling Lift isn’t perfectly suited for installation and use. Power traversal ensures that horizontal movements are every bit as smooth and comfortable as vertical lifts.
The digital display keeps you updated with the number of lifts, battery levels, and lift status, so caregivers and patients alike are always in the know. And if you’re worried about battery life, relax! There’s an audible low battery indicator and visual battery/charge level display. It also has auto-shutoff to maximize battery life and a Return to Charge option.
Safety-wise, this model features emergency stop and emergency power lowering as well as emergency manual raising or lowering. Offering great compatibility with a range of slings, this model gives you the great performance and long-term reliability that you need and expect from a permanent Ceiling Lift!
But since a picture is worth a thousand words (and a video is worth even more) see this bad boy in action for yourself:
But wait, there’s more! We’re now offering huge discounts on this model, so you can get a permanent Ceiling Lift at a price comparable to most portable units. Buy now while stocks last.
Best all-rounder- Handicare P-600
Need a portable Ceiling Lift that has a little more muscle behind it? Need something that’s high-performing in every area but also represents good value for money? Look no further than the P-600 from Handicare.
This outstanding Portable Patient Lift system is a little heavier than most portable units at just over 25 lbs. However, the raw power it can muster is extremely impressive, hauling up to 600 lbs without breaking a (proverbial) sweat.
On-board controls make this Ceiling Lift easy to use for even inexperienced caregivers, and for ease of transportation it even comes with an optional cart. Furthermore, the articulating carry bar ensures that it stays safe and secure when in transit. And because the pneumatic controls are completely waterproof, this is a fantastic unit for easy bath transfers.
It also has a bevy of great safety features including built-in safety limits, over-speed governor, slack strap sensor and emergency lowering function.
We think this is a great all-rounder with fantastic versatility and exceptional power for a unit of its size.
And, yes you guessed it, we can even offer it at a fantastic price! With savings of over $1,000 this is a unit you won’t want to miss!
Why Choose Scooters N Chairs for your Ceiling Lift?
We understand that you have a choice of suppliers when it comes to Ceiling Lifts for patients. That’s why, at Scooters N Chairs, we strive to be the best. Consider us your #1 online resource for outstanding mobility products anywhere in the US, as well as providing impartial, well-informed advice based on years of experience and expertise. Everything we do is driven by compassion. We take the time to listen to and truly understand the needs of our customers and their support networks so that we can deliver outstanding service and value.
We know how important the right Ceiling Mounted Lift Systems can be in bringing our customers happiness, autonomy, freedom, and peace of mind. We understand that our products help our customers to enjoy the best possible lifestyle, and it’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly.
We invite you to check out all our Ceiling Patient Lifts, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 1-800-674-8395, emailing [email protected] or leaving us a ticket.