A floor lift for patients is used to give caregivers the chance to transport patients who would normally have very limited mobility. Lifts can be used to move them from the bed to a wheelchair or even from the shower to the toilet. Patient lifts come in various forms and are most often seen in nursing homes, private residents and in hospitals. The quality of them has drastically increased over the years and they are now much more comfortable and easier to use. If you want to find out more about floor lifts or the other types of lift that are available, then this is the ultimate guide for you.
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Commonly Asked Questions about Floor Patient Lifts
If this is your first time buying a patient lift, then you may have a few questions. Take a look below to see some of the most common queries people have when purchasing a lift.
When Would You Use a Patient Lift To Lift The Elderly?
Patient lifts are designed to minimise the amount of physical effort that is required to transport a patient who has a low level of mobility. Anyone whose job it is to move an individual on a day to day basis can really benefit from the assistance that a patient lift can offer. The days of when lifts were expensive or too big to store are long gone, and they can easily add to your patient arsenal. Over the years, patient lifts have become safer, much lighter and less expensive too. They are ideal for the patient and the caregiver, not to mention that they are the safest way of moving someone from one location to another.
What Patient Lift do I Need?
There are two main types of patient lift. They include:
- Sling lifts
- Sit-to-stand lifts
Sling lifts are normally used for patients who are disabled or ones who are weak due to an illness or injury. Patient lifts are used in hospitals, private homes and nursing homes, to try and transfer patients safely from their bed to another position. Floor sling lifts are designed to get the patient up from the floor. This is ideal if they have fallen over, or if they require medical support from a lying down position. Sling lifts and sit-to-stand lifts are not ideal for patients who are on the floor and this is why a specialist lift is needed.
Sit to stand lifts are ideal for those who do have some basic level of mobility but need some help rising from a sitting position so that they can move to another seat.
Should I Use a Hydraulic, Manual or Electric Patient Lift?
Sling lifts and sit-to-stand lifts can easily be powered by using hydraulic power. This can be done through air-powered pumps, which are less expensive, or electronic power. Electronic power versions are much more expensive, but they are easier on those who are giving the care because zero labour is required. The power is provided through a standard outlet or rechargeable batteries.
What’s the Difference between Free-Standing Lifts, Floor Lifts and Ceiling Lifts?
Sling lifts come in a huge range of different types. You have floor lifts, free-standing and ceiling lifts. Floor sling lifts come with a wheelbase and they do require you to have some extra space around the bed so that the patient can be transferred from one area to another. Ceiling lifts can be found in nursing homes and hospitals. They require less space and that’s because the whole sling is supported via tracks. These tracks are fixed to the ceiling and an electric motor raises the patient up and down as needed.
Ceiling lifts are normally limited to horizontal movement, but this does depend on the placement of the tracks overhead. Freestanding, or modular lifts usually cost less when compared to permanent ceiling lifts and they can be moved as the patient goes from room to room.
Sit-to-stand lifts are used to help those who need support getting up from a sitting position. It doesn’t matter whether the movement is from a bed, from the shower seat or even from the wheelchair because sit-to-stand lifts can be used in any instance. Instead of slings that hold the body’s weight, belt straps are positioned around the upper body of the patient. This helps them to rise and get up to a standing position, slowly, with the support of a caregiver. Patients need to be able to sit up unassisted and they also need to be able to bear some of their weight while standing as well. The sit-to-stand lift can be valuable in rehabilitation, as it can encourage the patient to be more independent and bear their own body weight as their strength increases.
What Should you Look for When Purchasing a Floor Patient Lift?
Depending on the individual needs of your patient, or your facility, you’ll need to think about the types of positions that your patient will need assistance with. Do they need some help moving from a sitting to a standing position, and then back again? Do they need help lying down, and then sitting up? Can they move from their bed to the chair, and then back to the bed again? Portable lifts offer a lot of flexibility to your patients and they also give you a lot of benefits as a caregiver.
Range of Lift Height
Lifts should really offer you a wide range of height adjustment options, so patients who’ve fallen can be lifted up and then be transported onto a mattress or a chair, which is usually around 66” high. Emergency shut-off options and manual override switches are also very useful. Every electronic lift you buy should have a control to stop the motor if an emergency should occur, and it should also have a manual control as well so that patients can be moved if there is a power loss.
A scale is a very convenient feature as it gives you the chance to weigh patients while they are being transferred.
Specialised slings can be catered to meet the individual needs of the patient. Specialised slings include full-body slings, disposable slings, padded slings and stretcher slings as well. Divided leg slings and even mesh bathing slings are also very useful. Commode slings can also be added if you feel as though the patient needs help getting to the bathroom.
Other Types of Specialist Lifts
If you want to make sure that you are giving your patients the best level of care then it helps to make sure that you are investing in various lifts, and not just floor lifts. If you want to find out more about the options that are available, then simply look below.
Those who are in recovery may find it very difficult to raise and then lower themselves in the bath without some kind of assistance. Where a shower might not be an option, a bath lift can be used. The great thing about inflatable bath lifts is that they are very easy to use and they maintain dignity and privacy as well. A cushion-style bathtub is usually powered by a pressure pump and it inflates in a matter of seconds. This gives those who want to bathe the chance to without falling. The patient can easily get in and out of the tub without having to lift their legs over the edge of the tub and without having to bend at the waist or the knees. Many bath lifts can be packed away with ease as well.
If you have patients who spend a lot of time in bed, then you will probably know how uncomfortable and boring it can be. Pillow lifts are filled with air and they can help those who have weakened or even immobile legs to adjust their position with the click of a button. This eliminates the amount of strain they need to put on their body, trying to wiggle into another position. After you have put the pillow lift on the top of the mattress, the compressor then inflates the pillow and it lifts the user into a very comfortable position. These inflatable lifts can then be tucked away if you want easy storage.
Helping someone who is disabled to get up off the floor after they have fallen can be very distressing for the caregiver and the patient. Helping someone from the floor can be a tedious struggle and it can also be a long process too. The best and the easiest way for you to help someone to get up off the floor would be for you to use a floor lift. You can get inflatable lifts that can be used, or you can invest in a quality floor lift. A quality floor lift is the better and safer option, but you should know that they are more difficult to store.
How do you Use a Floor Hoist Properly?
Floor lifts for patient use were developed to try and help carers move patients in a suitable manner. They also greatly reduced the healthcare injuries that happened at work. Hoists are normally installed in care homes or hospitals, but now patient lifts can be installed in the home, making caring for someone who is still partially able is now easier than ever.
Hoists can be a very vital aid as they can help people to get in and out of bed and they can also help someone to get in and out of a bath as well. If you use them properly then you can give the patient a huge level of support while also moving them without causing any kind of injury. If you want to find out how to use a floor hoist, then take a look below.
Using a Floor Hoist
With so many floor lifts for sale right now, it’s never been easier for you to pick one up for yourself. Of course, floor patient lifts for home use are very easy to use too, but that being said, you do need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to try and use them safely.
Emergency Floor Lift Sling
Many hoists, including mobile hoists or even ceiling track hoists come with a patient sling which supports the patient while they are in the hoist. When you are using a patient sling, you need to think about the following:
The Weight of the Patient
It’s vital that you check the safety and the comfort of the patient when using a floor sling. You need to check the weight of the patient to make sure that it does not exceed the weight capacity of the hoist. Every hoist will come with its own documentation which will specify the maximum weight.
Check the Environment
If you want to make sure that the patient is safe, then you need to check over the hoist and you also need to make sure that the environment is free of any potential obstacles as well. Obstacles could easily affect your hoist operation and make it more difficult for you to manoeuvre the patient.
Check the Hoist
Before you use the hoist, you need to make sure that the carers who are handling the hoist are making sure that everything is working properly. It’s highly recommended that the hoists receive regular checks, around every 6 months. It’s possible for you to get this done through the provider who sold you the hoist in most cases, so make sure that you check that out as an option.
Choosing the Right Sling
Choose a sling that is based on the size of your patient, as well as their weight. This will help you to ensure that safety and comfort is a priority while you are using the hoist. It’s very easy for you to buy slings online and when you do, you will soon find that they can be matched to the patient with ease. If you want a better understanding of the slings you need, then take a look below.
- Universal Sling
The Universal sling is used to fulfil a huge range of roles. It offers a very general solution to anyone who needs lifting or moving from one place to another. The great thing about this type of sling is that it comes with additional back support for the pelvis and this is ideal for those who have bone issues or muscle issues. There is also a lot of padded leg support too. This goes underneath the legs to make sure that they are completely supported. The elevation here means that the legs will not drop when the hoist is in use, which is a major bonus. It’s well worth saying at this point that there isn’t a single size that fits every patient. Even though the Universal sling is supposed to serve more than one purpose- it cannot do everything at once. It also can’t fit in every hoist frame either. There are different sizes to choose from when selecting your Universal sling.
- Hammock Sling
The hammock sling is fully designed for comfort. They mould to the patient’s body and it’s also very breathable as well. This helps to stop sores as well as perspiration. The hammock sling is ideal as it is perfect for those who end up having to spend a bit more time in their sling than usual. This happens to include bathing, as the great thing about the hammock sling is that the water drains away from the fabric which protects the skin.
- Patient Handling Sling
A handling sling is used for transferring users between a sitting and a standing position. It can be used to try and help people to re-position while in bed as well. This can include moving the legs or the head to a much more comfortable position. It’s very small in terms of the sling and it’s ideal for those who just need a little help in their everyday life. The design of the sling helps to ensure that staff are supporting the patient when in use and it also helps the patient to retain good posture. It can be used for independent use too, for example if someone who has a low level of mobility needs to move in bed, then this is a very good option.
Assisting the Patient onto the Sling
When all of the right safety checks have been carried out and when the precautions have been followed, the patient can then be moved onto the sling. If the patient is being moved from the bed, then carers will need to move the patient onto the sling first. To do this, one carer should help the patient to first move onto their side, while another carer supports the patient while they are in this position, the other should put the sling under the back of the patient as this will help them to roll onto it. Make sure that the sling is lined up if you can, as this will save you a lot of time and energy later on. Once you have completed all of this, you should then roll the patient onto their back before doing the same on the opposite side so that you can repeat the process. Make sure that the sling is lined up and that it is spread out too, so that the patient can be fully supported.
Attaching the Sling to the Hoist
When you have your patient and the sling ready to go, it is then time for you to prepare the hoist so that the sling can be attached. When you do this, it is absolutely imperative that you comply with all of the instructions that have been supplied with the sling and hoist. You need to make sure that the attachments are properly secure and fitted, too. Before you lift the sling, double-check to see if the attachments are secure as this will help you to save a lot of time and energy.
When the patient and the sling are secured to the hoist, you then need to begin lifting the patient so that they are hovering above whatever surface they are on. If you want to make the moving of the patient very easy and comfortable then it would be wise for you to make sure that the patient is high enough so that they are not being dragged around the surface. When this step has been carried out properly, and you have secured the hoist, the rest of the lifting can then be resumed. When you have the patient in the hoist and they are being lifted, you have to make sure that you never leave them unattended. You should be accompanying the patient at all times.
How to Use a Mobile Hoist
Although most of the information on how to use a hoist will apply to using a mobile hoist, you have to know that some additional precautions have to be taken. Some of which can be found below:
Avoid Long Distances
Mobile hoists should never be used to transport anyone for a long period of time. If you are transporting a patient, then you need to use a ceiling hoist or even a wheelchair if possible.
Store the Hoist Properly
When your hoist is in use, you need to make sure that you follow the instructions. When the hoist is in storage, you then need to try and make sure that it is free from dust and any obstructions.
How to Use a Bath Hoist
There are some additional safety checks that you will of course need to follow if you want to use a bath hoist. Bath hoists are very different to most other hoists, in the fact that they do not operate on a sling. Bath hoists often come with a seat that patients can sit on and there are additional safety checks that you need to carry out as well. Some of them include:
- Checking the Environment
Before you even think about using a bath hoist, carers should always make sure that the floor is not slippery and that it isn’t wet either. You also need to make sure that there is enough space for the hoist to be moved around.
- Water Temperature
Before you get the individual into the bath, it’s vital that you double-check the temperature of the bathwater as this will help you to make sure that the heat is safe and comfortable. Elderly patients can be very sensitive to extreme temperatures, so keep this in mind if you can.
- Make sure that the Patient is Seated Properly
If you want to make sure that a patient is safe when they are in a bath hoist, then make sure that they are sat in the chair centrally to ensure they’re not going to fall.
How to Use a Ceiling Hoist
A ceiling track hoist is very different to a regular hoist. There is no floor space required. The hoist operates from a track which is installed in the ceiling and the sling then hangs from the stable ceiling track. The safety checks that you need to carry out on this type of hoist are as followed:
Clear any Obstructions
Before you utilise the ceiling hoist, you have to make sure that the pathway is clear and that there aren’t any obstructions which affect the movement of the hoist.
Check the Condition of the Fabric
It’s vital that you check the sling before you use it as any wear or tear could compromise the safety of the patient. You also need to make sure that the sling is the right fit and that it is also the right size too. All patient fitting equipment should be inspected every 6 months or so as well.
The Best Floor Lifts for 2021
If you are thinking about buying a floor lift in 2021 then you can find some of the best ones on the market, right here:
The Standout Choice- The Handicare: Eva - 450EE and 600EE
These floor lifts are some of the best options out there. It’s very unique and it’s ideal for transferring patients and gait training. The Handicare range of floor lifts are incredibly strong, and they are made out of an aluminium construction. It’s strong enough for bariatric patients and the capacity can be either 450lbs or 600lbs. The Eva floor lift uses a carry bar, which means that it can be used in any situation, including those that require horizontal lifting . It can also be used to help patients to improve their walking ability after they have experienced an injury.
Easy to Use with a Big Lifting Range
The Eva floor lift is very easy to use and the casters are maintenance-free as well. During a transfer, the Eva floor lift will deliver a very smooth ride. The mast has three different height positions and the lift can also be used for lifting from the floor or bed, onto any other service. If you work in the industry of social care, then you will certainly be able to benefit from this far more than you realise.
Electrical Base Widening
The Eva floor lift comes with a base widening feature, and monitor. All of this can be operated by the hand control. The hand control is raised, with easy-to-push buttons. This helps you to manoeuvre the lift and adjust the width of the base. The standard carry bar length is 17” and this is suitable for most users in any situation. The larger capacity lift comes with a wide base bar of 600mm for bariatric patients.
As mentioned above, it’s super important for you to have an emergency stop button when operating any kind of floor hoist. That’s why this one comes with the option to stop the lift whenever you need. Eva floor lift’s stop button is very easy to access and it can be found on the control box. On top of this, the battery has a very long life, meaning you can get many lifts for every charge. There is an indicator on the device that shows when the device is on charge, and built-in charging is standard.
Safe for Caregivers
If you are handling patients who have a substantial amount of ability loss, then the Eva floor lift is a stand-out choice when it comes to safety overall. It’s very ergonomic and you may even find that it prevents occupational and loading injuries.
Why Should you Invest in a Quality Floor Lift?
It doesn’t matter whether you want to give your patients at your nursing establishment a higher level of care or whether you want to try and make sure that your loved one at home is getting more support because you really need to make sure that you invest in a quality floor lift. If you don’t then you may find that you end up causing injury and that you also struggle to manoeuvre them from one place to another safely. The great thing about having a floor lift is that you can take the strain off your own body while also providing a better and safer experience to those who you are moving. If you have never used a floor lift before then you may find the experience a bit nerve-racking at first, but it doesn’t need to be this way. It’s more than possible for you to download a set of instructions for the floor lift you are using. When you follow the instructions properly, you should then be able to operate the lift with ease and convenience, with your patient feeling completely safe at every stage of the process.
If you are thinking about buying a floor lift then the two options you should be looking at are the Handicare Eva - 450EE and 600EE. When you do look at these two options, you’ll be able to find one that more than suits your needs and requirements.