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THE PATIENT LIFTER BUYERS GUIDE
All the information you should know before investing in a patient lifter for your home.

As with most products these days, patient lifters have come a long way since the first mechanical lifts were introduced to the market more than 20 years ago.

Learn all about the 4 styles of patient lifters available today.


Important: only one of these styles will be appropriate for your unique requirements.




On this site you'll find everything you need to know about all the newest patient handling products available. After reviewing all of the options you'll have the knowledge to be able to confidently decide which product best suits the unique needs of your homecare patient and care giver.

You're about to make an important and significant investment, we recommend you take the time to explore all your options so that the transfer process of your homecare patient is as safe and as comfortable as possible. It's important to remember that there are many circumstances where one particular style of patient lifter is just not going to do the job correctly.

In fact, you could even make your life more difficult, unsafe and uncomfortable by choosing the wrong product.

Why should I invest in a patient lifter?

Caring for a loved one at home can be a bittersweet mix of emotions. You will no doubt experience feelings of love and compassion as caregiver and patient grow closer and closer, conversely, you will no doubt also experience periods of frustration, pain, and exhaustion. One of the most demanding tasks you will face in providing day-to-day homecare is that of physically moving your patient to and from bed/chair/toilet/bath/shower etc. This process, commonly referred to as a "patient transfer", subjects the caregiver to severe physical demands that can often lead to injuries to both patient and caregiver. Ironically, caregiver injuries due to patient transfers are much more prevalent than injuries to the actual patient. Low back injuries are the most common as caregivers are forced to perform numerous transfers per day, often with little or no assistance.

The US Department of Labor's OSHA ("Occupational Health and Safety Association") department has concluded that injuries in Nursing Homes alone this year will reach 200,000 incidents at a cost of almost 1 billion dollars. Injuries to care givers in the Home Care setting are not tracked but injury rates are estimated to be even higher due to the lack of proper equipment and training. Most of these injuries are directly related to patient transfers. One proven method of drastically reducing and even eliminating these injuries is by employing proper patient handling products and techniques that help the caregiver perform safe patient transfers.

The single most important component in providing safe patient transfers is the mechanical patient lifter.

Mechanical patient lifters have improved significantly over the past few years. Most lifts are now electrically operated and employ slings that are very comfortable and easy to apply and remove. If at all possible, we highly recommend avoiding the older style hydraulic (manual pump) patient lifters. These units are difficult to operate and can be unsafe since they require that the caregiver be positioned away from the patient to operate the pump. Manual units also require regular overhauls as the seals in the pump wear out and hydraulic oil begins to leak from the cylinder.

Electric models allow the caregiver to be positioned right beside the patient at all times because of the remote hand controller. The electric operation means your patient is lifted and lowered at the push of a button. Electric lifts are also virtually maintenance free.

There are numerous factors that must be considered prior to making your purchasing decision; among the most important are:

    Level of physical ability of the patient

    Mental state of the patient

    Physical ability of the caregiver

    Weight of the patient

    Special medical/physiological conditions of the patient

    Layout of the room(s) - amount of free space

    Type of floor covering in the room(s)

    Type of bed - width, height, under-bed clearance

    Number of rooms requiring access

    Width of the doorways

    Budget

Click on a menu button to the left or on the column heading to go directly to that page.

Each type of lift is described in detail on a separate page of this site. Review the quick reference guide shown below for an overview of the 4 styles.

Tasks
Mobile Lift
Ceiling Lift
Wall Mounted Lift
Sit/Stand Lift
Transfers to/from bed and chair
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes - Sitting Position Only
Transfers in confined areas/small rooms
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Transfers in rooms with thick carpets
No
Yes
Yes
No
Transporting patient from room to room
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Transfers when caregiver if frail/elderly
No
Yes
Yes
No
Transfers to and from toilet
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Transfers to/from standard bathtub
No
Yes
Yes
No
Can lift patient from floor
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Can allow for independent or self-transfer
No
Yes - permanent model only
No
No
Requires Installation
No
Yes
Yes
No
Can lift patient from lying position on bed
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Patient must be cognitive
No
No
No
Yes
Patient requires minimal leg strength
No
No
No
Yes



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