What are Ceiling Lifts

While there are diverse levels of mobility in care facilities and homes, caring for a patient or loved one is much easier with consistent routines and equipment. Making transfers without hunting down equipment or straining the patient can make all the difference in maintaining a good relationship between patient and caregiver. Ceiling lifts are an excellent option for many care settings, offering equipment that caregivers and patients can become familiar with over time. 

This article will cover ceiling lifts and who should use them.


What is a ceiling lift? 

A ceiling lift is a patient lift that is fixed to a starting spot on the ceiling with a series of rails. The rails are used to host carry bars and a sling for supporting patient transfers or moving from one location to another. The lift can be used in one or as many rooms as needed, allowing the patient to move independently around their entire house or facility. This lift is a straightforward alternative for moving patients in settings that don't require multiple types of lifts in one space. 

Mutually beneficial for caregivers and patients, it removes the burden of lifting off the caregiver, creating a safer environment for them both. It is mainly reserved for patients with complete immobility or an inability to sit up on their own.


Types of Ceiling Lifts

While ceiling lifts all share similar functions, there are two types:

Permanent ceiling lifts are installed to a fixed spot on a ceiling. This lift is not portable and can come with different motor options depending on the patient's needs. There are two types of motors that ceiling lifts rely on:

    • The first type of motor is a two-function motor. This type of motor offers lifting and lowering for the patient but requires the caregiver to push the patient along the track to move them from one area to another. 
    • The second type is a four-function motor. This motor offers lifting and lowering, but it also allows the caregiver to move the patient along the tracks with the motor instead of needing to push them along.

Portable ceiling lifts still have fixed tracks, but the lift can be unhooked and moved from a track installed in one room to another by the caregiver. 

    • These types of ceiling lifts can also have freestanding systems that expand from one corner to another. While they are not fixed to the ceiling, they are still set to the floor with three or four posts. 

There are many customization options for ceiling lifts, much like any other patient mobility device. It's important to get an understanding of the needs of a patient before purchasing one. 


Who Needs Ceiling Lifts?

Ceiling lifts have been used in home care settings for years, but there is an increasing demand for them in care facilities. From hospitals to nursing homes, these lifts have a range of benefits for the staff and patients. For example, patients with little to no mobility can use lifts to move around their rooms or buildings without additional burden to their loved ones or the caregivers on staff. 

These lifts are best suited to patients with little to no mobility. Patients that can hold themselves upright would be better suited to a patient transfer lift that offers more comfort and mobility. The Mobile Patient Lift is an excellent example of this, offering a motorized alternative with more flexibility. In addition, it provides a great alternative to ceiling lifts for patients with a range of mobility. 

However, ceiling lifts are an excellent route for those with less mobility. For example, patients with degenerative medical conditions and unpredictable mobility issues can be assisted by caregivers for their entire movement needs. 

Some of the people who benefit from ceiling lifts the most are:

  • People aging at home and who need in-home care
  • People who face difficulty moving independently from surface to surface
  • Patients who are paralyzed
  • Patients who are elderly 

A qualified caregiver must always handle ceiling lifts. 


What are the Benefits of Ceiling Lifts?

Straining during transfers is a common and severe risk to caregivers, who can end up with back pain from continuously using their own bodies to lift and move patients. As a result, there has been a slow but steady push to eliminate manual lifting for caregivers and medical staff nationwide. 

Patients, who are at risk of being dropped or falling, benefit from a sound system that is typically secure and safer. While there are accidents, transfers with ceiling lifts are a better experience for both patients and caregivers. They can also be more comfortable than Hoyer Lifts and other brands of patient lifts of a similar type.  


Time and Loss Savings for Care Facilities

Another massive benefit to care facilities is the amount of time saved by staff who do not need to move cumbersome equipment from room to room or spend time locating a lift being used in another part of the building. It also allows tasks that require support from two people to be done with one. 

Facilities that use ceiling lifts see a decrease in patient injuries, including abrasions, tearing skin, and falls. It allows them more mobility, comfort, and dignity during transfers. Patient hygiene is positively affected as well. Ceiling lifts can make toileting easier for everyone involved, allowing for quicker transfers from one location to the toilet and back. Staff also experience fewer injuries while feeling more confident in their job, ultimately leading to more efficiency and job satisfaction. 


Ceiling Lifts are Excellent for Complete Immobility

Ceiling lifts offer everything caregivers need to keep up with an aging workforce, a better understanding of patient care needs and updates to regulatory compliance for care facilities and staff. They are excellent choices that create a better healthcare experience for patients with little to no mobility, their loved ones, and staff. 

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