What are the Different Types of Patient Lifts?

Patient lifts provide an essential service to anyone with mobility difficulties, making them a considerable part of your life if you need one. That means finding one that works best for your home and your needs is a huge decision. It's not just about the brand name or the notoriety - you want a lift that will provide the right kind of assistance with dignity, safety, and movement in mind.

The usual go-to for assistive devices is the Hoyer Lift. It's a staple in patient care, so you've probably heard about it through your caregiver or hospital staff once or twice. Though it's a brand name, most people use it to refer to any patient lift with similar functionality. Unfortunately, "Hoyer Lift" has become such a generalized term that it's hard to find the pros and cons of the original device. It's also tricky to find recommendations for similar lifts.

With something as important as mobility assistance, you should have the opportunity to do your homework before making a decision. While the Hoyer Lift may be a good fit for some, some alternatives could better suit your needs.

This article will cover three types of patient lifts and discuss their pros and cons to help you make a decision tailored to your life.

Types of Patient Lifts

There are a few options to consider when deciding on a patient lift for your home.

Hoyer Lift

A Hoyer Lift is a patient transfer tool that assists caregivers and healthcare workers in moving patients to or from a bed or floor to a wheelchair, toilet, bath/shower, or room-to-room. It uses hydraulics to raise and suspend a patient into the air, allowing them to be safely secured into a sling and transferred from point A to point B.

Pros of Hoyer Lifts

  • Hoyer Lifts are industry-standard, meaning many caregivers will have the training to use it.
  • It provides a way for those who are entirely immobile to get around.

Ceiling Lifts

Ceiling Lifts are a type of patient transfer lift that runs along tracks installed into the ceiling for a smoother transition between rooms, bathrooms, and toilets. These lifts are especially helpful for those with limited to no mobility.

Pros of Ceiling Lifts

  • Ceiling lifts take up no floor space, making it easy to store and go through thresholds and doorways of your home instead of dealing with the wide base of a Hoyer Lift.
  • Each patient transferring lift has its own maximum weight limit; most hold up to 400lbs, others can hold up to 800 lbs, while Ceiling lifts tend to hold around 450lbs.

Cons of These Types of Patient Lifts

While Hoyer Lifts and Ceiling Lifts are still heavily relied upon in hospitals, schools, nursing facilities, and even homes, no pros go without cons. The two styles of patient lift share a few downsides:

  • You could experience painful incidents during simple transfers if you have reduced mobility versus immobility.
  • Anyone handling a Hoyer or Ceiling Lift will require extensive training.
  • The lifts can contribute to harmful situations due to their overall design.
  • Slings can feel unstable, which may be frightening for a patient upon lifting.
  • A Hoyer Lift can take up to 10 steps to put into storage, and while a ceiling lift doesn't take up any floor space, it also faces storage issues.

As an example of a potentially harmful situation, something as simple as leaning too far back can result in injury. There is a significant risk of sliding out, falling out entirely, or worse. In addition, slings remove most of your independence due to the required training and attending.

Freedom Patient Lift

While Hoyer lifts and ceiling lifts are standard for people with total immobility, many people have some mobility. The lifts can prove to be more than necessary in those cases.

If you have limited mobility instead of immobility, a better option is the Freedom Patient Lift. It's a new patient transfer lift that helps reduce patient and caregiver strain while safely transferring you from one location to another. It uses a two-piece 90-degree seat with a toilet cutout, allowing for safe, dignified relief. In addition, the seat fits over toilets easily and comes with a washable, reusable, and secure pail with a lid.

The two-piece seat folds open to 90 degrees. It has dual locks on the back to safely adjust and secure you, eliminating the worry of sliding out or having a panic attack during transfers. The seat attaches directly to the frame, allowing you to buckle the seatbelt and go when ready. It's motorized, allowing for movement via remote control, the built-in controls, or a caregiver's help.

This seat was built with independence in mind. You can get a clear view of what's happening around you, navigate with less reliance on your caregiver, and control your seat yourself. In addition, the secure seating and backing mean you won't need to worry about falling out.

The Freedom Patient Lift also weighs only 60lbs. It disassembles into smaller pieces, giving you valuable time back. Instead of trying to figure out how to break down and store it, you can do more of what you love. In general, the Freedom Patient Lift gets you out of bed and back into the action of your day.

There's a Patient Lift for You No Matter Your Needs

Finding something that needs to serve you for the rest of your life is daunting. Finding a mobility device that meets your needs out of the many types of patient lifts takes a lot of research and decision-making. Remember that you are not bound to the standard - you can pick something that fulfils your needs without being limited.

While Hoyer Lifts and Ceiling Lifts are still heavily relied on for patients suffering from immobility, they are far from the only choices. The Freedom Patient Lift aims to give patients with reduced mobility some of their independence back and provides the tools to do so with grace and care.

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