Moving a bedridden patient safely and securely is very important to make sure that there are no further complications. One popular solution to move a patient in and out of bed is the Hoyer lift.
Using a Hoyer Lift
A Hoyer lift is a type of assistive technology geared towards helping move individuals with limited to no mobility from one area to another.
A Hoyer lift can be either electric or manual/hydraulic to raise the individual off of the surface that they were on, and transport them to either a sitting or lying down position.
To use a Hoyer lift, first, a specialized carrying sling is placed below the individual. The straps of the sling are attached as per instructions to the lift mechanism of the Hoyer lift. Then, the individual is raised for easy transportation from one location to another either by using the controls attached or by using the hand pump.
To lower a person in a Hoyer lift, make sure that the sling is securely right above the intended surface. Then slowly allow the lift to place her or him on the surface. Make sure to move the sling from beneath the patient once they have been set down.
Hoyer lifts are most often used in hospitals and home settings for patients who cannot easily move themselves nor be moved without extensive effort from a team of people. This applies to geriatric patients, bariatric patients, and individuals in full body casts. A Hoyer lift support struts are made to easily slip under bed frames, and can be adjusted to fit around chairs and other furniture. This is done to allow for the ease of transport from one surface to another.
A Hoyer lift can be used to reduce the impact of transporting an individual from one place to another, as in many cases the patient cannot be safely moved by a single nurse without putting intensive strain on both the caregiver and the patient alike. A Hoyer lift utilizes leverage to help reduce this strain and make it easier for patients to be moved from one location to another without requiring a team of nurses to aid in the trip.
Hoyer lifts are useful in both public and private settings, and an in-home Hoyer lift can benefit the caretakers of many patients and individuals, and help prevent injuries to the individuals with mobility issues and their caregivers by taking some of the stress off of moving them from one location to another.
Hoyer lifts can also be used to help move patients into areas such as bath tubs, allowing them to go about some of their daily tasks easily without placing strain on themselves or others. A Hoyer lift can benefit a wide range of people, from those with stability issues caused by hip or knee problems, or for people with total mobility loss, such as those with near total paralysis.
As with any piece of medical equipment, making sure it is being operated correctly and carefully is the key to getting the most out of its use and preventing possible accidents. Making sure you use the correct sling for the individual’s weight range and specific needs can help make transport a breeze, and can prevent injuries to the caretaker and the individual.
Here are some of the uses of a Hoyer lift, and who can get the most aid from using one on a regular basis.
Who Can Benefit From a Hoyer Lift?
In hospitals, Hoyer lifts are most useful in the intensive care units for help with patients who may be unable to assist with the transfer process due to injury or cognizance issues.
Hoyer lifts are used to help allow a single nurse to transport and care for patients without the risk of back injury. In many cases, Hoyer lifts are used to transfer patients from one bed to another for cleaning or treatment, or to lift a patient into a medical analysis device. In these cases, attempting to transfer the patient without the use of the lift would be nearly impossible without a team of individuals to assist with the process, and as such the Hoyer lift saves time and energy when moving individuals who cannot move themselves otherwise.
Hoyer lifts are indispensable in situations where the patient suffers partial or total paralysis, as it can allow them to be moved easily without requiring them to contribute to the transfer, as would be the case if utilizing a standard or a lightweight transport wheelchair for the process. Hoyer lifts can also be used in the case of patients with mental health issues, as they can securely help move a person from one place to another using one of the specialized slings to keep them safely restrained through the entire process.
Most Hoyer lift slings are made to be attached in a wide range of ways to allow for the patient to be kept secure. These slings can be adjusted to help the patient stay upright or lying down during the transfer process, while keeping them securely in place. The ease by which these slings can be swapped out from patient to patient makes the Hoyer lift a key piece of equipment on any hospital floor, as it allows for easy movement of patients who are unable to otherwise transfer themselves from one location to another without intensive aid.
Investing in a Hoyer lift can be useful for caretakers who provide primary care for an individual with mobility challenges in their home. With their easy to use controls, Hoyer lifts are easy to control and maintain and can be used with simple instruction.
While it is important for the user of the lift to follow the instructions before use, for most people who provide solo care for an individual with severely restricted mobility, Hoyer lifts can help prevent back issues. At the same time, Hoyer lifts can open up a wide range of previously inaccessible locations within the home , improving their quality of life. Indeed, they can be a blessing for many people who are seeking to age in place.
For families that are caring for a person with mental health issues, the security provided by using a Hoyer lift for transfers can be invaluable. In-home care of individuals who are unaware that they could injure themselves or others during the transport process can be dangerous, and a Hoyer lift can help ensure that neither the patient nor their caregiver are injured during the transfer process.
Many of the sling options of the Hoyer lift can be customized to prevent dangerous movement during transfer, and are specifically made to prevent fall risk during the transfer process. A Hoyer lift can make transport exponentially easier for the families of individuals with mobility challenges or mental health issues that may make a traditional transfer process difficult, if not dangerous, to complete.
Types of Hoyer Lifts
Manual Hoyer lifts (also called hydraulic hoyer lifts ) are the most basic form of Hoyer lifts available on the market, and are perfect for households that have limited access to electricity, or for situations where providing a smooth ascent and descent when transferring are less crucial. Hydraulic Hoyer lifts use a complex system of water pressure to provide the pressure needed to raise the lift up while carrying an individual. These lifts are operated through the use of a pump level placed at the back of the lift itself, and as such require pumping to lift an individual off of the ground for transport.
The hydraulic Hoyer lift is useful in situations where charging a lift may prove problematic, such as in areas with limited electrical access, or in an emergency situation where there may be a prolonged time period without power, such as during a blackout. However, hydraulic Hoyer lifts do tend to have some level of movement when lifting and lowering due to the nature of the hydraulic pressure. Because of this, the hydraulic Hoyer lift may not be ideal for use with more sensitive patients where rough movements may cause damage or pain to them during the transfer process. However, in the case of basic movement needs, the hydraulic Hoyer lift is perfect for both daily use and as a back up.
Here is a YouTube video demonstrating the use of a Hoyer-style lift:
Electric Hoyer lifts, as the name implies, use electricity to lift and lower the head of the lift. Due to the more precise design of an electric Hoyer lift, both lowering and raising processes are much smoother than those of a hydraulic lift. Electric Hoyer lifts usually come with a battery backup system, allowing them to be used for hours without needing to recharge.
Electric Hoyer lifts are best used in sensitive situations where a gentle transfer is crucial to the health and safety of the patient, such as after a surgery. While they tend to be slightly more expensive than their hydraulic counterparts, an electric Hoyer lift can ensure very smooth movement of a patient during a transfer.