A patient lift is an invaluable tool that assists caregivers in transferring patients with limited mobility. With this piece of equipment in your facility, the positioning and moving of patients is accomplished with much ease and comfort. These lifts also increase safety and decrease the injury-risk both for patients and caregivers. They are also excellent to have at home, provided that it fits the needs of the patient who will use it. To help you pick the right one and reap the benefits of this helpful piece of equipment, you can use the following guidelines:
What kind of patient lift do you need?
There are two common kinds: floor lifts and sit-to-stand lifts. If you are caring for a person with little to no mobility, floor lifts are recommended. The lift can be used to safely move a person that is lying down to another surface such as a wheelchair or commode. Meanwhile, sit-to-stand lifts are used by people with some degree of mobility but still require assistance in sitting or standing.
Should you get a manual or electric one?
A manual lift requires more effort from the operator but is the least expensive choice. It is powered by a hydraulic pump and is simple to operate. However, electric patient lifts are more convenient. A rechargeable battery powers it, or it can be plugged to a standard electrical outlet. It is commonly used in hospitals but it’s a great choice for homes too, especially if there is only one caregiver. It requires no manual labor and the hands can be used to stabilize the patient more.
Who will use it?
The patient lift must perfectly meet the needs of the patient. Important considerations include the weight and height of the patient, medical conditions, and restrictions that apply. Also, evaluate how much support the patient needs or if support is needed in specific areas of the body. Think about how the patient lift will be used, too. Will it be used to lower the patient, lift him or her up, or both? How much assistance is needed in movement? How big is the risk for falls?
How much weight will it bear?
To prevent accidents and to keep the equipment from breaking prematurely, make sure your lift is able to support your patient. Check the maximum weight capacity of the lift, particularly if it will be used by a bariatric patient. In case the patient has lost weight, pick a lift that can carry the patient’s previous weight as this can be regained as the patient’s health improves.
How much lift is needed?
Check your height requirements. But this is not really a cause for strict concern as hospital beds can be adjusted to meet the patient lift.
What is the profile of the caregiver?
The caregiver must be able to operate the patient lift safely and proficiently. Determine the number of caregivers need to operate a lift, and select the lift accordingly. Also, the caregiver must be physically fit to transfer the patient. This is particularly important if the patient is on the heavier side with serious limitations in mobility.
What kind of home environment do you have?
The functionality of your patient lift greatly depends on how easily it can be maneuvered around the home. There must be enough space to operate it and also to store it when not in use. The type of flooring you have may also play a role, as well as the presence of carpets. Think about potential tight areas that may cause problems, too.
How mobile do you need the lift to be?
If you frequently travel with the patient, get a portable patient lift. Pick one that is easy to fold for transport and storage. However, these are usually heavy. You can disassemble it but it is often designed to be folded in a single piece.
Answering these questions can help you narrow down your options for patient lifts. By taking note of these considerations while shopping, you can make sure that your new lift will fit your home and sufficiently meet the needs of your patient.