How To Use A Hoyer Lift in Senior Care

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Getting older and having to depend on others for help is hard.  Our senior loved one’s activity level decreases.   Because of weakening bones combined with limited mobility.  Proper care, timely medications, and love can help the senior live a fulfilling life.  In spite of the several ailments.

With the introduction of various mechanical devices.  Life for our senior loved ones has become a lot easier.  The Hoyer lift is such a device.   It will allow our senior loved one to be  transferred.  It will move them to the desired place with less physical effort.

Before using the Hoyer lift with the patient.  It is advisable that the caregiver tries it out first with a helper in it. The caregivers will have a better understanding of how it works.   Caregivers should read the user’s manual before using the lift. This will give them a proper understanding of the function of the Hoyer lift.

Improper use of the Hoyer lift can cause accidental falls, injuries, head trauma.   And in severe cases, it can even lead to the death of the patient. Therefore, caregivers should understand the functioning of the lift. And study its various parts before using it.

The different parts of Hoyer lift include

  • A sling bar along with its attachments for holding the patient
  • A boom
  • Battery pack
  • Emergency release
  • A push handle
  • Hydraulic lift motor
  • Remote control a mast
  • A spreader handle
  • Foot-plate
  • Base legs
  • Locking wheels and wheels

Steps to operate the Hoyer lift

  • Make sure that the lift’s battery is charged.
  • Prepare the senior for placing him/her into the sling. Take the correct sling size for the patient.  Improper size or improper placing of the patient on the sling can result into accidents.
  • Gently lift the patient to the position with the sling correctly beneath the spine.
  • The straps should be neatly placed, without allowing the material to fold.
  • Secure the senior properly and ensure he/she is comfortable with the straps. Not too tight or too loose.
  • Once the patient is in the sling, slowly lower the sling bar to lift the patient.  While doing this, select the loops of the right size and tighten them securely.
  • With the help of steering the handle, place the lift close to the bed. Lower the lift, so that the sling can be lifted easily. Thereafter, gently move the patient’s feet off the bed, so that the lift can be operated.
  • Using the steering handle, the lift can be moved away from the bed, ready to lift the senior.
  • To make sure that things are okay.  Lift the patient for only a few inches from the bed, and check whether the patient is comfortable or not.  Also ensure, that the sling is not hurting the patient and look for any signs of discomfort.
  • Once the senior is comfortable.   Slowly lift the senior with the Hoyer lift, but hold the senior gently while doing so.  While holding the senior or supporting his/her weight.   It can cause the straps to loosen, so try and avoid this.
  • Hold the pressure only for providing support.  The lift is for holding their weight and the caregiver should not support it at that point.
  • Once the senior is transferred to the desired place.   Slowly bring them down and place them in a correct position.   Then               releasing the sling.
  • Unfasten the straps slowly and take out the sling from the senior’s body. In case, the battery fails, use of the emergency release to bring down the patient manually.
  • Caregivers should make sure that there are no children or pets around while operating the Hoyer lift.

The above steps can come handy for a caregiver who wishes to use a Hoyer lift for their senior loved one. But carefully using the lift is not enough. You must also take care of cleaning the lift.

Important Facts that caregivers must take note of include:

  • Never ever use the same sling for two patients. After each use, the sling should be disinfected based on the instructions provided in the user’s manual.
  • If there are any signs of wear and tear in the sling, then it should be replaced immediately.
  • Wipe down all the parts of the lift after each use.
  • Maintaining good hygiene will prevent the spread of infections.

Medline Hydraulic Patient Lifts, Standard Clearance

AliMed Full Body Mesh Seat Sling, 2XL, 600-lb. wt. cap.

Nurses with man in a hoyer lift|How to use a hoyer lift in senior care