Monday, January 28, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
There are several hoisting systems available on the market and manufacturers worldwide are designing new hoists which make the lifting and transfer of patients an easier experience.
The question is: How do you choose which product is right for you?
Lift and transfer products fall into 3 main types. Ceiling Lifts (sometimes called Overhead hoists), Floor Lifts (hoists) and Wall Lifts (hoists).
There are two types of overhead hoist, ceiling fixed track and portable track. A ceiling track hoist consists of a piece of rail/track which is permanently attached to the ceiling.
Less strain as no manual lifting is required
High Lifting height, lift from the floor Uses no floor space, which eliminates storage concerns Versatile - lift, reposition, weigh, toilet
Full room access (curved track or X-Y) and to other rooms - through door header
Only 1 person (caregiver) required
Lift into bath - no tub modification required
Faster than floor lifts - easy to manoeuvre (carpeting not an issue)
More comfortable for user
Portable options (lift and tracking)
The following track configurations are available with ceiling hoists
Straight Track X-Y system or H Track
Room to room track system Curves Y junctions Turntables, gates and exchangers
Mobile Floor Hoists
Floor hoists have been designed especially with the domestic care environment and patient in mind. Electric and hydraulic units are avilable. The following list includes some of the benefits of having a portable floor hoist.
Can be less expensive than ceiling lifts
High level of user knowledge
Use in common care areas - as back-up to primary ceiling units
No track to install
Lift from the floor is possible
Good for temporary use on holidays or for occasional visitor's
Wall Lift Hoists
The wall lift has been designed especially for home use and features the following benefits.
Inexpensive and versatile
Portable, with the use of additional wall brackets
Easy to install Unique problem solver
As you can see the patient lifting market can be quite confusing owing to the vast array of options and manufacturers. If you are considering the purchase of this type of equipment I would recommend contacting 3 or 4 companies to ensure that you buy the right product for your situation.
A good piece of advice is to speak to an independent adviser who deals with more than one manufacturer. This way the salesman is going to give you an honest appraisal of the best equipment for you and not have to try and persuade to buy the only brand that he can sell.
I would also strongly urge you to meet with an occupational therapist or physiotherapist with expertise in this area as it is vitally important that you get the right solution for the end user.
Christian Dunnage is a director of Dolphin Mobility Ltd, a UK based independent supplier of stair lifts, patient hoists and mobility products.