A Hoyer lift is a patient lift used by caregivers to safely transfer patients. It can be used for lifting patients from the floor or onto a healthcare bed. The lift also can assist in other surface-to-surface patient transfers, such as moving from a bed to a bath or chair. Various models are available, including those that operate manually or electronically. There also is a sit-to-stand option.
Using the lift can eliminate neck, back, and shoulder injuries common among caregivers while providing secure, sturdy support for patients.
Who needs a Hoyer lift?
A Hoyer lift is typically used to assist patients who need 90 to 100 percent assistance getting in and out of bed. But many types of patients can benefit from a Hoyer lift, including:
- Patients with mobility challenges
- Bedridden patients
- Patients with muscle weakness
- Patients with mental health issues
How to use a Hoyer lift
Hoyer lifts are stable and comfortable for patients. They also are intended to be easy to operate for caregivers. It is important to know how to use the lift properly to ensure the caregiver or patient does not get injured.
Here are the basic steps:
1) Stabilize the lift
2) Check the sling
3) Prepare and transfer the patient
Examine and stabilize the lift
Make sure the wheels are tightly attached and locked in position. Some types of Hoyer lifts offer an adjustable base that can be widened for a sturdier transfer. Also, ensure the swivel bar at the top of the lift is connected and that the sling for transporting patients is hooked properly.
Try out the lift’s controls before placing the patient on the lift. For instance, practice raising and lowering the boom to ensure a smooth ride. Also, know where the emergency features are, such as the emergency release lever and a manual hand crank on electric Hoyer lifts.
Examine the sling for any tears or holes. The sling should be attached to hooks on the swivel bar. Padded U-shaped slings are often good choices for patient comfort. Also, ensure the sling is suited for the patient’s weight.
Prepare and transfer the patient
Tell the patient how the lift operates before using the lift for the first time. Raise the bed and slide a sling under the patient. Chains connect the pad to the lift frame. Lower the bed before lifting the patient. The individual is raised using controls or the hand pump. Follow device instructions for proper positioning. Once lifted, slowly transport and then lower the patient directly over the intended surface. Move the sling from under the patient once the person is sitting.
Patients benefiting from a Hoyer lift might also seek an adjustable hospital bed to manage mobility. Beds are available that are head, foot, and height-adjustable and have features such as wireless hand controls. This can provide a more comfortable solution than standard hospital beds.