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Manual Hoyer Lift: How to Safely and Easily Use It As A Beginner

As a primary caregiver, your top priority is ensuring your loved one is safe and healthy. However, mobility issues that come with aging or health conditions can pose a risk to your loved one’s safety. It can also impact your ability to provide care, as transferring them with your physical strength can cause strains or injury.

To make transferring easy, you should consider mobility tools such as Hoyer lifts to make lifting easier and safer for all involved.

With Hoyer lifts or patient lifts, you don’t have to worry about the challenge of moving your loved one from the bed to the wheelchair or from the bathroom to another part of the home. You can buy or rent a manual Hoyer lift to help you move, transfer, or reposition your loved one as needed.

a health worker assisting with attaching the sling in a manual Hoyer lift ready for transferring an older man back to his bed

Understanding Manual Hoyer Lifts

A manual Hoyer lift is a mobility tool that helps individuals battling mobility issues and challenges move from one position or place to another. A manual Hoyer lift can be used at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living homes, and even at home, as they offer a safe and convenient way to move and transfer your loved one from one point to another.

These mobility tools are essential in providing easy access and a comfortable living environment for seniors needing help with their daily schedules and routines.

One of the most critical aspects of using a manual Hoyer lift is reading its manual and ensuring you familiarize yourself with it, as failure to do this may result in injury.

The next step is understanding the parts of the lift, as this will help you assemble it, or if you have a professional assemble it, you will know how each component works. Some of the features you need to familiarize yourself with include the following:

a home care aide assisting an older man after using a hydraulic Hoyer lift

 

Base, Wheels, and Legs

It’s essential to identify the base, wheels, and legs. In most cases, a manual Hoyer lift will have two legs that are parallel to the ground or floor and are supported by four legs. When using a hoyer lift, always ensure you do so on an even floor. By doing this, you will be providing stability for the lift and safety of your loved one.

Spread Handle

This is the vertical handle that you will find next to the central column, and it brings the legs close together or moves them wide apart. This handle locks into a slot to prevent the legs from moving. When preparing to move your loved one, ensure you lock the legs once they reach their widest opening position and keep them that way when using the lift.

 

Boom and Sling Bar

This is the long and angled bar at the top of the lift; you will need to connect a sling bar hanging from the end of the boom. The boom and sling bar are essential parts of the lift as you will use them to attach the patient sling when using the lift.

 

Patient Sling

A patient sling is also known as a transfer sling. You can attach it to the lift or wrap it around or under your loved one, enabling the transfer. It’s essential to practice connecting the sling to the sling hooks without a patient on the lift.

 

Types of Manual Hoyer Lifts

There are three manual Hoyer lifts, each serving a specific purpose. They are

 

Passive Floor Manual Lifts

This type of manual Hoyer lift provides full-body support to your loved one and doesn’t require much participation from them. It’s one of the most common, and you can wheel it to your desired location. This mobility tool is ideal for lifting your loved one from the ground or floor to another surface.

 

Active Sit-to-Stand Manual Hoyer Lifts

With this type of manual Hoyer lift, you can assist your loved one in transferring from a sitting to a standing position, helping them maintain some form of independence. This type of patient lift is portable and ideal for a person who can bear some of their weight and only needs assistance in moving from a sitting position to a standing one. Your loved one will benefit from this hydraulic Hoyer lift as it supports their legs and torso, enabling their participation in the transfer.

 

a young caregiver helping a patient use a Hoyer lift

 

Overhead Lifts

This type of manual patient lift utilizes a track system that you will install in the ceiling and helps move your loved one throughout their house. One advantage of this mobility tool is that it doesn’t require the creation of additional floor space, making it ideal for smaller areas.

 

Tips For Choosing The Right Manual Hoyer Lift

Choosing an ideal type of Hoyer lift equipment can be challenging, but the following tips will help you immensely.

Assessing The Needs of The Senior

You will have to assess your loved one’s needs; for instance, if they can move alone and only need assistance standing from a sitting position, then buying a sit-to-stand manual Hoyer lift will be the right choice.

Weight Capacity and Lifting Requirements

One of the crucial aspects of a Hoyer lift is weight capacity. Although most manual patient lifts can lift various weights, it’s vital to ensure it can accommodate your loved ones’ weight as it provides a safe transfer experience.

Adjustability and Comfort Features

You will need to buy a lift that you can adjust to fit the desired height and at the same time has comfortable features. You want your loved one to be comfortable during the transfer, and having a lift with these features will be an added advantage.

Manual Hoyer Lift Design

When researching Hoyer lifts, you will find that some designs serve the purpose of raising your loved one from a sitting position directly upward without extending the boom much. In contrast, other lifts have smaller booms and are ideal for smaller spaces, like small doorways. It would be best if you bought or rented a patient lift, depending on where you intend to use it. For instance, a shorter boom is ideal for in-home care, whereas a longer boom is ideal for bariatric patients.

Regardless, most Hoyer lifts have adjustable width and low-profile design, making it easy for the product to navigate around wheelchairs and other furniture, supported by smooth-rolling casters for optimum portability.

a hydraulic patient lift ready for patient transfer

 

Safety and Proper Use of Manual Hoyer Lifts

There are some safety guidelines to follow when operating a manual Hoyer lift, which helps keep you and your loved one safe. They include the following:

  • Never pull or push on the patient lift boom, which may cause the lift to lose balance and tip over.
  • Never exceed the maximum weight of the lift while lifting.
  • Keep your loved one centered over the base and facing you when raising them.
  • Avoid blocking the wheels or locking the brakes while lifting your loved one.
  • Never raise your loved one over unpaved surfaces or obstructions that may tip the lift over.
  • Never use the patient to lift to transfer anything other than a patient.
  • Adjust the base to its most comprehensive position before the transfer or lift.

 

Potential Risks and Precautions To Be Aware of

  • Avoid washing the lift under pressure.
  • Do not bleach the sling.
  • Use the hydraulic pump to raise the boom when lifting your loved one.
  • Never lift one of the booms when positioning and lifting a patient, as it may cause air into the ram, making it difficult to raise as the pump may be unable to.
  • Always press down gently on the handle when you reach the bottom of the stroke.
  • If you notice any issues with the manual lift, contact your seller immediately.

 

 

 

Techniques for Safe Transfers Using a Manual Hoyer Lift

It’s crucial to obtain training on the proper use of a manual Hoyer lift before operating it, as this ensures your safety and that of your loved one. You will need to observe the following steps before using a patient lift:

  • Remove any obstacles and clear the space for the transfer
  • Check if the floor is even
  • Ensure the lift is stable
  • Properly connect the boom
  • Connect the sling bars, check if the sling has any defects, and apply it.
  • Use the lift
  • Complete the operation, whether lifting, repositioning, or transfer.
  • Lower your loved one.
  • Once your loved one is in place, unhook the slings from the lift.
  • Move the lift out of the way.
  • Gently remove the sling for your loved one.

 

Comparing Manual Hoyer Lifts with Other Lifting Devices

Hoyer lifts can be manual or electric. The table below shows the differences between both.

Manual Hoyer LiftElectric Hoyer Lift
Uses a hydraulic or a lever system to move or transfer a patientUses batteries or electric power to lift and reposition the patient
More physically demanding on the caregiverLess physically demanding on the caregiver
Cost-effectiveA little bit expensive
Less maintenance upkeepNeed more upkeep for a smooth operation
Less compactMore compact
Convenient where the space for maneuvering a patient is limitedCan operate in a spacious room
Medicaid may cover part of the costMedicaid doesn’t cover the cost
LightweightHeavier
Smaller designLarger design

Where to Find and Purchase Manual Hoyer Lifts

When you decide to buy a hydraulic Hoyer lift, you can find more information from:

While purchasing a hydraulic Hoyer lift, you must consider our loved ones’ needs, their house design, and your budget. Remember to ask about their return policies and warranty, and whether they offer after-sale services, replacement services, customer support, and training on how to use the Hoyer lift properly.

Conclusion

Buying a manual Hoyer lift can be one of the best decisions you can make, as it will help you avoid straining your neck and back when lifting your loved one, which are some of the most significant challenges to caregiving. Apart from this, Hoyer lifts guarantee your loved one’s safety as it reduces the risk of falls, which can derail their recuperating process.

Caring for a loved one can take a toll even on the strongest person, and you will need to take a break occasionally to recharge. Exploring senior care options gives you peace of mind, knowing you have someone trustworthy looking after your loved one in your absence. You don’t have to wait until you’re overwhelmed or experiencing burnout before consulting with a senior care provider.

Discuss the various senior care options available to your loved one and research the cost. It’s crucial to talk with your loved one and find out about their wishes, and when the time is right, honor their wishes.

If you need an extra pair of hands to assist your loved one while you take a break, or to operate a manual Hoyer lift, you can contact us today to find the ideal caregiver near you.

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