Transferring is one of the most physically and mentally demanding tasks for both you and your care recipient. Each of you feels the strain and safety risks and wish there were ways to make the process easier.
For loved ones who have difficulty with transferring and/or supporting their own body weight due to generalized weakness, pain, arthritis, or unsteadiness, they may rely on you to assist them with physical mobility - most often rising from sitting to standing. Especially if you are the only one assisting your loved one, this can put physical strain on you, as well as them, and you both run the risk of injury.
Back strain and falls occur most frequently for caregivers and their loved ones during transfers. There are many devices designed to assist with transfers that decrease stress and increase safety without adding a lot of extra time to the process.
Mechanical Lifts are designed to take most, if not all, of the physical exertion out of transferring or lifting, while increasing safety. They are intended to make transfers achievable with just one person operating the lift.
SAFETY: The person needing lifted or transferred should never attempt to operate the lift alone, and the lift operator should be thoroughly trained on how to use and troubleshoot the lift.
Sit-to-Stand, Manual & Electric
These are the most commonly used lifts and have seemingly limitless configurations. They assist our loved ones to reposition from sitting to standing and, as needed, from standing to sitting. Some even double as a transport for movement from one room to another as space in the home allows. These types of lifts are portable and come in both hand-operated (manual) and battery-powered (electric) options.
Full Body Sling Lifts, Manual & Electric
You will hear these commonly referred to as a "Hoyer lift", after the inventor and innovator that launched the bespoke brand. These lifts are full slings that cradle and move the entire person (typically for those with low to no mobility). It's rare that these lifts are hand-operated (manual), though they are available. Most of these lifts are portable and operate on powerful rechargeable batteries, although some are installed into the room structure.
There are also less complex lifts such as bedside leg lifts and rising recliners (also known as "lift chairs"), which are able to resolve some of the same mobility needs. There are even toilet lifts.
Mechanical lifts may be partially or wholly covered by your loved one’s health plan.