Can One Person Use A Hoyer Lift?

Last Updated: 12.04.24


The main goal of the Hoyer lift is to transfer persons with health issues at ease, protecting them from any danger while moving them. It is also designed to serve as a lift for elderly patient since it is more common to have locomotion problems at an old age.

This invention helps you move patients from a wheelchair to a bed and vice-versa, also being a more efficient way to help your resident go to the bathroom. There are various slings for a large variety of needs.


What is a Hoyer lift?

The medical industry came with a solution for patients with mobility difficulties and elderly people which helps them move from one place to another with fewer efforts. Hoyer lifts are often used to transfer people who are unable to stand or bear their full weight between a bed and a chair or other places.

The Hoyer lift is designed to help both the patient and his/her caregiver, ensuring a safe and comfortable movement since it is designed to be used by persons who require 90% to 100% assistance to get into and out of bed.

Consisting of a sling-like contraption which can be easily slid under the patient’s body, the lift allows the patient to be moved with the minimum amount of fuss. There are different types of lifts (manual, electric, and hydraulic) and each of these types comes with multiple sizes of slings, according to the patient’s height and weight.

Who can operate a Hoyer lift?

The Hoyer lift can be operated efficiently and safely by any person, not only by the medical staff. Apart from being used in hospitals, it can also be used at home after the caregiver is correctly instructed.

Hoyer lifts help patients get back to a more normal life when struggling with a disease, also helping their caregivers to save a lot of time. There are different types of patients with a large variety of pathologies so the number of persons who can operate a Hoyer lift may vary according to the patient and his/her comorbidities.


When can one person use the lift?

Usually, one person is enough to maneuver the machine if the patient is conscious and cooperative. It is also important to take into account the patient’s weight and the stage of his or her disease. As long as the size of the sling is chosen correctly and it is positioned properly, there are no risks for the resident.

You can cope with the situation by yourself if your resident trusts you and listens to your indications. If you have enough time to spend with your patient, you won’t need additional help.

Watching the patient’s feet, swinging the Hoyer lift around, and positioning the resident are essential steps which should be carefully done. In the beginning, you can ask someone to help you.

When doing a lift transfer, slings should be secured and the patient’s head supported. The lift’s legs should be under the bed or spread around the sides of the chair.

Since safety is a priority, and there are a lot of steps to get through, having a co-worker makes it easier for you so you can share the tasks. One person can watch over the patient to be aligned and steady through the transfer and someone else can control the remote.


Particular health issues that require help

In case of patients who suffer from metabolic disorders such as obesity or diabetes, it’s safer for them to be moved by more than one person in order to avoid any injuries since diabetic patients’ wounds take a longer time to heal and complications may appear.

Moreover, patients with recent surgical interventions need more attention so even if the caregiver is instructed, it is better to have some help in the first days from another person until both the patient and the caregiver become accustomed to the machine.

Some patients become very anxious when they are facing a sudden health issue and it is harder to cooperate with them once their lifestyle is radically changed. For example, people who suffer a fracture have to stay immobilized in bed for a long period of time.

Staying in bed can be physically and psychologically harmful for someone who was an active person before the incident, so when you are dealing with agitated patients it is harder to cooperate with them when it comes to using the Hoyer lift. In this case, additional help from another person is welcome.

Psychiatric patients are difficult to cooperate with so in this case, it is essential to have at least one aide to make sure the patient won’t resist or fight during the transferring procedure.

Some patients need to be moved from bed often to avoid muscle atrophy and eschar formation on the back so doing this a few times each day can be tiring for a single person.

Children and elderly people are also a category of people which is not so easy to deal with, especially when your old patient suffers from hearing problems or can’t communicate. This case also requires help and a lot of patience to make sure everything is done right.


Particular situations that require help

On some rare occasions, the machine can stop working because of the battery or any other technical reasons and, in that case, you’ll need a person to watch the patient and others to help you with the battery changing and the remote.

Since patients with locomotion issues require a lot of time and you don’t always have that time, you need to hire a caregiver or to ask your relatives to help you.

As a final thought, each patient is different, meaning that each situation has its own particularities and it is up to each person to choose the number of people needed to assure both the patient and the caregiver’s safety. You have to think if you can manage to take care of your patient by yourself, taking into account any eventual unforeseen things.


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Daniel Roper

September 17, 2019 at 4:44 am

My wife has advanced MS and has sustained fractures making her totally NWB. I found her initial Medicare issued Hoyer very difficult to manage solo, especjally trying to position her rear end in the wheelchair while simultaneously reaching for the release valve (this led directly to fracture #2). I have subsequently purchased a BC350PC remotely controlled lift. This foldable lift, along with a tipable chair, has been a life-changing combinatiom. We just completed our first overnight road trip with only minor teathing pains.


September 20, 2019 at 1:00 am

I also have advanced MS. I am looking for a lift my husband can use without injuring himself. What is the brand name of the lift you just bought? The BC350PC remote lift.

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