Many times having a family member dealing with reduced mobility leaves us looking for the right solution in order to ensure the needed proper care. For more information on what the top-rated Hoyer lifts available on the market are, you can also check out some of our other articles.
In order to make sure that you choose the right device, it’s a good idea to understand a little bit more about Hoyer lifts and how they work. After all, these are not necessarily cheap products, so if you do decide to purchase one, it will most probably be a considerable investment on your part, which means you need to take your time to choose the right model.
What are Hoyer lifts?
A Hoyer lift is a medical device that is used to get patients with reduced mobility from one location to another. Most of the times, this means getting them into and out of bed. The main elements of a Hoyer lift are the pad that is connected to the unit’s lift frame and the lifting mechanism that can be either an electric or a hydraulic pump.
A caregiver needs to provide assistance throughout this process since patients are most of the times able to move very little, which means the risk of getting injured is quite high. For this reason, you should always make sure that the person who is operating the device and going to do the transfer has the necessary training to get this done in the proper way.
The Hoyer lift makes this task a lot easier, but since we are talking about patients who cannot move too much, particularly elderly ones, then any minor accident, such as a fall, can trigger multiple complications and further develop into something a lot more serious.
For this reason, specialized retirement homes many times require having two caregivers operating the Hoyer lift when moving a person. This goes to show you how important this aspect is, so it’s definitely not one to be neglected.
Who can benefit from using a Hoyer lift?
Before going into more technical details and discussing the cost of such a device, let’s take a look at which patients can benefit from using a Hoyer lift. Anyone who is dealing with limited mobility can be a good candidate for using such a unit, no matter if we’re talking about care in a specialized institution or at home.
There are several types of Hoyer lifts one can choose from and determining what the right one is, depends on many factors, including the severity of the case and on the type of assistance that is available to the patient. It’s good to know that most lifts can withstand patients weighing up to 400 pounds, with some going as high as 600 or 1000 pounds.
If we’re not talking about an extremely serious lack of mobility and the patient only uses a walker, and most of the times needs a bit of help, then a Hoyer lift might not be necessary at all. If, however, the caregiver is not strong enough to provide the necessary care, then having such a device can definitely make things a lot easier for both the patient and the caregiver.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about a much more severe case where there is little to almost no mobility, then a Hoyer lift is definitely the way to go since it mostly helps the caregiver in daily activities.
Types of Hoyer lifts
In order to understand what type of device might be useful for your needs, it’s good to know the different types you can choose from. There are three main alternatives on the market, the first one being the manual Hoyer lift. Such a unit uses hydraulic cylinders that are pumped by a caregiver in order to lift the patient. For this reason, it’s also known as a hydraulic Hoyer lift.
While this is an option that can render the process easier, it still requires a bit more physical effort on the caregiver’s part, and this might not always be possible, especially if we’re talking about a spouse providing care at home. Luckily, there are other solutions for such cases, such as power Hoyer lifts.
These devices run on either batteries or electricity and don’t require any manual pumping, since they include buttons that activate the lifting functions, thus making things a lot easier to handle on the caregiver’s part.
The third type consists of sit-to-stand Hoyer lifts, which are handy devices most of the times used to transfer patients between sitting positions, such as from a chair to the wheelchair. These devices work well in assisting those who have a hard time standing up or rising from a chair, and they are available in both power or manual alternatives.
The sit-to-stand lifts can also be lightweight and specially made to be portable so that a caregiver can use such a unit while traveling as well.
What about the costs?
You are most probably aware that a Hoyer lift is not necessarily a cheap product to buy, especially since we’re talking about a medical device. Prices can go from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousands, which goes to show that this is a rather significant investment that you won’t make every day.
For this reason, it’s important to choose a high-quality product from the start. If you are not sure what works for a patient’s particular needs, the first and most advisable step is to get several opinions from medical experts such as the patient’s doctor.
Moreover, if you don’t know what such a device and operating it entails, you can look for a retirement home in your area and ask for some advice from experienced caregivers that can definitely provide a lot of tips and tricks and on what works in each case.
Going back to costs, the good news is that there are some alternative solutions you can definitely use. First of all, Hoyer lifts are sold in thousands of retail outlets across the country, which means that you can most probably find special offers and discounts you can benefit from.
Furthermore, renting it can also be an option, especially if you’re thinking about testing various alternatives and models before settling on a certain one, or if the patient’s condition can change throughout time. Again, you can ask an expert for details on what works in a particular case, and you can also find specialized retailers that can help with rentals as well.
We’ve already mentioned that having a trained caregiver operate a Hoyer lift is the way to go, but you should also be aware that if you intend to get such a device to use for a patient at home, then even family members that are going to help provide care should go through training before using the Hoyer lift. This is crucial in order to avoid potential accidents with serious results.
Moreover, since these Hoyer lifts are not the cheapest thing you can buy, you probably want to protect it throughout time and get the most use out of it. If this is the case, then ensuring its proper use and handling is the first step in getting this done.