Useful Health Tips

Benefits of Using a Patient Lift in Your Home

Benefits of Using a Patient Lift in Your Home
October 26
13:43 2017

Providing home care to a person with serious mobility limitations becomes easier with the help of a patient lift. With this equipment in the home, transferring, moving, and lifting tasks take less effort and become safer both for the patient and caregiver.

What is Patient Lift?

A patient lift is neither bulky nor expensive. In fact, the latest lift models are light and compact enough to fit and function well inside any home or facility. This equipment can be manually operated, powered by hydraulics, or connected to a power source, which is usually a rechargeable battery.

The design of patient lifts varies from one manufacturer to another but the basic components are the same. They include a mast, boom, spreader bar, sling, and several clips. The mast is a vertical bar that fits into the base of the lift. Meanwhile, the boom is another bar that extends over the patient. It also connects to the spreader bar. The sling holds the patient and it is secured by several chains.

Benefits of Having a Patient Lift

Used properly, the patient lift makes it easier to take care of an ill person on a daily basis. The risk of injury is greatly reduced for the patient regardless of weakness, serious mobility problems, anxiety, and fear of injury.

Similarly, using the lift can improve the performance of the caregiver. It allows tasks to be carried out more efficiently, compassionately, and safely. Dangerous situations are minimized and proper care can be administered swiftly.

How to Properly Use and Care for a Patient Lift

There are a few things to remember before using a patient lift. First, ensure you understand how to operate it. Proper training is essential to prevent accidents like falls, which can lead to serious head injury, fractures, or even death. Get training from a qualified medical professional. Read the manufacturer’s manual and keep it handy, so you can always check the guidelines if you’re not sure how a task is carried out. If there is an error message, follow through and do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer if the patient lift has a problem.

Also, check the sling specifications. Does it match the lift height and weight of the patient? Look at the fabric and straps, too. Are there signs of damage like fraying or stress? Never use a worn out sling. Moreover, do not share slings between patients without cleaning the sling in between. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding washing and disinfecting to ensure the integrity of the fabric and to maintain hygienic practices in and around the lift area. Be particular when disinfecting areas that touch the patient’s skin.

During operation, securely fasten all clips, latches, and hanger bars. Make sure the lift is stable by keeping its base in the maximum open position. Also, wait for the patient to be completely relaxed before making a transfer with the lift. Then, position his or her arms inside the sling straps. Ensure that all weight limits are observed. Also, prepare the device that will receive the patient. If it has wheels, be sure to lock them for safety.

Considerations Before Buying a Patient Lift

patient-lift-specifications

A good patient lift must meet the needs of the person using it. Before buying one, consider how it will assist the patient. Will it be used for transfer from bed to chair or sitting to standing positions, or for transfer to and from the commode or shower? The more complex the tasks, the more flexible the patient lift should be.

Check the specifications of the patient lift, too. It should match the patient in terms of weight capacity, range of lift height, scale, and slings. There must be an emergency shut-off control or manual override switch in case of an emergency or power loss, too.

Finally, consider how many caregivers are available to operate it. Never use one by yourself if it requires multiple people to operate it. This way, you can avoid accidents that can harm the patient or caregiver.

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