Can one person control a patient lift?

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vlcare

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My husband will soon need a patient lift for transferring from bed to commode to power chair, etc. He weighs over 200 lbs. I am his sole caregiver at this point.

I'm trying to decide whether to get an electrically powered lift or a regular hydraulic lift. But the most important issue is whether I can do the job by myself.

How do others handle this?

V
 

Annie's Phil

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Yes, one person can operate the lift. The most difficult part is getting the patient positioned in the sling. But even that is fairly straightforward if done methodically. We used an Invacare manual lift with leg slings. You don't really need a powered lift. It's not difficult to pump by hand.
 

designdiva

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We have a Hoyerlift from the loan closet right now, it is manual and doable but I must say I do not like it at all, seems unsafe, is large and it is time consuming to mess with the sling and position it right. I was looking for some alternatives yesterday and ran across the EasyPivot, there are lots of YouTube videos showing how it works for different scenarios (bed, toilet, car, chair, etc) and it looks so much easier and faster I am seriously considering getting one early next week. It is one person operable.
 

jacquie

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We got a used ceiling lift with track and sling. I have one in my bathroom and one in the bedroom. If I have the sling under me in my wheelchair, I can actually get myself on the toilet or in bed, and back in the wheelchair. I do still have the use of my arms. I think it is the greatest thing. It doesn't take up floor space, either. So definitely you can do it alone. Best wishes.

Jacquie
 

vlcare

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Thanks Phil and designdiva. It's reassuring to have the input of others who have lived/are living through the process of caregiving. Just when I think I have a handle on the disease process, I discover I surely do not.

Anyway, I did look at the YouTube videos of the EasyPivot. Compared to what I was seeing about the sling systems, EasyPivot seems less complex and much easier on a caregiver. I am going to contact EasyPivot and see if it is possible to have someone come out and demonstrate it for us.

If I do purchase one, I'll be sure to post my "good and bad" down the road.

Ciao,
Vicki
 

vlcare

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Hi, Jacquie: Wish we could consider the ceiling lift option. However, we have 12+ foot ceilings with architectural features that would prevent our doing so.

But it sounds like a wonderful solution for you.

Regards,
Vicki
 

designdiva

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Vlcare, I know exactly what you mean, as soon as you get a good system down everything changes and you are back to square one looking for different solutions. I am really hoping to get an EasyPivot soon if possible, it looks like it would even work to get my Pals in the shower which he has been longing to do but can't right now with the tight space and current way we are transferring. I will say we got a shower chair that I love, after dealing a long time with a regular bench one, we found one that slides in and out on a track and also swivels around so he can just sit down on it and I can do the work to get his legs over the tub and slide him in. I have also found that buying a $1 piece of foam pipe insulator from Lowes was a great way to make it easier to hold eating utensils rather than spending the crazy amount they want for professional gear, I just slit it open and trimmed to fit our silver ware then taped with electrical tape so I can slide the utensils in and out for cleaning. And the foamy non skid shelf liner people use for their kitchen cabinets also makes a great table liner for PALS to keep bowls and plates from sliding around. I am not sure what all issues others are facing trying to work around problems but I am happy to share what we have done to make life easier, I will try to post some photos on my page soon.
 

Nighthawk

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My caregivers (old mom and sis) got a manual Hoyer Lift loaned to us by our Local Chapter of ALS Association (ALSA) some weeks ago, yet haven't made an effort to learn how to use it as hey perceive it as overwhelming.
I'm praying not to have a fall while they try to figure out how to use it or I'll have to stay on the floor until 9-1-1 people can come home to get me up.

They'd probably may need someone with experience on using it to come home to train them.


Carlos
 

vlcare

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diva: This morning I discovered a thread about the Easy Pivot. It was created by georgia in March 2007. You will find the comments interesting and perhaps disquieting. I don't know how to link you to the thread or I would do so.

Vicki
 

Annie's Phil

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diva: This morning I discovered a thread about the Easy Pivot. It was created by georgia in March 2007. You will find the comments interesting and perhaps disquieting. I don't know how to link you to the thread or I would do so.

Vicki
Vicki, I haven't seen that thread, but it's apparent to me that the Easy Pivot would eventually become problematic as the disease progresses. First, it looks like the patient must begin from a sitting position, e.g., sitting on the edge of the bed, and then returned to a sitting position. This is fine as long as the PALS torso muscles are able to keep them stable in a sitting position while the CALS gets the lift postioned. Eventually, you'll want to be able to get him up from a lying down position and return him there. That's what I experienced with Annie. I was able to do it pretty easily with the leg slings and floor lift.

Second, once the PALS breathing declines sufficiently they are likely going to find it very distressing to try to breathe when they're positioned face down with so much of their weight compressing their abdomen and chest. Annie could not be bent forward from the waist without starving for air.

It's just as you & designdiva said about the constantly changing needs and solutions. I always felt like I was aiming at a moving target. So the more you can plan on where things are reasonably expected to be sometime in the future of the disease progression, the more likely you are to have a long-term workable solution.
 

vlcare

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Exactly my thoughts about the drawbacks, Phil. Although his arms are still strong, my husband is already at FVC 37, so compressing the diaphragm would be imprudent. He is on NIVV 90% of the time now. That creates the additional problem of moving the breathing equipment while moving the patient.

We decided a few minutes ago to pursue the hospital bed/patient lift route. I will find a way to get the necessary training. He will find a way to adjust. Nobody said this journey would be easy. Guess we keep falling into the trap of wishful thinking...

Regards,
Vicki
 

Barbie

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We use a standing transfer stand that pivots. we bought it online and it was less that $300 (I tried to post a picture but didn't work). My husband can still stand on his toes/outer edge of feet, so this works great for us. I get him standing, rotate him, and re-seat him on the toilet/bed or wheelchair. the stand has wheels so I can move it from the bedside to the bathroom as needed.

I have a Hoyer, but I am like your caregivers, Carlos--don't remember how to use it! I got one after my husband fell out of his chair and it took 4 people to get him up. never fell since (knock on wood). they can watch you tube videos of how to use it and practice on each other...that is my plan.
 
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CasaHopkins

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We use a rechargeable battery powered Invacare lift. It was provided by Hospice. It requires a sling just like a manual Hoyer. My husband is 6'3" and I am 5'3" and I'm able to do it without a problem. The hospice staff trained me on the proper technique and it did take me some time to feel confident that my husband would be comfortable and safe in it. Before this we had a sit-to-stand type lift, but once his leg strength was gone we couldn't use that anymore.

Hope this helps:) Love and light to you <3
 

Txgirl

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My caregivers (old mom and sis) got a manual Hoyer Lift loaned to us by our Local Chapter of ALS Association (ALSA) some weeks ago, yet haven't made an effort to learn how to use it as hey perceive it as overwhelming.
I'm praying not to have a fall while they try to figure out how to use it or I'll have to stay on the floor until 9-1-1 people can come home to get me up.

They'd probably may need someone with experience on using it to come home to train them.


Carlos
The hoyer can be intimidating. Your caregivers need to be trained on using it. If you are on hospice care or have a friend that works in the medical field that can come by & teach them that would be the safest.
I wouldn't advise using it on a patient until trained.
 

vlcare

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Thanks everyone. It appears that training will be essential.

It remains to be seen whether the supplier will provide training. As of July 1 only suppliers who contract with Medicare for equipment and supplies in a "competitive bidding area" are required to provide delivery, set-up and patient training. Items which fall into the "non-competitive" category appear to have no duty to provide service, even though they may accept Medicare assignment. Where I am located, patient lifts are in the non-competitive category.

I am getting a giant headache about all the new rules and will probably be on the phone most of the day tomorrow switching repiratory suppliers who are no longer covered by Medicare and trying to find out about a lift. Yikes.

If you need to learn more about the Medicare changes, go to medicare.gov/supplierdirectory. Best to do it before you get blindsided like me.

Good luck.
Vicki
 
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