Hoyer lift versus ceiling mount lift for one person transfers

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tom777

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We are getting ready to move my mom, who is 87 years old and was diagnosed with ALS four years ago, from an assisted living facility to my brother's house. My mom can still speak and breath without assistance but she is just beginning to have some trouble swallowing. She has lost the use of her arms, legs and core. She still has some ability to hold her head up.

We would like the safest and easiest transfers, both for my mom and for one care giver doing the transfers by themselves. We are trying to decide between an electric Hoyer lift and a ceiling mounted track lift. My mom only weighs 98 pounds. At this point the only transfers would be between an electric hospital bed, PWC, and commode. I think she will be using a high back hygiene sling.

I’m wondering if anyone out there has experience with the ceiling mount lifts? Are they easier to use for the care giver? Safer? More comfortable for my mom?
It seems like sliding the lift on a rail would be much easier than pushing, turning and positioning a hoyer lift, especially since there is a low pile carpet and pad on the floor. On the other hand, the hoyer lift would be more flexible since it can go to other places in the room. We don’t have experience with either type of lift.

After looking at both options it appears that a ceiling mount lift would cost about twice as much as a hoyer lift so we don’t want to go that route unless there are significant benefits. Any thoughts?
 

Bestfriends14

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We have both and the ceiling lift is a game changer. The hoyer is good and they both do the same job, but as you mentioned, the Hoyer is significantly less costly. The hoyer is difficult to maneuver across carpets and can get stuck, thus the person being moved is swinging in the air when you are trying to get the legs over a bunch in the carpet. To move a stuck Hoyer lift necessitates getting on your hands and knees and manually moving the legs over whatever is causing it to get stuck. It's a fickle machine.

As for the ceiling track, you can get tracks placed in different rooms in the house and get a machine that unhooks from one track, bring the machine to the other room, and hook it on to the track in that room. I love the ceiling lift and loathe the hoyer lift. However, my husband is 200 pounds so difficult to move with a hoyer lift. Hope this helps your decision.
 

lgelb

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As a counterpoint, the ceiling track is more permanent and your mom's weight and expected lifespan are not the same as Bestfriend's husband. I would have no reservations about a Hoyer in your situation. And I did use the Hoyer on [not super-thick] carpet with my 250# husband.
 

Bestfriends14

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Laurie has a good point about longevity. If the prognosis of your mum is poor, the hoyer lift is best. I will say, though, the ceiling track is not permanent but you do have to take the screws and tracks out of the ceiling when the system is no longer required. If you are not handy, you'll have to pay someone to take it out for you. The hoyer may be much less hassle for you.
 

Diane H

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An overhead lift is easier regardless of the flooring issue. A Hoyer lift takes up a lot of space in a small bedroom. I use it for toileting by placing a bedpan under me on my bed or my wheelchair. A bedpan is easier to clean than a commode and also frees up space. The split leg sling can be left in place while up in the wheelchair by moving the leg straps out to the sides so they are not under the thighs. You may want to consider a female urinal for daytime use. Female Urination

Consider a free-standing overhead lift rather than a ceiling mount.
Free Standing Lifts:
Free%20Standing%20.jpg


  1. Lower cost than ceiling lift.
  2. No attachment to the ceiling or walls or structural reinforcement is needed.
  3. Self-installation rather than paying for installation.
  4. No attachments to walls or ceiling so no repairs when removed.
  5. Ideal for people who rent or for rooms with high ceilings.
  6. Easily and quickly dismantled to move or take along.
  7. Over the bathtub frame option.
  8. Lift motor can be moved from frame to frame for cost-saving multiple lifts use.
 

ctk56

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In general, a ceiling lift is much easier on the caregiver. What is used at the assisted living facility? If a hoyer, how does your mom tolerate it? Have you tried it? We have a ceiling lift at home. As a PALS, I find it more comfortable because I am not pushed this way and that, while 'hanging around.' But, all PALS learn to adjust.
Agree with others that longevity and your mom's weight are factors to consider. Three months or three years?
In terms of cost, check with vendor to see if ceiling lift quote includes everything. There may be extra charges for the rail and installation.
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