One person Hoyer transfer

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 has lost the use of her arms, legs and core, but still has some ability to hold her head up. Before the move we want to have some confidence that one person will be able to safely transfer her, using an electric Hoyer lift, between electric hospital bed, PWC, and commode, both now and in the future as she continues to lose neck and body control. She only weighs 98 pounds.

Recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We are currently thinking of buying a light weight Hoyer lift since it will be easier to move about and she is not very heavy. Also thinking of using a divided leg sling with head support for all transfers. Are there any particular features of the lift or sling that we should pay particular attention to?

Thanks!
 

JimInVA

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@tom777 - Thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear that your Mom is having to deal with ALS... as are you (and others, to, I suspect).

My wife's ALS also began in her extremities and she didn't lose her voice until well into the end of her 8th year. I used a manual hoyer lift for my wife who was 5'8" and a bit over twice as heavy as your Mom. I used a Liko High Back (has head support) Hygiene (a type of split leg) Sling... and I swear by it. I did have one person get one for his wife and neither of them liked it (I don't know if there was real reason or they simply didn't use it correctly or had a wrong size). I have several posts about our experience with both the hoyer and the sling. If you do an advanced search and type in "Liko" for the keyword and "JimInVA" as the author, you'll see other posts that I've made. Hopefully, others will speak up to tell you about their experiences, too.

During our use of the hoyer/sling, I easily trained over a half dozen different family members, caregivers and helpful friends on its use. All of them... and all of them of various sizes... were able to do transfers for Darcey. It really is pretty easy once you understand what you're doing.

Again, thanks for reaching out so we can be of help. Let us know what questions you have so we can provide you with enough varied information that you'll be better able to find that which works best for you.

My best...

Jim
 

JimInVA

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P.S. We had a wheelchair accessible van. As a consequence of the fact that we continued to travel while Darcey still enjoyed doing so, we had a Hoyer lift that folded into an easy to take with us form. You should find info on that if you do a search on my name in the forum search.

Jim
 

lgelb

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You will want one that is comparatively narrow. If you use SpinLife, for example, just select power lift with user weight <300 and the two narrowest sizes, and it will give you the options. Opening the legs will be manual (a lever), which is fine. I agree with the lightweight concept (weights are provided on the site), so the person can push with one hand and use the other to support her in the sling to avoid swaying. But yes, it can be done.

Does she have a feeding tube? 98 lb is pretty light. What's her height? It will be important to have a sling that does not pinch her skin, which has to do with fit/design as well as padding, which can be counterproductive.

Best,
Laurie
 

affected

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I'm only 5' ... just ... and I not only operated a hoyer at home alone, but found it amazing. If you go slow and pay attention to detail, they are truly easy to use and make life for both PALS and CALS so much easier.
Others can give you better detail on specific equipment traits.
 

Ruth33

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I went with the Liko HiBack that Jim recommends. It is working well for us.
Long story short, I ended up with a size small sling that I am not using.
JiminVA very kindly lent me his used size Large sling while I was fighting for them to send me the correct size.
It was very helpful because we really needed it in the meantime and trying for size before buying is a great idea.
If you think this is a sling you want to try, I would send it to you.
Maybe the moderator can put us in touch.
 

Jrzygrl

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I 100% agree with @JimInVA about the Lyko Highback. It was by far my favorite. It was the only sling that allowed me to get my husband upright enough to use the toilet. It also allowed me to pull his pants up and down easily. He was around 6'1" and 200+ lbs. We had a manual hoyer, but because of my husband's long torso, the lift height was not high enough to easily do some transfers. We got an electric hoyer from the ALS Loan closet that had a higher lift height. (You can check those kinds of specs online.) The combination worked easily with just 1 person. (I had an OT insist that 2 people were needed for any hoyer lift. I told her that was not our reality, and showed her the door.) As his torso control declined, the only change we made was moving from using the toilet to using a rolling shower/commode chair so that he could be slightly reclined, but still sit comfortably. Patience and practice are key. You've got this!!!
 

tom777

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To Ruth33 - Thank you so much for offer. When we get further along we might check with you again. Both the right sling size and the right type of sling seem to be key. Thanks.
 

Miss

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My late husband was 6'1, 270 lbs. I am 5'4, 125 lbs. He lost the ability to speak and move (arms first followed by legs). I was able to transfer him with the electric hoyer by myself using the split leg sling without a problem. The CNA that came in and helped (about my size) was also able to transfer him with no issues. We had an accessible van. The PWC was put in front passenger seat area and the hoyer went in the back (with the seats removed) when we went out of town.
 

Nuts

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I did solo transfers for my husband using a portable electric Hoyer when we traveled, and using a ceiling mounted track system in the house. By far, the ceiling lift was the easiest on both of us, especially in later stages. My husband was also a LOT heavier than your mom, so a portable should be fine if you have the room to maneuver it (we did not have that space in our bedroom at home). Kudos to you for bringing her home--it's a very difficult journey ahead, but SHE is FAR better off at home and you will forever know that you did the right thing for her. Even during hospital stays in an ICU (pre-COVID) either I or a private-duty nurse was in the room to assist the ICU staff. No matter how qualified and experienced they are, there is always someone else coming into the room who has no clue about ALS. The high back sling (to support the head) with split legs is the only way to go--just get the right size for her. Some years ago we used to crown each other here--I'd like to crown you right now for bringing your mom home. When things get tough, just polish that crown and know that it is well deserved. Oh, to follow up on Jrzygrl's experience, I had an ICU nurse ask me how I ever rolled my husband over on his side to clean him by myself. I showed her, and then explained that when you have no other alternatives you always find a way (and I firmly believe that it's much easier to do this for someone you love).
 

tom777

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To Ruth33: We were able to borrow an electric hoyer lift from the local ALS Association. We are so grateful! What a wonderful resource.
If your offer still stands to send us a small Liko high back sling to try, we would like to take you up on it. We would be happy to return it to you after we have a chance to see if it is the right sling for my mom.
Not sure how we get in touch? Moderator?
Thanks,
Tom
 

Nikki J

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Tom I think you have pm privileges as a supporter. I don’t think Ruth does yet. Try to start a conversation with her if you can’t ( as I expect) message me your contact information and I will message it to her. Click on a username. If you are able to message them there will be a start conversation button
 

Ruth33

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Thanks Nikki. I was in touch with Tom.
 

Atsugi

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Tom,
Just to pile on--my 13-year-old girl single handed her mom with an electric Hoyer, all around the house, toilet, bed etc, with no problem.
Good luck to you
 

AKY10

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Hi to all,

I posted in a different thread about the Liko but I see a lot of good info and encouragement here. I’d like to say that we too have a loaner electric hoyer. My husband is about 6’ and 190. We had the manual but got the loaner from our ALS chapter. Kudos to this forum because I saw someone mentioning their loaner closet and it spurred me to ask ours and they had one! I can’t tell you how happy I was along with our teenage son and my husband the day it came.

It has really made a difference especially with using the commode. I think the Liko may make it easier than the sling that came from our ALS clinic with the original manual hoyer. My husband is losing more core strength and some neck also. He really can lean to the left.

My understanding is we could get the sling under him in bed using the same technique we use for the present one - rolling him, tucking sling, rolling him other way and pulling out the rest of rolled sling. Then attaching to hoyer and lifting off bed.

I mentioned in my other post that we don’t have a shower so we wouldn’t be using the sling for that. And we can only use a bedroom commode now. We had a bidet top in our 1/2 bath and I would use a gait belt to transfer him from a push chair to the toilet. That was tough but he loved the bidet.

He’s in a pwc and the sling is put behind him and then he’s transferred to the commode. Right now one of us stands behind it and tilts it back as we lower him on with remote for electric hoyer. Once he’s on we push his knees down carefully until his feet are on the floor. I also can do this by myself but it’s easier with another person.

If there is a possibility of borrowing a large size Liko from another member to try out ahead of time before purchasing I would appreciate it.

Would the Liko work in a similar way or since he would be more upright would it be easier to lower him without tilting?
 
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