Nikki, thank you so much and I'm so sorry for the trouble.
I see the conversation, but I do not see a reply button or a place to type my info.
I feel really stupid. I'll wait for Jim to reply with his contact info
So here's an update,
Lot's going on on many fronts.
I am dealing with the company that sold me the wrong sized sling.
JimInVA very kindly and generously gave/loaned me his size large.
Which is a big big help. I may end up buying a new one, but it is so helpful that I can actually try it first to see if it is right for us.
I hope that with my limited but increasing knowledge and sling collection, I can be of help to others in the future.
So I think this can really work. (The Liko Highback Hygiene Sling/Vest) Keeping his posture upright while trying to seat him on the toilet is essential. There is a learning curve. There is the issue of getting the pants on and off which takes practice and experimentation, but we are definitely making progress.
Meanwhile our overnight caregiver is quitting on us and we are trying to train someone new while still learning it ourselves.
Oh, and the Hoyer lift is making frightening noises while lifting, so I am dealing with the same company to get help with that.
I guess this is just par for the course in this world of ALS.
I am sure many of you can relate.
We started simplifying everything we could now that we use hoyer lift not sit to stand for all transfers . Slit up the back of the pants works perfect . Once in the chair we just tuck in the sides . Front flap easily pulls open for use of urinal . BTW sit to stand was wonderful while we could use for about 2 years . They are all different .
If it helps any, here's what I did with my husband. Position the leg pieces high on the thigh, a little below his butt. Lift via the hoyer and pull the pants down as much as possible while he's suspended in the air. Move to the toilet/PWC, then sit him down. Detach the sling, then lift a leg at a time to get pants down/off if needed. It takes some patience and practice, but becomes so much easier than any other sling we tried. (None of the OTs we worked with had any idea that a sling like this even existed. For the most part, the OTs were no help at all with toileting. Thank God for this forum!) My husband was tall, so we also had to get a hoyer with a higher lift height than most. Luckily, our local ALS Loan closet had a power one that fit the bill.
Good luck - you can do this!
P.S. - We only used the toilet when he needed a bowel movement. Otherwise a urinal (I liked one called a Uri-bag) was the way to go.
I am puzzled as to why you have to pull his pants up and down. Using the U sling with back flap (open bottom) pants should work. With them, you don't have to pull the pants down to use the toilet so there is no need to pull them back up. Just use the Hoyer to move over the toilet, commode, or bedpan. I have my pants put on in bed in the morning which requires being turned side to side but they can also be put on once up and in the wheelchair.
It is not what you are missing, it is what the pants are missing! They are open from the waistband to the crotch. The back is covered by flaps that overlap to keep your lower back covered but don't get in the way on the toilet. The pros far outweigh the single con of not wearing underwear under them. Underwear is not recommended for people in wheelchairs anyway—it adds seams that can cause pressure sores. Instead, put a hand towel on your cushion (long side front to back) and sit on that. In addition to being comfortable, absorbent, easy to change and wash each day, a towel can be pulled from behind your back to scoot you up in your chair.
The pros are:
Easy dressing. No hard tugging required.
Super easy transfers to the toilet and back again whether you do a standing transfer or use a sling and lift. The open bottom means your slacks don't have to be tugged down and then up again. Just lift and sit! The opening keeps the slacks well out of the line of fire and makes wiping easy.
Ahhh I totally see what you mean @Diane H
Those pants and the toileting sling - perfect pair
We were still able to get my Chris onto a commode and wheel him over the toilet, he was doing a stand transfer onto the toilet until only his last couple of weeks. That picture paints at least 1000 words for sure.
I can only add to what @Diane H has said: the "buttless pants" that my wife had were a real help. There were joggers/sweatpants and also slacks, very discrete when sitting in the recliner but then easy open from in the hoist/sling. We were told that certain slings were available to be able to use the toilet while hoisted, but that never really worked in our case. Buttless pants though...yes. We imported via friends and family in the US: the company name was Silverts, if I am allowed to leave that here without it being advertising. (Just a customer - no commercial link!)
The problem with the back flap for us is my husband is not ready to give up underpants. And the fabric was too heavy for summer.
I did find some pants called carezips that have zippers part way down the sides and another zipper across the crotch for using a urinal. They are a nice looking fabric, look like they will wash well, have wide legs, elastic waist (of course) and are easy to maneuver, much better than the sweatpants he had been wearing. Jim tipped me they should be loose which is great advice. Getting the pants (and underpants) down with the hygiene sling is relatively easy. I just pull them down part way while in the sling, and the rest of the way by lifting his legs while on the toilet.
I am trying different methods for pulling the pants up and it is getting easier. 1. pulling/bunching the pants all the way up above the leg straps of the sling. 2. putting the leg straps inside the pants and then unzipping the sides once he is back in the PWC to get the straps out. We have made a lot of progress and it is working.
No more pivot transfers and no more standing for us.