Transfers: Sliding board vs. Hoyer

KarenNWendyn

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The topic came up in the thread on ADA travel issues. I thought it was a good topic, worthy of its own thread.

Some folks here have experience with sliding board transfers. Others require mechanical lifts.

I don’t yet have experience with either, so I’m hoping experienced members will weigh in. Specifically, is a sliding board transfer a stage most people go through before needing to use a lift? Do some people go straight to a lift when they can no longer do pivot transfers or can no longer get off the toilet? Can a sliding board replace a lift when traveling?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jrzygrl

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My DH used a sliding board, specifically, a Beasy board, for quite a while before he needed a hoyer. We went to the hoyer only when he lost arm and core strength. It was much more portable for travel, and worked as long as the to and from points were relatively the same height. I know in the other thread, toilets were one of the biggest issues. DH's PWC (Permobil F3) seat was higher than any toilet. We had a seat riser we had to put on top of the toilet. It was often a tricky maneuver. At home, we had a toilevator under an 18" toilet, which made for an easier transition with the board.
 

lgelb

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From what I know, most do not have a transfer board stage, most do go straight to a lift, and if they need a lift for a particular transfer, a board will not substitute. A lot has to do with your rate of progression and your weight vs. your caregiver's strength. It does no harm to plan to acquire both. In some cases, a slip sheet with handles or sling can assist repositioning manually without a lift.

For travel, there are folding Hoyer lifts, such as the Hoyer Advance, Molift Smart and Carina 350, that some people take on cruises, planes and road trips. There are also collapsible shower/commode wheelchairs and commode chairs.
 

Doglady

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lgelb- thanks so much for that information and the names of the three compact lifts. Can any of those be rolled through a standard door holding the PALS?
 

pittsburghgal

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When my husband could no longer stand and pivot for transfers we had to go to the hoyer lift for all transfers. He did not have any arm or trunk strength so the transfer board would not work for us.

Sharon
 

lgelb

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Yes, any lift (portable or not) can go through a standard doorway with a PALS in it, doglady. Is that what you meant?
 

Doglady

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Yes, exactly. I was told that it would be unsafe to be transferred through doorways in a standard size hoyer because the front legs couldn’t be angled out to make sure it didn’t tip over. So I was wondering if the portable Hoyer could do it safely.

Sounds like either one can. Am I understanding you? Thank you.
 

KateEmerson

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A transfer board never worked with my husband but that may have been due to our lack of knowledge of techniques. On the other hand my husband was a large man ( 6'4" and over 200 lb) and it was like he was glued to the board, couldn't budge him.

What was very helpful in the in between stage was this transfer belt:
IMG_0365.JPG

We were able to help him get up from the sitting position and maintain his balance to do pivot transfers much longer than he would have been able without out it. It can be used under the arms with the handles in the front or as we did around the waist with the handles in the back. I saw a video where the caretaker had it on under the arms and handles in the front and the PALS used the handles to help get up. This was one of the most useful products we had during our journey.
 

lgelb

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Whoever told you that lifts can't go through doorways doesn't know much about lifts, doglady. Yes, the legs have to be brought in from the angled position they would be in to go around a chair or end of a bed, but they are still parallel and very stable so long as the person is properly in the right size sling. As you push the lift, you can hold the person steady with your body or arms -- it's much more about their comfort not swinging around, than that the lift will actually tip.

If you have not seen one, envision the lift as a luggage cart that you might have something hanging from. There are videos on YouTube.
 

KateEmerson

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We were emphatically told by numerous " health professionals " never to lessen the angle on the hoyer or it would tip. Maybe it's part of the curriculum in PT and OT schools?
 

lgelb

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Seriously? Wow. I had no idea. I shouldn't be surprised, since the only OT who ever discussed Hoyers with us was so obviously clueless I tuned him out.

Larry weighed 250#, was 6'1", most of his weight was abdominal, and we had a loaner, older Hoyer.

In our apartment, the only time the legs could be fully open was during transfers in/out of the wheelchair. Transfers into bed, legs were closed at a 90 degree angle to/under the bed, so were turning the cradle before putting him into bed. All of the moving-the-lift bits, the legs were closed and then opened when we stopped for a wheelchair transfer.

Mind you, we used four hooks on the cradle. Some slings say you can use two, but that did not seem like enough to maintain his center of gravity. Some cradles allow for six.
 

Doglady

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Yes, it was a PT who was training us how to use the full size hoyer we got on loan. Perhaps it is a part of their standard training but its great to hear she was being overly cautious. The YouTube videos I’ve seen don’t really show a person being wheeled through the house. Only lifted from a bed, chair or the floor and transferred to some else nearby. This is a big relief to hear differently. It’s opening up some new possibilities!

It was sent over to be available in case I fall so my hubby can get me off the floor. And as my ability to transfer is getting weaker will be needed for more than that in the future. So far it has just been used to demonstrate to me and train him how to use it. This one has 4 hooks and 2 cradles. One is padded and the other is mesh for showers.

We also have a waist transfer belt with handles which is somewhat similar to the one in Kate’s picture. We’ve only used it a couple of times and aren’t too comfortable with it yet.

I appreciate the words of wisdom on the transfer board. I have some arm and core strength so could probably use one now but who knows how much longer!?! So maybe I’ll ask the PT at clinic next week and we can see if a loaner is available. It might help in public restrooms for awhile.

Another problem I’ve noticed with ADA standards is that the height of grab bars is often too high for me in public places, as I’m short. At home mine were put in lower and work perfectly for me but a taller person would probably have a different need.
 

Narrowminded

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We used a slide board for quite a while with DH. I think mostly because his legs went, well before his arms and then core. It worked wonders for us. We actually didn’t have a hoyer type lift until his last few years. Partly too, that was due to DS and his strength. While DH was 6’2” he lost weight rapidly in the beginning, so DS could just lift him and transfer him, that worked until DH could no longer tolerate the lifting by a person. We loved the slide board and I was very sad to see it go. While I’m only 5’1, it worked wonders for us. Bed to WC, WC to commode and or shower, etc.

Good luck with whatever you try.
 

ReginaS

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I moved my pALS through doorways no problem - however, our hoyer had a big turning radius and there were rooms/doorways where we could not go as we would have needed either wider hallways or wider door openings to make the turns. I never had the impression it could become unstable when I used it. I also did not swing him from side to side or front to back while pushing the hoyer. :)
 

Doglady

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Thanks Regina (and everybody!). It's been quite helpful and reassuring to hear from the voices of experience. We probably need to test all of our doorways and turns with the hoyer alone to get a plan. 👍
 
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