Using the Hoyer for the first time

Status
Not open for further replies.

Chincoteaguer

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Messages
244
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
12/2017
Country
Us
State
Virginia
City
Carrollton
I anticipate using the Hoyer lift within the next few weeks. My wife's ability to lift herself is steadily decreasing . We still managed to get her in a standing position but she is asking that I do most of the lifting.

I was not at home when the lift was delivered so I did not get the initial training on its use. My repeated requests for occupational training have not been successful. I understand how to make it work but would appreciate any feedback on technique, etc.

Questions:

Where should the Hoyer be stored?

What type of sling is best? Thinking of purchasing the more expensive high back Liko hygienic.

Potty breaks. Wait until urge and hope you can be quick enough with the lift or have scheduled times when attempts are made?

Should the sling remain under the patient while in a chair for ready use or fitted each time a transfer is needed?

Is there a special way that I should lower my wife on the commode? How do I ensure the sling does not get in the way?

I'm sure there are other questions that I am not experienced enough to ask so please volunteer your knowledge.

Ernie
 

whereswaldo

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
83
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
06/2013
Country
US
State
Ca
City
Northern
First, storage should be where ever it works for you. We keep ours in the bedroom, since that is where we do most of our transfers. Something else to think of, it is easy to move an empty lift, once there is some in the lift, especially on carpet, it can be harder to move about. Another important part is to practice and not on the person that you will be using it with, but someone who is able bodied and can help some.

There are different kinds of slings and it will depend upon how you will use it. We have never left the sling under me, to me the sling we use, is uncomfortable to sit or lay on. Also slings tend to be specific to the brand of lift that you use, not that other model slings will not work on different slings, it's just that slings are made with straps depending upon the lift.b

Bathroom breaks in general will be up to the pals, just remember, it will take a little time to load up and move. We use a urinal. We also know some women who had catheter inserted.

For the learning, we talked to some people, but also watched some you tube videos. There are plenty to watch to get a good idea how to use, but practice on an able bodied person will help the most.

Good luck.
 

lgelb

Forum Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
8,342
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WA
City
Seattle
I would not buy an expensive sling unless you determine a basic U-sling (also called "divided leg" sling) does not work. These come with and without "head support" (actually back support).

You may also want to use a cervical collar when she's in the sling, if not other times.

Slings should be removed each time -- they are not good for skin.
 

Romeosc

Distinguished member
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
129
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2017
Country
US
State
TN
City
Memphis
We only use ours in emergency (for now). When I can't get up or slide into diown

We have a shower chair with built in commode
 

JimInVA

Forum Supporter
Senior member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
832
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
04/2014
Country
US
State
VA
City
Poquoson
I have a PALS who is more considerate of me than I deserve. In her attempt to minimize how often I need to move her during the day & night, she has adjusted the timing of her liquid intake. Our first stop is in the morning. We'll wake (8AM to 9AM) and I'll spend the next half hour massaging her legs and doing exercises while we watch TV. I'll then sling her up and we'll head to the bathroom for the first potty stop of the day. We have a hygiene sling so the sling stays on (and quite out of the way) as I lower her onto the toilet. As she has no body muscle control left, the sling supports her as she sits and does her business. When done, I move her out of the bathroom and to the stair chair.

Again, I'll lower her onto the stair chair. I get her arms tucked in well on either side, the seat belt fastened and her feet planted on the foot rest. I them remove all the sling straps and move the upstairs hoyer to a nook at the end of the hall. As she requires the Trilogy 24/7, I have 20+ feet of tube between her mask and the Trilogy. I'll use the remote to send her down as the Trilogy sits at my feet. Once shes at the bottom of the stairs, I follow with the trilogy. I then move the downstairs hoyer over to her, reconnect her sling, lift and move her to the dining room where her PWC waits. I lower her into the PWC, disconnect the sling and move her into the family room (where I connect her to the computer and where she can see the TV).

Darcey drinks a 16 mug full of coffee in the morning. I also give her 12 ounces of water via her feeding tube (this has been found helpful in keeping her bowel movements regular and minimizing any constipation she'd previously experienced). Sometime between 2PM and 3PM, she's ready for a trip to the downstairs commode chair. We keep this out of sight in a room tucked between the kitchen and the dining room. I have ample room to move her PWC into the room, to maneuver the hoyer into place and to reconnect the sling. I lift her up, move her away from the PWC and slide the commode underneath her... before lowering her into a comfortable seated position.

We'll do another potty run before dinner... typically around 5PM to 6:30PM, as she feels the need. And as we end the day (any time between 10PM and 11PM), we'll move back into the side room for a last day visit with the commode. Darcey may drink something more in the early afternoon... but never after about 5PM. After this last trip, I move the PWC out of the way so I can return the hoyer (with her slung up) back to the foot of the stairs for the evening trip to our upstairs bedroom.

Because Darcey doesn't drink anything late, she has no need for a trip to the toilet overnight. She sleeps soundly through the night. I do sit her up and will physically move her torso to stretch her back once or twice during the night... doing so as I return to bed from my own potty trips. And then the new day dawns and we start the cycle anew. That is our cycle of events... but I suspect each couple finds their own routine and one that works for them.

Good luck!

Jim
 

Diane H

Senior member
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
637
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/1985
Country
US
State
IN
City
Fort Wayne
A U sling (also, called a split leg or hygiene slig) can be put on and taken off while in the chair, but can be left in place between uses if you slide the leg straps out from under the thighs and tuck the staps up away from the wheels. Most slings have padded backs so are comfortable in the chair unless the slings head rest is in the way. For a woman, a female urinal will reduce the need to use the sling and lift during the day.

Having someone other than your wife to practice using the Hoyer lift is important. An occupational therapist will tell you that two people are needed to use a Hoyer but that is not true. The key to comfortable seating is to try the different loops on the straps AND reposition how far up or down underneath the thighs the leg straps are.
(The straps need to cross between the legs.) By adjusting those variables, the person can be positioned in a comfortable sitting position or leaning back. You won't get it right the first time so be patient! Practicing these adjustments is too tiring and uncomfortable for an ALS patient and you will both feel safer if you get a little practice before using it on her. The important points for safety are simple. Always have the base arms spread open before lifting and always double check that the straps are down in the slot before lifting.
 

Chincoteaguer

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Messages
244
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
12/2017
Country
Us
State
Virginia
City
Carrollton
This is good stuff. Thanks a bunch to all.

JIM;

Thanks for restating what you have relayed to me previously. I have copied your text and pasted it to my important notes.

Practicing on a non PALS is a great idea. My daughter whom we call "Sibyl Jr." is just the right practice candidate.

Ernie
 

azgirl

Senior member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
956
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
12/2013
Country
US
State
AZ
City
Tucson
we waited too long to start using the sling and I had my worst fall trying to do standing transfer when I was too weak. Lasting pain from that, so do not make that mistake,.

also, this is when I finally agreed to start wearing briefs to avoid peeing on myself. It was a hit to my pride, but it took away the anxiety of not making it to the toilet. It was actually a relief especially when we left the house.
I take the sling off in the chair, but leave it under me in bed. This is not recommended, but I prefer it to being jostled around to get it back in place.

there are lots of YouTube videos showing how to use the hoyer. It is pretty simple once you practice. My four year old grandson can almost do it by himself now!
 

whereswaldo

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
83
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
06/2013
Country
US
State
Ca
City
Northern
Not all U Shaped slings are padded, the one we have does not have any padding and if left underneath a person will cause pressure sores if left unprotected.
 

justolemom

Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
27
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2017
Country
US
State
New York
City
Rockville Centre
My husband and I used the Hoyer lift for the first time (alone) this weekend to get on the toilet and then into a shower chair. It didn't go as planned and we had some tears and a few foul words....but we got it done. My husband put me straight to bed with a Xanax for a long nap.
we are getting better - at positioning myself into the U-sling and using the back loop to position me onto toilet. we are waiting for a shower/commode wheelchair which should help.
I always feel safe in the Hoyer when lifted-its just when being put into the chair. I slide because i dont have the core muscles.
i wear depends and have my aide change them in the chair-it is my hope that once i have the commode/shower chair i will be more relaxed and allow the aide to use the Hoyer lift.
we keep the lift in our living room and my husband moves it in and out as needed.
great suggestion to practice on the kids, and also to have my husband be lifted so he can get a feel for being in the u-sling.
the first time we used the sling i felt like i could give birth-we didn't cross the legs!!! talk about it all hanging out!
It is always helpful to read this forum and get tips on how others use equipment. thank you.
 

azgirl

Senior member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
956
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
12/2013
Country
US
State
AZ
City
Tucson
we have figured out how to put the brief on and pull it up into place before lowering into chair or bed. Less stressful for me and my caregivers
 

Nuts

Forum Supporter
Extremely helpful member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
2,540
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
01/2014
Country
US
State
NC
City
Littleton
One tip for lowering a PALS into a chair that tilts (as power chairs do and hopefully the shower chair will) is to tilt the chair back (not lowering the back, but actually tilting in space) before lowering him/her. It is easier to get the butt all the way back in the seat that way. When lowering onto the toilet, don't go all the way back before lowering. Lower slightly forward, and then when almost seated, move to the back of the seat. That will prevent the PALS back from scraping on the back of the toilet.
 

wishmobbing

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
729
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2017
Country
DE
State
Germany
City
Stuttgart
Becky, exactly this is the stuff we needed to figure out this week (and didn't so far)! The forum sometimes seems like information is on demand even without having to ask myself. :)

Some days ago we finally got a super sweet pro lift with two differnt slings. The mesh sling is like a little hammock seat and I hugely enjoyed testing it. It goes all the way down to the floor and up to the dining table, hehe.
I as a CALS find testing equipment and also stuff like high calorie drinks myself important. In xase of the drinks it took me one sip to not further peddle it by all means to my PALS. In case of the lift it's a bit tricky because I can't simulate how HIS body feels in the sling. With the sit to stand lift we used this winter he was hurting his back every time I lowered him or stung him up whereas I was happy to ride it like a fairground attraction.
 

justolemom

Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
27
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2017
Country
US
State
New York
City
Rockville Centre
you do this in the sling?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top