Choosing a Patient Lift—What Caregivers Should Look for
For a home caregiver, patient lift can represent a major challenge for both the caregiver and the patient. Of primary concern for any lift device is the safety of the patient and caregiver. Back strain is a common "occupational hazard" for caregivers when using inappropriate patient lift systems and patients can experience pain, a loss of dignity to outright falls.
A quick review of lifts available will reveal that there are patient lifts and transfer devices for almost any conceivable situation. Some are designed for hospital use and other in-patient facilities while others are appropriate for home use. Selecting the right lift can be confusing.
Selecting a Patient Lift Right for Your Needs
To help a caregiver pick the most appropriate home patient lift, Body Up Evolution offers these basic tips:
- Make a list of "lift and transfer" needs that your patient requires.Use this list to ensure that the device(s) you consider will actually handle the transfer needs you have.
- Whatever device you select, ensure it has the mechanical or electrical power to accommodate your patient’s weight.
- Many accidents involving patient lifts are caused by "operator error." Make sure the manufacturer can provide detailed instruction on the proper use of the device either through a representative or online videos and training aids.
- Will the device require more leverage or muscle than you are capable of providing or is it essentially non-strenuous?
- Is the device easy to clean? Like anything that is used on a daily basis,patient lifts will get dirty. Bacteria growth on a device can represent a serious threat of infection particularly to patients who have a weakened autoimmune system. Lifts should be easy to clean and all parts should be easily accessible.
- If the device is battery powered, how easy is it to recharge and is there an electrical source with the appropriate current and wattage?
- Is the device portable? Can it be easily transported in the trunk of a car? If your patient requires or wants mobility outside of the home, will the device accommodate transfer from and into cars?
- What level of customer service does the manufacturer provide? If a part fails or malfunctions, how quickly can replacement parts be shipped?
Home caregivers are often spouses or adult relatives of the patient and while lift devices are designed to provide a level of mobility for the patient, the health of the caregiver is essential too. In hospital settings, back strains account for the most disabling injuries among professional care givers.
At Body Up Evolution we believe that the patient lift should be able to accommodate getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, bathing, transfer to a wheel chair or automobile all without placing any undue stress on the caregiver.
If you have questions on how we accomplish this give us a call now and we will be happy to assist you.