Is a Portable Hoist the Best Option for Me?

If you have a disability then a hoist could be a useful addition to your household. Hoists can be fixed or portable and you may find that one type is a better fit for you than the other. Before deciding on a mobile hoist consider the pros and cons and any other options there may be.

In most cases, your social worker or medical professional will carry out a manual handling assessment to ascertain which type of hoist is right for you, but it’s not always possible to find the correct equipment for every situation.

In order to be effective the equipment you choose should meet your needs in the environment that it will be used in and the people who care for you must be able to manage and use it correctly.

What to Consider When choosing a Mobile Hoist

First, consider the tasks that your hoist will need to undertake:

  • Activities – do you need the hoist for a particular task such as getting into and out of the bath, or do you need it for lots of activities like getting on and off chairs, in and out of bed and onto and off the toilet. There are also hoists to help getting in and out of your car.
  • Use – will the hoist you choose be used independently? You can only use overhead hoists independently and portable hoists must be used with the help of a carer.
  • Frequency – how often will you need to use the hoist? Will it just before emergencies or will it be used several times a day?

Your Home

The space you live in is an essential consideration when choosing a hoist:

  • Space – do you have enough space to comfortably accommodate and manoeuvre the hoist you’re considering? This should be particularly carefully considered in toilets and bathrooms.
  • Furniture – will the hoist you choose go under and around items like chair sand beds? Will the person using the hoist be able to be lifted clear of surfaces? For example, pressure mattresses can make beds too high to be used comfortably with some types of hoist.
  • Floors – Floor surfaces like thick carpets can make it difficult to move hoists around and door thresholds can also make it harder to get hoists from room to room.
  • Storage – do you have enough space to safely store your hoist when it’s not in use? Some hoists can be folded or dismantled so they can be stored more easily.
  • Charging – do you have a socket within the area where your hoist is stored where it can be charged?

If any of these factors are likely to make using a portable hoist difficult and you don’t want to make changes to your home then you can install an overhead hoists that runs on a track fixed to the ceiling.

Who Will Use the Hoist?

Consider the type of disability that you or the person you are purchasing the hoist for has. Will their condition remain stable or will it deteriorate or improve?

These days it’s also essential to consider your hoist’s capacity as some users will require a hoist that can carry larger weights.

It’s also important to consider how the person using the hoist will feel. For example will the design of the hoist make them feel vulnerable or unsteady?

The Carer

Mobile hoists must be used with a carer so they should always be taken into consideration when choosing equipment. Think about the strength and size of the carer as a mobile hoist can require some effort to turn. However, there are lots of electric hoists on the market which can make lifting and handling much safer and easier.

Over time, the needs of a disabled person can change considerably so carers may also require training to learn how to use new techniques or equipment that make life easier for everyone concerned.