The moving and handling of vulnerable people is something that takes place frequently in a care environment. Although picking someone up after they trip or helping them to get out of bed might not seem dangerous at first, these simple actions can cause serious injuries when not handled correctly. Improper moving and handling not only puts the person being lifted at risk, but it can also injure the care provider trying to help too.
Since manually lifting a person often requires multiple people, and a great deal of time, preparation, and strength, many care facilities invest in hoists to improve the moving process. Hoists, both for the floor and ceiling, help with lifting patients that have fallen over, moving them from one location to another, and even getting people out of the bath.
Why are Hoists Important to Moving and Handling?
Hoists are valuable because they allow carers to use less physical strength when moving another person. This means that there’s a reduced risk of injury or strain to the care provider, and the person being lifted enjoys a better level of comfort.
Hoists ensure that people in need of mobility assistance can get the independence and support they need when moving around at home, or in an assisted living environment. Depending on the needs of the people being cared for, hoists can come in a variety of different styles, with slings to suit people with a range of health conditions.
How to Lift Someone with a Hoist
To safely and easily lift someone with a hoist, it’s essential to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of the lift device. Usually, with a ceiling hoist, you’ll need to:
- Carefully roll the person onto their side, bending their knees slightly to stop them from rolling too far.
- Roll half of the sling lengthways, placing it behind the patient on the bed. Ensure the bottom of the sling is situated behind the patient’s knees
- Gently roll the patient back over to the other side, so they’re on the fully-extended part of the sling.
- Unroll the remainder of the sling so that it’s flat on the bed.
- Roll the individual onto their back, moving their hands to their sides. Make sure that the leg pieces for the sling are positioned properly under the legs, and ensure the shoulders are in place.
- Attach the shoulder straps and modesty loop
- Provide additional head support if needed
Getting the Most out of your Hoist
Remember, getting the best results from your hoist will rely on your ability to choose and use the right kind of lifting apparatus. For instance, you’ll need to ensure that you know the difference between a ceiling or floor hoist, and how each would benefit your patient. Some hoists are better suited to specific tasks. It’s also crucial to ensure that you have the right size of sling for the patient you’re lifting. For the best results:
- Inspect the equipment regularly and make sure it’s in good condition before using it.
- Ensure the person in the hoist is comfortable at all times. Talk to them and keep them engaged throughout the moving and handling experience
- Make sure you follow the instructions given by the hoist manufacturer
- Don’t leave the hoist unattended with the person in it at any time.
- Tailor your choice of hoist according to the needs of the individual and the task at hand.
To discuss how you can make moving and handling easier, reach out to HLS today and discover our incredible range of hoists.