Whether it’s someone with a disability or an elderly individual with mobility issues, slings can be a powerful way to enhance independence and ensure comfort for those who need a little help getting around. With a sling, care providers can make sure that patients achieve the security, and support they need to move from a bed to a wheelchair, a wheelchair to a bath-tub, and more. However, it’s important for all caregivers to be educated and informed on how to move patients carefully.
Lifting more than 51 pounds of weight from the floor can easily lead to injuries, and if a patient is not properly secured in a sling, then there’s a good chance that they could slip and fall – which represents an additional threat. Here are just some of the things that you can keep in mind to ensure that you lift all patients carefully in the future.
1. Do Not Lift from the Floor
If someone in a care home or nursing facility falls and ends up on the ground, then you may think that your only option for getting them into a sling will be to start lifting from the ground. Unfortunately, that’s usually a good way to increase your risk of injuries. Instead of attempting to lift a patient in a sling from the ground up, you should attempt to move the individual into a chair or seated position, before then arranging them into the sling as you would normally.
2. Ask the Patient to Work with You
Although some people with mobility issues will be unable to offer much assistance when it comes to using a ceiling hoist or sling, it’s important to remember that communication is key to success. Ask your patient or elderly individual to work with you, and let you know when they’re feeling uncomfortable, or in pain. If you know that something feels wrong on the behalf of the patient, then you’ll know that you need to stop and re-think your strategy. Additionally, you can ask your patient to help by holding his or her arms or hands out of the way when possible or keeping their head clear of sling straps.
3. Know the Instructions for the Sling and Hoist
Often, hoist and sling systems will come with some basic instructions included to help get you started if you’re using the system for the first time. With that in mind, it might be worth reading through the literature that comes with your set before you begin using it. The information you’re given will often include some helpful tips for managing patients with mobility issues, and it will also feature essential information about the amount of weight you can safely lift and hoist with this particular sling. Remember, you should never try to lift more than the recommended weight on any sling.
4. Go Slow and Steady
Finally, although your aim may be to get the patient into the sling and to their destination as quickly as possible, it’s important to make sure that you don’t rush the process, and thus increase your risk of accidents. Think carefully about each move before you make it, and make sure that you don’t expose the patient to additional chances of injury because you’re progressing too fast. Take a deep breath, and slow down so that you can get the patient into the right lifting and hoisting positions. This will lead to better comfort for the patient, and it should help to protect your back from unnecessary injury too.
If you have any questions about ceiling hoist solutions for the disabled or any of our health care solutions please contact us directly on 1300 931 893