Your elderly father, who still lives at home, is a rather large man who has trouble standing up or walking across a room. Dad needs assistance to do some of the most basic living activities, like dressing, bathing, and getting out of bed. He has a wheelchair, but helping him get in and out of it is putting a strain on your back. In fact, you’ve reached the conclusion it’s endangering you both. You want to keep dad aging in place to honor his wishes, but it’s become clear that you’re going to need some lifting assistance. One of the best ways to do so is to get a patient lift.
Lifting Concerns for Caregivers
Countless family caregivers get hurt annually while assisting heavier loved ones, and back injuries and falls are common. Some seniors, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, also don’t like a lot of close physical contact. When that contact causes them to become confused or agitated, they oftentimes respond by lashing out at their caregiver, which can injure them both. Patient lifts are a great way to help both caregivers and patients avoid injuries, and are widely used at hospitals and nursing homes to ensure worker and care recipient safety.
How do Patient Lifts Work?
All patient lifts are composed of the lift framework itself, and a sling. The sling is designed to go around the person who’s being moved, and then the lift’s framework is used to gently support and move the individual. Slings come in many styles, but the most popular for professional caregivers is the full body sling. That’s because they provide the highest level of support, comfort, and patient and caregiver safety. Full body slings can be used when the patient is in any position, including sitting or lying down.
There are sling designs that work better only for seated patients, like when getting into or out of bed or the shower. When choosing the right sling and lift combination for your loved one, you’ll need to decide for which daily living activities it will be used most.
The 4 Basic Types of Patient Lifts
There are 4 different types of patient lift combinations available, based on sling style, weight capacity, and how the transferring power is supplied. Commercially available lifts include:
As the name suggests, these use a lifting mechanism partnered with a sling that’s manually operated by the caregiver(s). Most manual lifts are designed to hold 250 to 400 pounds safely, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations first.
These lifts are powered via electricity supplied by a battery or plug-in wall outlet. Electric lifts put the least amount of strain on both the patient and caregiver.
The term bariatric refers to individuals that are heavier than average, and bariatric, or “heavy-duty”, lifts come in electric or manual versions designed to safely move persons who weigh up to 700 pounds.
The final type of lift is for specialty applications like getting someone in and out of a shower or swimming pool, and are constructed with waterproof materials so that they don’t get damaged when exposed to moisture.
Another consideration when choosing a lift for an at-home senior is price, as manual lifts cost less than electrical ones. The good news is that your loved one’s Medicare Part B insurance may cover at least some of the costs under their durable medical equipment (DME) benefits, once you have a doctor’s order. Overall, safety for you and your loved should always be the top priority when getting a patient lift; one you truly can’t put a price tag on!
Caregivers Trained to do the “Heavy Lifting” for You
Providing care for a senior loved one with serious mobility limitations can be dangerous for you both. When you need assistance, call on the compassionate caregivers at First In Care, and we’ll do the “heavy lifting” for you! Our highly trained and carefully screened aides will serve as an extended family within your loved one’s home, while ensuring that their quality-of-life and safety get the attention they deserve so that they can continue living comfortably right where they want to be.
While in your loved one’s home, our highly qualified caregivers can provide your loved one with daily living assistance for light housework, personal hygiene, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation and companionship; all delivered within a flexible package to give you peace-of-mind. For more information about how to safely reposition elderly patients, or to learn why more families in the Bradenton and Manatee County, FL, area are placing their trust in First In Care’s senior home healthcare services, please visit: www.firstincare.com now.