What is a hoist?
A mobile hoist is designed to reduce any manual handling for a carer with the hoist taking the strain out of lifting the person. Hoist’s are generally used when a person becomes unable to weight bear or stand and they are used to move a person from bed or chair into a chair, wheelchair or onto a commode. They are not designed to be pushed great distances with the person in the sling.
A hoist consists of a mast on legs with a boom and a spreader bar with attachments for a separate sling. There are manual and battery operated versions of mobile hoists. The manual version has a hydraulic handle that the carer pumps up to raise the boom of the hoist. The battery operated version is powered by the press of a button on a handset and is plugged in when it needs to be recharged. These hoists have a warning system to advise when the hoist needs to be charged to ensure that there is sufficient power.
Please ensure that you have had training on how to use a hoist properly and that the hoist and sling are suitable for your needs. It is recommended that you have an Assessment from a suitably qualified person to ensure that your needs are met. Please note that hoists need to be serviced regularly to ensure that you put a service contract in place. For care homes and hospitals, hoists are serviced every 6 months under Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations 1998 (LOLER).
Points to consider when choosing a hoist
A thorough Risk Assessment and Moving and Handling Assessment needs to be completed to identify the individual and specific needs of the person who is to be moved. The following points are guidelines to consider and are not intended to replace a professional Moving and Handling Assessment.
Areas to consider
Look at the environment where the hoist is going to be used
How much space is there either side of the bed?
Is there a smooth floor surface, any trailing wires, any tripping hazards?
Where does the person need to be moved from? E.g. bed to wheelchair
How many times during the day does the person need to be moved and what equipment will be used.
Consider if there is any bending, stretching and twisting, over reaching involved with the tasks that you need to complete.
Consider the physical needs of the individual being moved and whether they are able to co-operate in the task.
Do they have any limitations in movement or any spasms?
Will they become distressed, are they able to understand what is happening.
Are they in pain, sensitive skin, poor eyesight or hearing?
Consider their height and weight.
Consider the health and abilities of the person using the hoist.
Hoists can be an invaluable aid to safe patient handling. Co-op Mobility recommend seeking advice from a suitably qualified person to ensure that you purchase the correct equipment for your particular needs. Mobile hoists need to be serviced and regularly maintained by a competent person.