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Thread: Tips for Getting Out of a Hoyer Lift Sling?

  1. #1

    Tips for Getting Out of a Hoyer Lift Sling?

    I'm going to have to start doing something I absolutely dread: using a Hoyer lift to transfer to and from my chair.

    My biggest concern (after the helplessness and complete lack of control I'll have while suspended) is getting the sling out from under me once I'm in my chair without completely screwing up how I'm positioned. Unless I'm sitting just so, I'm utterly miserable -- pain in my right hip and back, neck strain, blah blah blah -- and I can't imagine how I'm ever going to be able to get off the sling and end up sitting properly in my chair.

    These concerns are magnified a thousandfold by the fact that I'll be relying on a temporary caregiver to help with transfers right after I start using the lift while my spouse, who usually assists me, recovers from knee surgery.

    Looking for tips, tricks and ideally videos from experienced users on both sides of the lift about how one gets one's quad butt off of a lift sling once said butt is planted in the wheelchair.

    I don't suppose there's an alternative to the Hoyer lift that I've somehow missed? ~very small, hopeful smile~

    Thanks to all who respond with ideas and/or encouragement. I'm just short of terrified about having to rely on the lift with my hubby at the helm. There are no words strong enough to describe my fear about having to rely on a virtual stranger to help me with lift-driven transfers.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

  2. #2
    This is the alternative that NL and I went to for exactly the reason you express concern....THE SLING!!!
    I know I have posted here before about the Easy Pivot and some of the nurse moderators have had issues with it, but in the end you got to go with what works and is comfortable for you. Check it out....see what you may or may not be your answer.

    All the best,

  3. #3
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    this guy doesnt show you how to get out of the sling, but he has a cool blog, and I like his attitude.

  4. #4
    look for a hygeine sling, there is a strap around the chest, and under each thigh, but no material under ones bottom.
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

  5. #5
    Slings are barbaric. Licensed caregivers could love them for only one reason - liability.
    I am quite pleased with our new Surehands body support. The best explanation is to watch the video.

    I wish we had known about it years ago. I'm absolutely convinced that wife would not be laying in bed right now with a stage IV sore on her sacrum if we had. There aren't enough characters allowed in a post to describe how frustrated I've been with PT/OT over the years. Suffice it to say I think the transfer board should be outlawed and forum rules prohibit me from going further.

    We looked at these 6 months ago but it wasn't a slam dunk for us at the time. Surehands will only sell the support to go on one of their own lifts. We're trying to change homes and aren't ready for a ceiling track yet. Even the salesman was concerned she had enough core strength to handle that style of lift. She is 20 years with primary progressive MS and has had little interest in maintaining her upper body strength. Her balance and steadiness is very poor. She is past the point she can sit up in bed by herself. A standard patient lift plus the support would have been a very expensive experiment.

    Shortly after that, a pressure sore surfaced. I went from doing 4-8 lifts/transfers per week to 6-10 per day. I had to do something before my back gave out. I searched and found a qualifying Surehands branded patient lift at a reasonable price so I could purchase the body support.

    I was really concerned about her ability to tolerate it. But we are bleeding scary amounts of money to the health care industry anyway so it was worth a try. Thankfully, even with the major sore, she's done great. Her very first test lift was a success. She didn't fall through or even sag into the bars. Overall, I'd say everything in the video should be eventually achievable for us. The pants changing method absolutely works. Me rolling her back and forth in bed to work underwear and pants on is very uncomfortable and nerve wracking for her. She's always afraid of falling off the edge of the bed. She isn't scared at all while on the body support. By the time I pick her up from the chair and set her in bed she spends about 60 seconds in the air. I originally though I'd devise a safety sling to put under her for backup (and to calm her fear) but she hasn't been concerned. She hasn't operating the controls by herself yet but I'm confident she'll be able to when the time comes.

    I tried the lift myself and was very surprised how effective the clamping action is. I intentionally started with the pads about 4" below my arms. It lifted me without sliding up my side at all. If you have good core strength or can push up in a chair with your arms and get even 1/2 your weight off your bottom you should have no problem using this. There is considerable pressure inward though. It's not painful or uncomfortable for me or my wife, but you definitely wouldn't want to attempt it with cracked ribs.
    Last edited by MSspouse; 07-30-2011 at 09:01 AM.

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    what a great add. I like the lady in the video, and how they demonstrate many examples of safe transfers.

  7. #7
    I use one of these slings. From bed or the chair we lean me over, tuck it under my butt about 5 inches and then put the long parts underneath my legs so when I sit in the chair, we lean me forward and just pull it out from underneath me. Same thing in bed. It's really simple to use. Hope this helps.

    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Another possible source for a SureHands style "sling" is

    See the Polaris and Polaris plus. I have not experience with the company.

    I am in process of getting a ceiling track installed. SureHands looks great for a many users, but I was a bit disappointed with SureHands sales approach. The nearest rep is on the other side of LA about 150 miles. Took several phone calls to get him here. Quote did not include any installation costs.

    One thing that seems common is selling ceiling lifts over the web at considerable savings. Be a bit cautious. The ceiling joists are not designed to support hoist loads. The track requires a knowledgeable installer.
    T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #9
    We had a ceiling track installed several months ago and is so much easier than pushing the hoyer around. In our situation and sling is a necessity.
    You are right about finding a knowledgeable installer. The first company that came over had a terrible idea for 4X as much as we ended up paying.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cowboys_Place's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Northern California
    I purchased a surehands lift a couple of months ago and love how easy it is to use compared to getting a sling underneath my butt, however they are not cheap!
    I purchased the portable for the simple fact that I live in a trailer and ceiling support would have been a monstrous job they do make a wall mount but then you're limited to one spot in one room.

    Gac3rd, I feel your frustration I don't know why they have only one representative for all of California and most of Nevada.

    I hope you find something that suits your needs lord knows all the little roadblocks we face can be very frustrating.
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. .(John Wayne)

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