Key Types of Hoists in Aged Care: A Comprehensive Insight 

Table of Contents

Hoists are manual handling equipment designed to lift and transport individuals safely. They consist of a sturdy frame, lifting mechanism and attachments such as slings or hooks to hold the patients securely. They are commonly used in various industries, including aged care facilities in Australia, to assist with transferring and repositioning individuals who may have mobility issues, injuries, or age-related conditions that affect their mobility, strength, or balance. 

The remarkable progress of technology has given rise to a range of hoists, from ceiling-mounted hoists to portable hoists, perfectly suited to meet the needs of every individual. Let us delve into the world of hoists and discover the diverse types available and understand why they are vital aids for seniors. 

 

Types of Hoists Used in Aged Care Settings  

 

Ceiling Track Hoists

Ceiling track hoists, often referred to as overhead hoists, are positioned on ceiling-mounted tracks and employ a motorised system to lift and transfer patients along the tracks. The track is usually made of aluminium or steel and is attached to the ceiling using brackets or other support structures. The hoist unit is installed on the track, is extended through door frames, which saves floor space and can be powered by either an electric motor or a manual crank. The track system allows the hoist to move smoothly and easily across the room, providing a safe and efficient way to transfer individuals who have limited mobility or require assistance with standing, sitting, or moving. 

Mobile Hoists 

Mobile hoists, also known as wheeled hoists, are standalone units equipped with wheels, providing easy manoeuvrability. This type of mechanical device can be moved from one place to another, offering flexibility for transfers within care facilities or homes. These hoists usually have either a hydraulic or electric lifting mechanism and come with a variety of sling options to cater to different transfer requirements. Mobile hoists are available in a variety of sizes and weight capacities, making them suitable for use with individuals of varied sizes and physical conditions. They may also include additional features, such as adjustable height settings, tilt-in-space functionality, and leg supports, to provide greater comfort and support for the individual being transferred. 

Stand Hoists

Stand hoists, which are also referred to as standing aids, aid individuals in transitioning from a seated position to a standing position. Standing hoists are designed to ensure safe and comfortable transfers with knee pads and adjustable supports. These hoists use hydraulic or electric lifts to raise and lower individuals during transfers. The attachment used to secure the individual may be a sling that goes around the back and under the arms or a harness that goes around the waist and legs. This lifting equipment provides support and stability to elderly individuals who struggle to stand on their own. They are often used when the person has some weight-bearing capacity and can actively participate in the transfer process. 

Floor Hoists 

Floor hoists are comparable to wheeled hoists, but they are permanently fixed in one location, usually in a specific room or area. These devices are intended to aid individuals with restricted mobility or those who need assistance with standing, sitting, or moving. They are typically mounted on the floor and may include a track or other mechanism that allows the hoist to move along a fixed path. The unique lifting and transfer abilities of these devices make them highly beneficial in care environments. They can facilitate diverse transfers and promote increased independence for people with restricted mobility while reducing the risk of injury and strain for the carer. 

Bath Hoists

Bath hoists, also known as bath lifts, are a type of hoist designed to support individuals with limited mobility or disabilities in getting in and out of a bathtub, offering waterproof and corrosion-resistant features. They can be in the form of fixed ceiling hoists or portable mobile hoists specifically crafted to withstand wet environments. Bath hoists are typically mounted on the side of the bathtub and include a lifting mechanism, which may be powered by an electric motor or a manual crank and an attachment such as a sling or seat to hold the individual securely in place. Bath hoists provide a secure and safe way for people with disability to bathe, reducing accidents and injuries. This promotes the health and social care of patients while also fostering greater independence. 

Gantry Hoist

Gantry hoists are commonly used to lift individuals who are confined to a bed for extended periods of time. They are floor-standing pieces of equipment that stand over a bed and operate electronically. The hoist’s mechanism enables caregivers to easily move the patients from beds, chairs, or other surfaces and move them to various locations. The hoist’s height and movement can be easily controlled through a handheld control unit. Caregivers can adjust the hoist to meet the individual’s requirements, reducing the risk of strain or injury for caregivers. The hoist performs the physical effort involved in lifting and moving individuals, ensuring the well-being of seniors and supporting the long-term physical health of caregivers.

 

Important Aspects to Evaluate When Choosing a Hoist

Selecting the most suitable patient hoist for your care home involves careful consideration of several factors. Keep these principal factors in mind when making your decision. 

  • Weight capacity: Determine the maximum weight you need to lift with the hoist. Make sure to choose a hoist with a weight capacity that exceeds your requirements to ensure safe and efficient operation.
  • Lift height and range: Consider the height at which you need to lift objects and ensure that the hoist you choose can accommodate that height. Also, check the range of motion the hoist provides, including horizontal movement if required.
  • Power source: Decide whether you need an electric hoist or a manual hoist. Electric hoists are powered by electricity and offer easier operation and higher lifting capacities. Manual hoists are operated by hand and are suitable for lighter loads or when a power source is not available.
  • Speed and control: Evaluate the speed requirements for your lifting operations. Some hoists offer variable speed controls, allowing you to adjust the lifting speed as needed. Additionally, consider the control mechanisms available, such as push-button pendant controls or remote-control options.
  • Safety features: Safety should be a top priority. Look for hoists with safety features like overload protection, emergency stop buttons, limit switches to prevent over-travel and fail-safe braking systems. These features help ensure the safety of operators and protect the hoist from potential damage.
  • Environment and application: Consider the working environment and application where the hoist will be used. Factors like temperature, humidity, corrosive substances and explosive atmospheres may influence your choice of the hoist. Ensure the hoist is designed for the specific conditions it will encounter.  
  • Durability and maintenance: Look for hoists made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular use and are built to last. Consider the ease of maintenance and availability of spare parts for the hoist model you choose.
  • Budget: Determine your budget for the hoist and explore different options within your price range. Remember to consider long-term costs, including maintenance, repairs and any additional accessories or equipment required for the hoist’s operation. 

 

Conclusion 

When it comes to the safe transfer of patients in aged care, there is no room for compromise. Every aspect of hoist selection must be carefully considered to ensure the well-being of your loved ones.

At Wise Choice In-Home Care, we believe that hoisting is more than just a mechanical task, it is a life-changing experience that can have a significant impact on the lives of seniors. With our aptitude and diligence to understand your preferences and unique challenges, we use our expertise to guide you towards the perfect hoist that not only ensures safety but also enhances the daily activities of the patients.

Take your level of care to new heights and establish an environment where safety, comfort and dignity take centre stage. Contact Us today to initiate a transformative experience that will revolutionise how you care for your loved ones. 

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