Caring for individuals thoughtfully and safely requires accommodations for common challenges. One such challenge is transfers. People who struggle with mobility, whether from age, accident, or illness, find transfers such as moving from beds to chairs or from chairs to toilets to be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish independently. Caregivers are called on to assist with these transfers that require uncomfortable and strenuous twisting, bending, and lifting. A ceiling lift is an ergonomic alternative to manual transfers.
What is a Ceiling Lift?
A ceiling lift is a device that helps with patient transfers. A lift system includes a set of rails that are permanently installed on the ceiling and a lift unit equipped with a comfortable sling that moves along the rails. Caregivers can easily assist patients into the sling, and then the lift raises the patient up and moves them along the rails to their new location. A ceiling lift eliminates the need for manual lifting, which has the potential to harm both patient and caregiver.
What Are the Different Types of Ceiling Lifts?
Permanent versus Portable
All ceiling lifts use rails that are permanently installed in the ceiling. Some lift systems, however, allow the user to move the lifting device from one set of tracks to another. With a portable system, you can have one lifting unit and multiple tracks. With a permanent system, the lift motor is attached to the overhead track and cannot be removed.
Two-function versus Four-function Motor
A two-function motor lifts and lowers the patient. The caregiver needs to provide manual effort to push the patient back and forth along the track. A four-function motor lifts, lowers, and moves the patient laterally along the track. Portable systems have two-function motors only. Permanent systems can have either type of motor.
What are the Benefits of a Ceiling Lift?
Ceiling lifts are a highly beneficial device. Users enjoy the following advantages:
- Decreased patient injuries during transfers
- Increased comfort and dignity for patients
- Easier transfers and greater mobility
- Fewer toileting accidents as a result of faster, more efficient transfers
- Decreased occurrences of caregiver injuries. This is a huge benefit. Back pain is a serious problem for caregivers, and patient transfers are the most significant cause. Moving patients using a ceiling lift takes minimal effort and prevents strain.
- Reduced number of required caregivers. Some manual patient transfers need two caregivers to accomplish safely. With a ceiling lift, most transfers can be securely done by a single caregiver.
The Bottom Line
If patient transfers are a daily occurrence, a ceiling lift is a wide investment. Talk to your local dealer today for more information.