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Disability Transfer Devices: Hoists, Elevators, Stair Lifts

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-05
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Transfer Hoists and Lifts Publications

Synopsis: Information on different types of hoists, elevators, transfer devices, and stairlifts for the disabled and seniors with mobility problems. Adaptive technology such as sling lifts or other patient transfer devices help transfer users between beds and chairs or lift chairs (and other sit-to-stand devices), transfer or convertible chairs. There are different kinds of stairlifts to fulfill the needs of different people with different conditions and disabilities. They can be installed on almost any type of stairway, regardless of the length of the stairway. Whether the staircase is spiral or straight, a stairlift can be installed even in the toughest spots.

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Hoists and lifts for the disabled and seniors with mobility problems come in many types and sizes depending on their purpose, and the location they will be fitted, if permanent or semi-permanent. Care providers are faced with numerous challenges daily. A patient hoist is often required where there is a lift and transfer need. For example, to transfer a patient from a chair to a bed, into a bathtub or onto a toilet. Choosing a system designed with the carer and patient in mind is vital.

There are several types of hoisting systems available on the market, and manufacturers worldwide are designing new hoists which make the lifting and transfer of patients an easier experience.

Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are also known as stair gliders, stair chairs or chair lifts. They carry the disabled or the elderly gently and safely up the stairs. Ensure that the stair lift can swivel at the upper landing and turn away from the stairs to provide a confident and safe method to get off. If the stair lift comes with a remote control, it will assist the caregiver in case the individual cannot operate the controls themselves. There are generally two main types of stair lift - standing stair lifts and seated stair lifts.

There are different kinds of stair lifts to fulfill the needs of different people with different conditions and disabilities. They can be installed on almost any type of stairway, regardless of the length of the stairway. Whether the staircase is spiral or straight, a stair lift can be installed even in the toughest spots. They are largely intended for indoor use. However, there are lifts that have been specifically designed for outdoor use. The barrier of stairs can be removed by using a stair lift.

Photograph of a blue colored modern stair lift.
Photograph of a blue colored modern stair lift.

Overhead Hoists

There are two types of overhead hoist, ceiling fixed track and portable track. A ceiling track hoist consists of a piece of rail/track which is permanently attached to the ceiling. The track can be fitted to timber joists if available, or chemical fixed into concrete ceilings. If for any reason the ceiling can't be used, it may be possible to fasten the track to the wall.

Portable Ceiling Lifts

These have a patient sling, motorized pulley system or motorized unit integrated with a removable battery-powered hoist. To support the patients as they are lifted in a reclining position or during gait training or unweighted walking, the ceiling lifts have a sling or harness. The overhead ceiling lift is attached with a multiple overhead track system to meet lifting needs. The track systems are available in various forms including freestanding/semi-permanent; single track - to move single route across multiple or single room; 2-strap - to move across doorways; and X-Y traverse track system - to move along the X and Y axis. The freestanding track system is an alternative for ceiling installed track system. The easy to hold and carry ceiling lifts are available in various load carrying capacities.

Mobile Floor Hoists

Floor hoists have been designed especially with the domestic care environment and patient in mind. Electric and hydraulic units are available.

Wall Lift Hoists

The wall lift has been designed especially for home use. They are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to install. The lift can be made portable with the use of additional wall brackets and is particularly useful in bathrooms where space can be at a premium

Wheelchair Platform Lifts

Ideal accessibility options for older and disabled people. Using these devices, these individuals can reduce the accessibility problems in their homes or offices and gain more freedom, mobility, and independence. These lifts are effective solutions which are designed to lift a disabled person or a senior with mobility difficulties from one floor to another while comfortably sitting in it. These can be operated either using electricity or hydraulics. Safety features that are commonly included in these lifts are emergency stop button, constant pressure control buttons, under-platform obstruction sensors, final limit switch, and anti-slip flooring.

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Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 5). Disability Transfer Devices: Hoists, Elevators, Stair Lifts. Disabled World. Retrieved January 29, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/lifts-hoists/

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