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How to Choose a Portable Patient Lift

A portable lift is a real back saver when you are caring for someone in the home.

There are three basic categories of lifts available from SpinLife, and here’s how to decide which one will work best for you.

  1. Manual (Hydraulic) Lifts are the least expensive portable lifts. They are passive lifts, which means a sling is placed under the patient and then lifted up by the caregiver turning a crank-handle to raise the boom arm. The caregiver pushes the lift where the patient is being moved and lowers the boom arm down, setting the patient in the new location. There is no effort on the part of the patient required; they are fully supported by the sling. Operating a manual lift requires some strength, particularly if your patient is fairly heavy. Since you have to turn the handle to make the lift arm raise, the caregiver has to be on the opposite side of the lift from the patient when lifting. It’s really best to have two people, one on each side to use a manual lift.

  2. Power Patient Lifts run on rechargeable batteries, and so they are much easier on the patient and the caregiver too. The caregiver only has to push a button to lift and lower the patient, plus they can stand next to the patient while lifting and lowering to make sure all is well. The only manual effort is pushing the lift from one location to the other with the patient in the sling.  Power lifts come with the batteries, and a recharging unit so they will always be ready when needed. They also have an emergency lowering feature just in case of a battery failure. Power patient lifts are much more user friendly if there is just one caregiver.

  3. Stand-up Patient Lifts have become very popular since they encourage the patient to get to their feet. That’s called an “active lift” meaning even though the lift does the work, the patient does need to be able to bear some of their own body weight, and hold the hand grips for balance. Standing lifts work great for commode transfers and dressing and undressing the patient. They are available in Manual and Battery Powered models and come with “Belt Style” slings that just fit around the patient’s torso.

Our product specialists can help you decide on the exact model that will work best for your situation. Call us at 1-800-850-0335.



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