A Guide to Mobile Patient Hoists
Mobile Patient Hoists carry many benefits and can be a valuable back-up for when overhead hoisting isn’t possible. They’re also easily sourced and don’t need fitting. But when it comes to purchasing a mobile hoist, what factors should you consider? We’ve consulted the whole team, and together we’ve come up with ten points to tick off.
Factors to consider when choosing a mobile patient hoist
Consider the space that you’re planning to use the hoist in, as well as the purposes. Will you be hoisting people in and out of armchairs or wheelchairs? If so, you’ll need to be able to push the mobile hoists quite close to the furniture itself.
Most mobile hoists come with adjustable legs, which you can extend outwards, and some feature an angled base. These features are useful when working around extra-wide furniture. The quality of the castors is also something to bear in mind, as this can significantly reduce the amount of physical effort required to move the hoist.
If you’re planning to house the hoist in a domestic environment, it’s always worth considering space constraints. Some hoists are foldable, allowing you to stow the equipment away when it’s not in use. Foldable hoists are also an excellent choice if you want to move them around. For example, loading them into the car to take on holiday.
Price is never the most important factor to consider when purchasing care equipment. On the other hand, if you have narrowed your search down to a few models that cater for your needs, it’s worth comparing price points. Some will offer all the same benefits as the better-known brand models, but at a considerably cheaper price point.
4. Lift Range
This is particularly important if you might be lifting taller-than average users, or hoisting from non height-adjustable beds. If you are, you’ll need a generous lifting range. As an aside, if you’re considering using a mobile patient hoist to lift a fallen person off the floor, have you heard about the Raizer 2 Emergency Lifting Chair, yet? It’s an easier, faster and more dignified approach, and our clients absolutely love it…
5. Safe Working Load
This is a fairly obvious point, but if you’re considering purchasing a hoist for a communal facility (such as a care home or hospital), it might be sensible to pay a little extra for a larger SWL. As you have no way of knowing the particular needs of future patients or residents.
6. Spreader Bar
Believe it or not, the spreader bar that comes with your hoist might be the tipping factor when it comes to your decision. Most hoists come with a 2-point spreader bar as standard. If you want a 4-point bar (which can allow for a more comfortable seated position), it’s normally an optional extra.
You want to make sure that your new equipment is a smart investment. The average warranty on mobile patient hoists in 2 years, but some models come with an industry-leading 5 years. However, it’s always worth checking what the warranty includes. The normal approach is that the mechanism is fully covered, but the batteries, for example, may not be covered for quite as long.
Speaking of which, you might also want to consider…
You’ll essentially have two choices of power for your mobile patient hoist. Hydraulic is the cheaper option, but requires far greater physical effort. To adjust the height of the boom on hydraulic models, you’ll need to ‘pump’ a hand pedal to raise the height. This obviously increases your chances of developing a repetitive strain injury.
This manual height adjustment isn’t required by electric models, which are powered either by mains supply or rechargeable batteries. These models are generally operated via hand controls. If you do choose an electrically-powered hoist, make sure you keep an eye on the power level before use. The last thing you’ll want is for your hoist to run out of juice halfway through a transfer. Some feature a nifty LED indicator on the hand control, rather than the hoist itself. This makes the battery level more immediately noticeable, and easier to keep an eye on.
9. Chassis Height
When it comes to chassis height, lower is generally considered better. This is because the base of the hoist can then be fitted underneath armchairs, divan beds, or other low-clearance furniture. This allows you to position the hoist closer to the service user, making the lift easier to execute.
10. Wheel/castor size
On the other hand, there may be situations where larger wheels are desirable. While this will increase your chassis height, larger wheels may be able to cope better with tricky floor surfaces, such as thick carpets and rugs, or door thresholds. You’ll need to consider exactly where you’ll be using the hoist and weigh up the pros and cons. If it would help to talk it through with someone, feel free to give us a call. We know our onions, promise.
So, lots to think about. If you’d like more information about our range of mobile patient hoists, click here to browse the models. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch. We’d be happy to help.