Bed to Chair Transfer Equipment

A bed to chair transfer can be achieved with many different types of equipment. There are Hoyer lifts, bed rails, patient lifts, transfer boards, and trapeze bars that all do this task. The user’s strength and ability determines the type of equipment they require.

A bed to chair transfer can be easily maneuvered with the assistance of a lift. Many users of Hoyer lifts are not completely bed ridden, but may have a debilitating illness that causes extreme weakness. They may also suffer from being paralyzed, thus making it very difficult for them to transfer from their bed to a chair or wheelchair.

The most common type of bed to chair transfer lift is rather large, on wheels for easy moving, and runs by hydraulics. The lift has straps that attach to a washable, sturdy canvas pad that the patient sits or lays on while being transferred. There are older types of lifts available that do not use hydraulics and are cranked by hand. They are basically the same as the newer models, although somewhat harder to use because of the physical exertion of the hand crank method. For caregivers or nurses who require transfer assistance from a bed to a chair, the use of a patient lift or Hoyer lift works the best, especially for patients who are unable to provide their own assistance in the transfer.

For someone with upper body strength, they can use transfer boards, trapeze bars and bed rails for independent transferring. The transfer boards allow the user to slide slowly into a wheelchair. The trapeze bars and bed rails for elderly act as stability bars to lift themselves off the bed and move at their own rate of transfer. You can put a free standing trapeze bar hovering above the bed or have an attached trapeze bar hang over the bed for disabled persons to pull themselves into position for resting, sitting or transferring without much or any assistance from caregivers.

Wheelchair to Bed Transfer Techniques and Tips

  • Let the patient move with their own strength if they are capable. Doing this will allow the patient to move at their own speed and reduce the amount of physical stress on your back.
  • Make sure you are wearing nonslip shoes or slippers.
  • Put on the wheelchair brakes. Set aside the wheelchair footrests so it does not interfere with the bed transfer.
  • Lower the handicap bed height and clear the area of any obstructions.
  • Place your arm under their shoulder and use your other arm to swing their legs to the side of the bed. Put your arms around their torso and tell them to push off the bed, moving towards the wheelchair. Tell them to use the bed edge and the armrests on the chair for stability as they move. These transfer techniques apply for someone without bed lifts or other assisting devices.

When you are trying to get out of bed and require assistance, the best solution would be a handicapped style chair that gets you out of bed by lifting your body up. Fortunately, there are adjustable beds and bed lifting devices that can lower and raise your bed mattress according to your height and angle preference.

Help Sit Up In Bed

Handicap Bed Straps – These affordable bed devices are great for maneuvering around the bed and pulling yourself up to an upright sitting or seated position.

Bed Transfer Equipment Costs

Bed to chair transfer equipment is often times paid for by the person’s insurance company. If the physician deems it necessary for the patient to have this type of bed to chair transfer equipment installed in their home it is usually covered by most health insurance plans. If the person does not have any medical coverage or only a very small amount, the affordable options are the transfer boards and transfer bed rails which can be priced under $50 to $100.

Trapeze bars and base are the next highest in price ranging from $150 to $200. The Hoyer lifts are the most expensive items for transfer equipment and can cost upwards of $1500 and more. As you go up in price, the weight limits also move up. To the left are transfer boards that can be used for a wheelchair to bed slide. The patient simply sits on one end and slides across the transfer board. Slicker bed transfer boards work better as bed sliders.

Those that benefit from the different types of bed to chair transfer equipment machines are those who cannot get out of bed easily on their own, and have no family member or friends that are available when needed to do the transfer.

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Hoyer Lifts For Your Bedside Patient

A Hoyer lift is a mechanical lift that is used to transfer patients from their beds to a wheel chair, reclining chair or bedside commode. It is used for patients that are either completely unable to move by themselves or partially so. A Hoyer lift is normally electric or hydraulic in mechanism. The older types of Hoyer lifts were cranked by hand.

Patient and Hoyer Lift Slings

Hoyer lifts come with a piece of cloth, most normally made of canvas or nylon, which is like a hammock that fits underneath the patient. The cloth is attached to straps that have chains and a hooking device on them, to attach to the cloth. When attached properly, the Hoyer Lift can move patients safely with no strain, to either the patient or the caregiver.

Benefits to Hoyer and Patient Lifts

bedside-hoyer-liftThere are many benefits to using a Hoyer Lift. They not only provide the patient with a more comfortable transfer but they allow the caregiver to be able to move the patient without straining his or her back or other muscles. Although it is a good idea to have two people available when using the lift, it is not necessary. One person who is trained properly to use the patient lift, can do so, safely. A Hoyer lift can also lift patients that are too heavy to be, comfortably or safely moved, otherwise. Hoyer lifts are capable of lifting weights ranging from 350lbs to 450lbs. In a hospital or nursing home setting, Hoyer lifts allow a single nurse to transfer the patient, instead of needing several nurses, to turn and lift. The lift is also more comfortable for patients that have trouble bending because it allows them to remain supine or laying flat and gently putting them into a sitting position.


Benefits of Hoyer Lift Transfers

A Hoyer lift for home use can be very beneficial if you are caring for a loved one at home that has become immobile. Using this type of lift is not hard to learn and all types and styles come with specific instructions on the proper way to use them. Using a lift decreases the rate of injury to both the patient and the caregiver. It allows the patient to be moved with more privacy as it only requires one person to operate it. For some people who are lighter in weight, caregivers use transfer gait belts.

Maintenance of Your Hoyer Lifts

Taking care and maintaining your lift will help assure long term use and proper functioning. Here are some instructions from the manual.

  1. Base and Wheels – Check if the base is even and level with all four wheels are on the floor, the wheel bolts are tight and that the wheels swivel and roll easily.
  2. Base Adjustment – Secure all the base locks, make sure all parts are present and that the base opens and closes smoothly. Check spreader lock and all hardware for wear.
  3. Mast – Is the mast fully engaged and locked into mast sleeve? Inspect for bends or deflections and all bolts and nuts for wear.
  4. Boom – For the boom part, inspect all bolts and nuts for wear and ensure the boom is centered between the base legs.
  5. Cradle – Check hanger post for wear or damage. Replace post if wear exceeds 1/16 inch. Check sling attachments for wear or deflection.
  6. Swivel Bar – Check nut at bottom of swivel bar hook and eye hook on boom for wear. Check for two nylon washers between nut of swivel bar hook and underside of swivel bar assembly.
  7. Pump Assembly – Tighten seals around piston with a spanner wrench and check that the pump handle and valve work smoothly. Check for oil leakage from the lift. A light film is normal, but not to the point of dripping.
  8. Slings and Hardware – Check metal parts for wear or damage. Check slings and web straps for wear or damage.
  9. Lubrication – Oil all pivot joints, including: Top of mast where boom attaches, top and bottom of actuator mounting, pump handle hinge. Use a light grease to lubricate base adjustment lock plate and all rotating hardware wheel and swivel bearings.
  10. Cleaning – Use a mild soap to clean and then dry thoroughly. Apply auto or appliance wax. Keep painted surface clean from oil and do not wash under water pressure.

These maintenance solutions are for your standard Hoyer lift. Your particular model might differ and it is best to consult your own manual. These instructions are for lifts with hydraulic pumps.

  1. Use pump to raise boom to position for lifting patient.
  2. Do not lift up on end of boom to position for lifting patient as this causes air to be drawn in under ram, preventing pump from lifting when handle is pumped.
  3. Do not press down hard on handle when bottom of stroke is reached.
  4. It is a common occurrence after a few hours of non-use for the boom to lower with no weight suspended from the end of the boom.
  5. This does not indicate a faulty pump but is a trait common to hydraulic equipment.
  6. Do not attempt to lift someone with a faulty hydraulic pump.
  7. Do not wash slings with bleach. Bleach will damage material.
  8. Slings can suffer damage during washing and drying.
  9. Always check slings before use. Bleached, torn, cut, frayed, or broken slings are unsafe and could result in serious injury or death to patient. Destroy and discard worn slings. Do not alter slings.

Patient Transfer Lift Costs

patient-liftsSome insurance companies will pay for the entire cost of a Hoyer lift while others will only cover part of the cost. You may need a note from the patient’s doctor, advising that the lift is necessary. The cost of a Hoyer Lift can vary greatly. The average cost is approximately $1,500, but can be much more depending on the type you choose to purchase. You can also find less expensive brands or used patient lifts, patient slings and medical trapeze bars, but you will need to make sure they are compatible with the patients needs, such as how much weight will they lift.

Buy Recommended Hoyer Patient Lifts

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