The Importance of Hoists in Aged Care: Enhancing Safety and Efficiency


In aged care settings, the implementation of a "no lift" policy is crucial to maintain a safe workplace and protect staff members from potential injuries while lifting or moving patients. To ensure the well-being of both caregivers and patients, hoists play a vital role in providing efficient and secure transfers.

In our latest article, we’re exploring the different types of hoists commonly used in aged care settings, including ceiling hoists, standing hoists, and floor hoists. By understanding the unique benefits and purposes of each type, caregivers can select the most suitable hoist for their patients' needs.

Ceiling Hoists: Ensuring Safe and Flexible Transfers

Ceiling hoists are overhead systems that are fixed to the ceiling or wall-mounted, offering a permanent solution for patient transfers within a care facility. They consist of a motorised hoist that moves along a track, enabling caregivers to transport patients easily from one room to another, such as to the bathroom.\

Our expert team at Lift-Ability can customise the track, including curved sections to accommodate different layouts.

To facilitate hoist movement in multiple directions, turntables are installed at rail intersections. These components allow the hoist to run smoothly along the rail system, providing flexibility and convenience during transfers.

By incorporating turntables, caregivers can navigate patients through complex pathways, ensuring efficient and safe transportation.

We also use a combination of systems and frames to provide a reliable structure for efficient patient transfers.

Ceiling hoists are highly secure and convenient, minimizing the risk of patient drops during transfers. However, before using a ceiling hoist, caregivers must conduct pre-operation checks to ensure the hoist and its components remain safe for use. It is essential to verify the weight capacity of the hoist and inspect for any damage before attempting to lift the patient.

Standing Hoists: Assisting Patients in Seated to Standing Transfers

Standing hoists are designed for patients who can bear weight and require assistance in transitioning from a seated to a standing position, and vice versa. These hoists, also known as "sit to stand lifters," offer both powered and manual options to cater to various care needs. The primary purpose of standing hoists is to provide safe and easy lifting and movement for both the patient and caregiver.

Standing hoists feature two lockable castor wheels at the rear, allowing caregivers to wheel the hoist to the patient's location. After use, the hoist can be conveniently stored away. However, it is crucial to note that standing hoists should only be utilised if the patient can bear weight. If weight-bearing is not possible, a ceiling hoist should be employed to manage the patient's weight during transfers.

Similar to ceiling hoists, caregivers must check the weight capacity and inspect the hoist for any damage before attempting to lift the patient. Additionally, ensuring the wheels of the standing hoist are locked before initiating the transfer enhances safety and stability.

Floor Hoists: Facilitating Non-Weight Bearing Transfers

Floor hoists predominantly serve the purpose of transferring non-weight bearing patients between different surfaces, such as from a wheelchair to a bed or a commode. These hoists can also be employed to lift patients from the floor in case of a fall, aiding in their repositioning.

To perform a floor hoist transfer, caregivers should prioritise the patient's comfort by placing a pillow under their head and shoulders. Afterward, the caregiver can roll the patient onto their side, ensuring their arms are crossed over their chest. Once in position, the sling is wrapped around the patient, and they are rolled onto their back.

With the patient securely in the hoist, the attachments of the sling are clipped onto the hoist's yoke or spreader bar. Caregivers should ensure the sling attachments are secure before fully lifting the patient, minimising the risk of detachment or falls.

If the patient needs to be moved a considerable distance from their bed or chair, it is advisable to lower them into a wheelchair instead of relying solely on the hoist. This approach ensures the patient feels safer, more comfortable, and secure throughout the transfer process. Additionally, it aligns with good manual handling practices in aged care.

Staff Training With Hoists

At Lift-Ability, we understand the critical role hoists play in providing optimal care for the elderly and disabled. Our extensive range of hoists includes ceiling, standing, and floor hoists, accompanied by various sling configurations and sizes to cater to the unique needs of each patient.

Whether you prefer to browse our collection online for fast and affordable shipping throughout Australia or have one of our expert team come to you for a live demonstration, we are here to support you.

We also offer professional training to ensure caregivers have the necessary skills to use patient lifting hoists effectively. By participating in our hoist workshops, you can enhance your knowledge and provide the best possible care for your patients. Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming training sessions.

In aged care settings, hoists are indispensable tools for facilitating safe and efficient patient transfers. Ceiling hoists offer secure and flexible movement through their overhead tracking systems, while standing hoists assist patients in seated to standing transfers.

Floor hoists are particularly beneficial for non-weight bearing patients and for lifting individuals who have fallen. By understanding the unique benefits and applications of each hoist type, caregivers can select the most suitable solution to enhance the well-being of both patients and staff members.

Remember, when utilising hoists, it is crucial to perform pre-operation checks, verify weight capacities, and inspect for any damage to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

With the right hoist and proper training, caregivers can provide optimal care while minimising the risk of injuries and discomfort.