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Patient Lifts for the Elderly and Mobility Impaired

Patient lifts are assistive devices that aid care givers in transferring patients who have restricted mobility from one position to another. (e.g., from a wheelchair or mobility scooter to a bed and back, from a sitting position to a standing position and back, from a relaxed position to a hanging/suspended position and back, etc.)

The above examples are some difficulties that lifts help solve for older people and mobility-impaired (including caregivers). However, there are more solutions that patient lifts provide. We’ll be discussing them extensively in later subheadings.

How Do Patient Lifts Work?

Patient lifts are operated with the aid of electric motors or hydraulic systems. They’re designed for easy maneuverability by users/caregivers. This means that even loved ones who aren’t professionals, such as family members, and friends will find it simple to operate lifts. Learning comes with little or no hassles.

There are patient lifts that may have digital controls and/or illuminated computer screens (e.g., LCDs)—in the case of lifts that use electrical energy. Users may be able to read the following information on the display:

  • Battery gauge
  • Lift readout information
  • Battery charge alerts
  • Scale information
  • Function indicators
  • Maintenance notifications

What Are the Solutions That Patient Lifts Offer to Users?

A patient lift offers many uses that seniors and others who cannot move independently can benefit from. Even care givers benefit from utilizing patient lifts to complete work-related duties. The easier and safer it is for care givers to operate the lifts, the better the experience will be for the patient.

Take a look at the problems that users (when being lifted) and caregivers (when lifting patients) face, as well as the solutions that patient lifts offer below.

Problem #1: Handling higher weight individuals without hassles

Problem #2: The negative effects of lifting a patient without the aid of a device

Problem #3: Less functionality with non-electric types

Problem #4: The need to provide optimal balance and firm support to patients

Problem #5: The complicated process of mobility impairment diagnosis and care

Problem #6: Adjustability, portability, and transportability

Problem #1: Handling Higher Weight Individuals without Hassles

There are heavy-duty patient lifts that can handle body weights of up to 1,000 pounds! Check out the bariatric lifts from Convaquip on First Medical Advocate. You won’t have to worry about not being able to move obese or overweight patients safely, steadily, and efficiently anymore.

Bariatric lifts usually come with robust designs that ensure optimal control, stability, and comfort. They’re stronger than other lift types made for lower-weight individuals. You may find hydraulic and electric bariatric patient lifts made with heavy gauge steel while shopping.

Problem #2: The Negative Effects of Lifting a Patient without the Aid of a Device

Generally, the manual lifting of seniors or the mobility impaired can make caregivers suffer from physical strain. One can get injured when trying to move a patient without a mechanical lifting aid. It will be tedious and stressful.

Patients are even more at risk of injuries. It will be a bad situation if a patient is accidentally dropped or roughly handled while being lifted or moved, resulting in unwanted injuries. Imagine such a thing happening to people recovering from fractures or obese people. The consequences may be disastrous, and it can lead to irreparable damage.

You can see why getting a specialized lift for the patient’s home is important apart from equipping hospitals with the devices. Safety is a significant factor.

Problem #3: Less Functionality with Non-Electric Types

We mentioned that the electric types come with electronic functionalities such as illuminated display screens, audible alerts for maintenance and battery notifications, etc.

The hydraulic lifts' advantage over the electric patient lifts is that users won’t need to worry about power sources or battery charges. Also, they’re more economical. Nonetheless, fully electric types make things easier for carers at home or in healthcare centers. Other features or merits may include the following:

  • Quieter operation than hydraulic-system lifts.
  • Digital scale functionality.
  • Lift control module.
  • Maintenance check monitoring.
  • Smart & Safety Technology (for the LCD). For example, lift safety stops in the case of accidental obstructions by the care givers that may cause mishaps.

Problem #4: The Need to Provide Optimal Balance and Firm Support to Patients

Patients in delicate conditions should be lifted and transferred with top-quality lifts that fit their body sizes. The device should be sturdy enough to provide the right kind of balance needed.

You may decide to purchase patient lifts that can be used with accessories like slings, sling bags, straps, detachable hangers of various measurements, and so on—if balance and versatility are important considerations. Think about having a product that offers floor pick-up capability.

Problem #5: The Complicated Process of Mobility Impairment Diagnosis and Care

Medical practitioners in the fields of orthopedics and geriatrics make use of patient lifts for many applications. It can be difficult to conduct tests or care for a patient without a suitable device to move, raise, or keep them in position. Sometimes, the handling of a patient in such ways would require great precision and caution.

A specialized lift would make the jobs of doctors simpler, faster, and more convenient. Care givers aren’t left out. They also need lifts of certain specs (e.g., sling and strap features) to transport a person to and from toilets, bathrooms, vehicles, etc.

There are sit-to-stand lifts that have foldable seats for toilet and bathroom convenience. Some devices can be used to transfer an individual to higher surfaces.

Problem #6: Adjustability, Portability, and Transportability

The comfort of a patient is ensured when a lift can easily be adjusted. If it can be folded or disassembled, it would be easy to transport in a vehicle or carry around. Some products can fit in car trunks. Look out for the following specs when shopping:

  • Pump handle rotation range
  • Adjustable width base
  • Adjustable height
  • Adjustable knee pads
  • Detachable and non-slip footrest/footplate

  • Types of Patient Lifts that You May Find while Shopping

    The main types of these devices are manual (hydraulic) and fully electric patient lifts. See their variants below.

    • Car transfer lifts
    • Foldable/portable/transportable patient lifts
    • Battery-powered electric patient lifts
    • Hydraulic patient lifts
    • Full body electric patient lifts
    • Bariatric patient lifts
    • Bariatric smart patient lifts
    • Heavy-duty patient lifts
    • Sit-to-stand patient lifts

    You can get the above products from First Medical Advocate. The site offers high-quality lifts from brands such as Convaquip and BestCare Patient Care.


    As you can see from the solutions we described in this guide, patient lifts solve many problems regarding the mobility of the elderly and mobility-impaired. They’re just as important as ramps.

    Shoppers enjoy the ability to select from various product options such as electric types, hydraulic types, heavy-duty types, accessories (e.g., slings), sit-to-stand lifts, etc.

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