Caring for bariatric patients or patients with no mobility brings its own set of difficulties. How do I get them from the bed to the bathroom? To the family room? Am I going to hurt myself or them by trying to help? Fortunately in the realm of patient care and transport, patient lifts have provided caregivers with an alternative to awkward and dangerous bedside shuffling and maneuvering. Patient liftssit next to the patient, for example next to their bed, and provides a secure and easy way to get a bariatric or low mobility patient into a transport wheelchair or other device so that they can be taken where they need.
But how do you know what patient lift is right for your patient? There are several things to take into account when choosing or helping a patient choose a lift for use in their home.
- Where will the patient lift be used? If the lift is for next to patient’s bed to get them into a wheelchair or onto a bedside commode, larger lifts will work just fine. However, if the lift is to assist your patient with getting into and out of the bath, a smaller more compact lift would be ideal for that situation.
- How heavy is your patient? Patient lifts are made for those who may not be heavy, such as those that have lost their mobility, to those who weigh more such as bariatric patients. Whatever the case, knowing the weight limit of the lift is crucial because the last thing you need is your equipment breaking and injuring your patient or yourself.
- How strong are you? Are you a 120-pound caregiver taking care of a 300-pound patient? In order to know which patient lift is right, you have to know how it will help nullify the weight difference between you and your patient. Lifts have different modes of operation, so finding one that suits your strength level is paramount.
These are the top three considerations when it comes to choosing a patient lift. By assessing the usage area, your patient and yourself you can make a better decision and when it comes to helping a patient choose a lift for their home.