Some of our clients are hoisted for all transfers. This means they are reliant on others to transfer them from one place to another. These clients are unable to bear weight on their feet or have been instructed to not do so.

When first introduced, it seems like hoisting is the most complicated and time consuming task. Some people find it unnecessary, especially the parents of disabled children. Hoisting is to some extent similar to implementing the law that forces us to use child car seats – but annoying and costly as they might seem car seats save the lives of children across the world daily. I believe hoisting is just as necessary. When you first start using hoists and slings it takes a long time to complete the transfer, however once you have got used to the equipment and learnt to work as a team it all becomes second nature.

It is important to know how to use the equipment as using it incorrectly is just as risky as not using it at all and can lead to severe injuries. One of the most common mistakes is putting the brakes on a manual hoist while using it, thinking it should be used like a wheelchair.

When installing ceiling track hoists, some people recommend installing a hoist with tracks which connects to another hoist – allowing the carer to, for example, hoist from the bed directly to the bath. Others are strongly against this method and recommend completing two separate transfers, using a wheelchair in between.

One thing is sure – being hoisted is something every carer should experience. The loss of control and the sensation of hanging in the air, sometimes naked, cannot be ignored.  There is no doubt it is a significant point in the emotional journey of being disabled.

If you or your loved one needs to be hoisted we can support you both. Design for Independence provides support for private clients and their carers. We will come to your home to assess, practice and train you in the art of manual handling.   As part of our services we can also complete a risk assessment and provide you with a detailed plan of how to use the equipment you have.

We can visit clients within 48 hours if the case is urgent, support you with finding the right equipment for the job and practice the techniques with you until you are confident.

This is just another way to ensure you can remain living at home together if you chose to do so.