Updated: Nov 3, 2020
What does the patient actually need? The first thing to recognize is the need of the patient themselves. As you could imagine, the type of equipment needed to help assist somebody transferring from a wheelchair to an automobile could be different from the equipment needed to help assist in let’s say toileting activities. Identify from what surfaces to what surfaces are needed (ex. Wheelchair to bed, bed chair, etc.). Another important question here is how mobile is the person that will be using the equipment? For example the type of sling needed for the same type of transfer for someone who has upper body control compared to one who doesn’t is different. Once these needs are known it will start to form the types of specific equipment you should be looking for instead of using your time researching the wrong types altogether. It can also help to try and prevent any up-sell tactics from whichever type of entity will be supplying the equipment.
What is the care situation? After you’ve assessed the specific needs of the person who will be in the equipment, the next thing to evaluate is the care situation in the home. Who will be operating the equipment? Is there a nurse who will be present for these transfers? Is the person in need in an isolated situation? Will a loved one be primarily with the person? For example, there are devices and types of systems that allow the person to independently use and move themselves with the equipment. However without specifying that, it’s easy for one to assume that won’t be the case and thus the recommendations will all be based on the idea that the person is completely dependent. This is something that will be used frequently and can be very costly so you want to explore your options to the best of your ability.
What is the physical setting the equipment will be going into?
There is a lot to be said for the feasibility of installing patient lifters in particular homes. For Ceiling Lift Systems in particular the rail components attach to above ceiling structures or to the walls by wall brackets so this involves a pretty in depth installation. Understanding this process will be key in articulating to the provider of the equipment what will be necessary. Even for floor based equipment, the space in which it will be utilized is very important in determining what specific product should be acquired as some are larger than others, or are manual vs. electric, among many other variables in these types of products.
If you’d like more information to help you feel prepared on this journey, contact one of our specialists by e-mailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) us or by giving us a call at (617) 895 7966 to discuss a personalized plan for your patient lift equipment needs.
(If you're wondering how to go about purchasing patient mobility aids, read our continuation article "Where to Buy Patient Lift Equipment?")
To read more about specific types of Safe Patient Handling equipment for Homecare, check out our "Patient Lifting Devices for Home Use" blog posts in the near future.
Floor Based – Mobile Lifts & Sit to Stand Lifts