If you are a caregiver, a physical therapist, a medical assistant, a nurse, a loved one or even the patient, this best patient lift guide shows what a big job it is to transfer a patient. Many of the patients that need to use patient lift aids have spinal cord injuries and have lost strength in their legs or have illnesses that have caused them to need assistance to be moved. Anyone that cares for another who is sick or disabled is to be commended for all their hard work! I hope this Best Patient Lift Aid Guide will be of assistance in finding the best patient lift for your situation.
What is a Patient Lift Aid?
Patient lift aids are one of the many categories of medical equipment that are referred to as mobility aids. The type of lift aid covered in this guide is normally called a “Sit to Stand Lift” and is designed to assist in the transfer of a patient from a sitting down position to a standing position. Patient lifting aids or devices make it easier, quicker, and safer for the patient and the reduces the strain and potential injuries to the caregiver. Patient lift aids can be manually operated or manually with hydraulics, battery-operated, or electrical. They also come in a wide range of cost so to help you determine which is best for you, go to the How to Find the Right Patient Lift Aid section in this best patient lift guide after reading the reviews.
Why Do You Need One?
Patient lift aids are one way of helping people who have difficulty getting up from a sitting position due to lack of strength in the upper and/or lower body that may be a result of injury or conditions such as severe arthritis, Parkinson’s, MS, or other muscle or nerve diseases. It can also be used after an operation that weakens the muscles needed to lift yourself up to a standing position. If you find yourself in the situation of not being able to get up from a bed or a chair without the help of someone, it stands to reason that your activity level would go down and you may not even want to try and get out of bed because it’s too painful or difficult. If that’s the case, it’s time for someone to step in and get you moving with one of the below patient lift aids in this best patient lift guide.
The Best Patient Lift Aid Guide of 2018 will assist you in finding the best patient lift aid(s) for you, your patient or your loved one by reviewing five different lifts available. Because there are so many variations of describing the person being cared for and the person giving the care, I’m making it simple by calling the person being cared for as the “patient” and the person giving the care as the “caregiver.”
Lumex LF1600 Stand Assist Patient Transport
The Stand Assist Patient Transport is an affordable sit-to-stand patient lift that is an alternative to the electrical type. It gives transport assistance that has the patient engaged in the process while requiring minimal assistance from the caregiver. It is important for the caregiver to know that the patient has to have strength in their arms and legs to be able to pull themselves up to a standing position, are able to support their head/neck, can bend their legs and ankles, have the ability to bear at least half their body weight on their legs, and have no back problems. If the patient doesn’t meet these requirements, an electrical transport would need to be used.
The Stand Assist has a comfortable seat and knee pads with a lock on the rear casters for keeping the base stable and safe for patient transfer. It must be locked before the patient starts to stand up. The patient holds the middle bar and then using their own strength, the patient will pull up to a standing position. Once the patient is standing, the padded split seat swings out for the patient to rest on as they are transported. The LF1600 Stand Assist fits through a door as small as 26 inches and works great for helping a patient out of bed or a wheelchair, on and off of a toilet commode, and can also be used to transfer them from or to a lift chair.
This device isn’t just for hospitals and nursing homes. It can be purchased for the home and is a wonderful way to help a patient who has lost strength in their legs to use it to build up the strength in their legs, as well as their arms for lifting themselves. Many patients who were unable to walk due to diseases or accidents have recovered strength in their legs enough to walk again. This manually operated patient lift is about a third of what an electric one costs.
The LF1600 Stand Assist is made of heavy gauge steel and is for adults that are standard height but will not work for children or very short adults as the seat is not adjustable and when the patient stands up, the seat needs to line up so that they can sit down. The weight capacity is as much as 400 pounds. The overall dimensions are 42.5” H x 25” W x 33.5” D with an overall weight of 61 pounds.
The Lumex LF1600 Stand Assist gets 5 stars in this best patient lift guide. It is because it’s something that would work great for the caregiver and can be used alone to build strength in the legs. My doctor wanted me to go to physical therapy to build up the strength in my legs but it required me to go two or three times a week and the $30 co-pays would have been too much for my budget. If a doctor enrolled in Medicare prescribes one to be used for a patient at home, it can be bought only from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare with the patient paying 20 percent of the cost.
- Padded dual knee pads and seat pads for comfortable transport
- Stable base with locking rear casters
- Fits easily through narrow doorways
- 400 lb. safe working load; fits users between 5'1" and 6'6" tall
Invacare 9805P Personal Hydraulic Patient Body Lift
The Personal Hydraulic Patient Body Lift is used to lift and transfer a patient from almost anywhere and considered safer than the manual type at a more affordable price than the electrical type. It is lightweight and easy to take apart making it quick and safe to transfer a patient and a welcomed tool for the caregiver. It has a six-point swivel bar attachment that will allow for any type of sling style and in different positions in order to transfer in a comfortable and stable way letting everyone involved have peace of mind. Its range of 20” to 64” allows the patient to be picked up from a lying position on the floor. The pump handle rotates from side to side if needed. It has an offset mast and boom style that provides a better path of lifting at a maximum travel range. It has an elongated handle design that allows for different heights of persons using it, which offers a better ability to handle, as well as a padded swivel bar and push handle.
Its slim design makes it versatile to use for almost any patient and it has the weight capacity of 450 pounds. It is made of durable chrome-plated or painted finish metal that has a 360-degree rotation and no side-to-side swaying. With the Invacare 9805P, the patient does not have to participate in the transfer process unless they just want to hold on to the side of the sling while it is moving.
Some caregivers have found it works well by removing the sling and setting it in a chair for the patient to sit on and then they simply fold the sling around the patient and attach it for transfer. The patient will be safe due to the way the sling allows the patient to sit in a sunken down position making it hard to fall out. This Invacare 9805P is a valuable and indispensable piece of equipment for any healthcare facility, as covered by our best patient lift guide. If a doctor enrolled in Medicare prescribes one to be used for a patient at home, it can be bought only from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare with the patient paying 20 percent of the cost.
Unlike a standing lift, the Invacare 9805P is a full-body lift that uses a sling to lift and maintain the entirety of the patient’s weight and is understandably safer, especially for the patient who isn’t strong enough to use a standing lift. With a standing lift, the caregiver must know if the patient is capable of using their legs and arms enough to pull themselves up before they can be transferred but with the Personal Hydraulic Patient Body Lift the patient can have weak legs and arms but still be able to be transferred to a commode or even out to a vehicle if it isn’t too low for it to reach. The Invacare 9805P could be used at home or at a patient facility.
- Six-point swivel bar attachment easily adapts to all sling styles and positions
- 20" - 64" range allows for patient to be picked up from lying position on floor
- Pump handle can rotate from side to side for convenience of attendant
- Offset mast and boom style provide better lift path, maximizing full travel range
- Elongated handle design serves a broad range of operator heights and offers improved handling ability
Lumex LF2020 Easy Lift Sit to Stand
The LF2020 Easy Lift is a battery-operated sit-to-stand patient lift and is made to provide a quick and safe transfer assistance for patients who have trouble standing but are strong enough to pull themselves up onto the lift with assistance from a caregiver. It has a unique ergonomic foot pedal base opening with adjustable knee pad unit and an ergonomically designed hand pendant with pendant hook. The large handles make it easy to grip and to maneuver while transferring patients. The lower base height makes it very stable and it fits under most beds to get as close to the patient as possible while they are sitting on the bed. It comes with a high-quality sling made of soft fabric and for additional support you can purchase the optional buttock strap that is sold separately.
The Lumex LF2020 Easy Lift has a battery-operated 24V DC motor that is quiet and the battery is interchangeable with other Lumex Easy lifts. Being battery operated makes the transfer much smoother and sturdy with no jerking like with a manual lift. A good thing about having it running on battery rather than electricity is that if the power goes out it can still be used. An additional feature is that it has a storage bag for accessories such as for slings and charger.
A useful feature of the Lumex LF2020 that is not included on all sit-to-stand lifts is that the wheels have locks so there won’t be any slipping as the patient gets on. The base of this lift has rubber coating to protect furniture and walls from getting scratched or marked up. The Lumex LF2020 Easy Lift is made of heavy-gauge steel and has the weight capacity of 400 pounds. The overall dimensions are 68” H x 26.5” W x 40” D and overall weight is 116.6 pounds. Assembling is required, as is many of the products covered in this best patient lift guide.
The Lumex LF2020 Easy Lift certainly is named correctly as it is easy to use but the drawback is you need to make sure the battery gets charged as a patient who needs it often wouldn’t be able to get moved if it wasn’t charged. Another drawback of this lift’s cost, which is more than three times the amount of the manual lift, which may be too costly for some medical facilities. However, if a patient lift is needed at home, a doctor enrolled in Medicare could prescribe it and as long as it is bought from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare, 80 percent of the cost would be covered with the patient paying 20 percent, which would be still be beyond affordable for some patients.
- Maximum unit dimensions: 70. 8" high x 37. 8" wide x 40. 4" long
- Minimum unit dimensions: 36. 4" high x 25. 5" wide x 40. 4" long
- 400 lb user weight capacity
- 118 lb. unit weight, with heavy duty casters for smooth, stable operation
Invacare Get-U-Up Hydraulic Stand-Up Lift
The GH350 model of Invacare’s Get-U-Up Hydraulic Stand-Up Lift is ergonomically styled with easy manual maneuverability that makes it ideal for everyday transferring of patients. It is a sit-to-stand patient lift with a hydraulic pump and is used for patients that have partial use of their legs. To use this type of hydraulic lift, the caregiver moves the handle up and down to pump it, which makes the arms go up or down to lift or seat the patient. It can be used with a sling attachment for a comfortable transfer of patients of any height, width and weight up to 350 pounds.
The Get-U-Up has adjustable leg support with soft padding that secures the patient’s legs in three height positions. It has a non-slip footplate that is retractable and stable. It is able to clear under most homecare-style beds up to 4.5 inches while the patient is being prepared for transport. The Get-U-Up is made of high-quality steel and weighs 88 pounds. It has an overall height of 36 inches to 65 inches and its base length is 40.5 inches.
The casters on the Get-U-Up are low friction to significantly improve rolling ability and give the patient a secure and comfortable transfer while assuring the caregiver that the patient is safe. For the caregiver’s convenience, the pump handles can rotate to either side. It should only be used for patients who can bear some of their own weight with the ability to pull themselves up to a standing position.
The Get-U-Up has a simple sling attachment (sold separately) that protects the patient from any accidental disengagement as well as a wide push handle that allows the patient to have good access for removing clothing and for toileting. Invacare makes an R-130 standing sling that would be ideal for assisting a patient in transferring to a toilet. The R-134 is a transport sling good for transporting only as it covers the lower body and isn’t meant for toileting.
Since the Get-U-Up is manually operated, it is understandable that it will not maneuver as well as an electrical one but for the lower price, this sit-to-stand patient lift is ideal for moving a patient. It is especially good for daily short trips to the bathroom or around the patient’s room or even to the dining room for meals in the dining area of a facility or at home. It certainly does its job in taking the strain off the caregiver who has to move a patient around without needing to lift them, which can often cause injury. If a doctor enrolled in Medicare prescribes one to be used for a patient at home, it can be bought only from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare with the patient paying 20 percent of the cost.
- Easy-to maneuver lift offers safety, comfort and stability for both users and caregivers and is ideal for everyday handling of users who need rehabilitation support or can bear partial-weight.
- Innovative adjustment features allow this lift to adapt to a variety of body sizes and shapes.
- Low-friction casters make rolling the lift across indoor surfaces easier and contribute to caregiver safety.
- Multi-function slings (sold separately) available for quick toileting, stand-assistance or fully supported seated transfers.
- Adjustable leg support features a soft, contoured pad that can secure legs in multiple positions for maximum comfort.
Invacare Reliant 350 Stand-Up
Invacare’s model RPS350-1 Reliant Stand-Up Lift is battery-operated that can be used for a stand assist or a full-support transfer that the patient can sit in a sling. It is easily maneuvered and ideal for everyday transport of patients to and from the bathroom or commode. It is to be used for patients that have strong enough arms and some use of their legs to pull themselves up to a standing position. Instead of the caregiver needing to pump it as would be done with a hydraulic lift, she or he would simply place a sling around the patient for a comfortable transfer.
The Reliant can be used for patients of any height or size with a weight up to 350 pounds. It has pivoting leg support with lateral contour soft padding for the patient’s legs adjustable to three different height positions, as well as a non-slip stable footplate with an optional leg strap that is adjustable to secure the patient’s legs against the knee pad for patient to feel more secure while transferring. It has an under-bed clearance of 4.5 inches, which is standard of most institutional and homecare beds. Once the Reliant is placed under the bed, the patient can be prepared for transport. The overall height of the sling hookup is 38 inches to 65 inches.
The Reliant RPS350-1 has a removable 24V DC battery, which can reduce any downtime when the extra battery is kept on hand. The battery will do approximately 100-200 lifts per charge. It has low friction casters for a smooth ride giving the patient a secure and comfortable transfer while giving the caregiver peace of mind. It should only be used for patients who can bear some of their own weight with the ability to pull themselves up to a standing position. A multi-function sling is available for the Reliant RPS350-1 for quick transferring and can protect the patient from accidents.
Since the Reliant RPS350-1 is battery-operated, the caregiver or someone who is responsible for taking care of the medical equipment at a facility would need to make sure the battery or batteries get charged on a daily basis. If the battery runs down while transferring a patient, it could be harmful to a patient. The Reliant is a well-made patient lift with several adjustable features and would most likely last for several years but a facility would need to consider that it costs more than three times the amount of the manual lift. If a lift is needed at home, this lift would be rather pricey; however, if a doctor enrolled in Medicare prescribes one to be used for a patient at home, it can be bought only from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare with the patient paying 20 percent of the cost.
How to Find the Right Patient Lift Aid
Finding the right patient lift aid(s) would depend on the needs of the healthcare facility, group home or a person in their home. A facility would most likely need more than one patient lift that would withstand daily use for several years. Also, a facility would need to determine if having the manual type of patient lift would be more economical or if they could afford the electrical or battery-operated type. They would also need to take into consideration how many caregivers are needed when using the different types of lifts, what is the current rate of injuries from caregivers lifting or exerting themselves with the manual or hydraulic type of lifts, and whether or not having power-assisted lifts would be cost-effective.
If you need a patient lift at home, your home health social worker and caregiver can help you to determine which type would be best for you; however, the cost may be a concern. If your doctor is enrolled in Medicare and prescribes one to be used at home, it can be bought only from a medical equipment supplier that is enrolled in Medicare and you would pay 20 percent of the cost, which may not be affordable if buying the more expensive type. If you have another type of insurance, it may cover more than Medicare.
When considering a patient lift for your home, you will also need to consider such things as how much room there is to move the lift from room to room and to store it when not in use, whether you have carpet or not as carpeting will make some lifts harder to move, and if the bed has clearance underneath for the sit-to-stand type or the sling type. You would also need to consider your needs if you are the patient, such as your weight and height, your condition and whether your arms and legs are strong enough for the sit-to-stand lift, and how many caregivers would you need for each type of lift that you are considering. Also, if you are considering a patient lift with a sling, you will need to know what type of sling to buy. Clicking on this link in our best patient lift guide will take you to a website that explains the different slings and how to use them.
Best Patient Lift Guide – Other Brands
Below in our best patient lift guide are two more patient lift aids that are different from the above-mentioned ones and are worth mentioning. The first is a lift device for helping a caregiver to lift a patient from a sitting position to transfer for a short distance. And the second is a ceiling portable lift track system.
SafetySure Mary’s Aide Transfer Sling
The SafetySure is a patient transfer aid that gives the patient a safe transfer and reduces the caregiver’s back strain when lifting a patient who may be weak due to illness or injury but is able to bear some weight on their legs and able to hold onto the caregiver. The SafetySure Mary’s Aide Transfer Sling is shaped like an undergarment and made to be worn over the patient’s clothing but won’t bind or ride up. It has a hand grip on the back so that it can be used as an alternative to a gait belt as it does not slide up and the lifting handles on both sides provide a good grip. The sling comes in one large size that will fit most adults with the weight capacity of up to 250 pounds. It is made of latex-free woven nylon with Velcro closures on both sides so it will fit around the patient’s waist. It is hand washable and should be line dried, which only takes 15 minutes due to the type of the fabric.
To use the SafetySure, the caregiver fits it onto the patient so that it fits comfortably and then the caregiver can lift the patient by holding the belt that goes around and acts as handles, while the patient places her/his hands on the caregiver’s shoulders and the caregiver lifts the patient to move her/him to or from the bed, a commode, chair, or wheelchair. The sling would have to be removed for toileting but will come off along with the patient’s underwear for quick removal.
The SafetySure Mary’s Aide Transfer Sling is a simple, quick and very reasonable way to transfer a patient as long as the caregiver is strong enough or two caregivers are used to do the lifting. The patient can help by having their feet on the floor to bear some of the weight as they are moved but according to some reviews, patients that were not able to walk at all were able to be transferred. It can be used to easily transfer a patient to a vehicle as the slick fabric makes it easy to slide her/him into the seat and then slide them to the edge of the seat to exit the vehicle. Outside of this best patient lift guide, one reviewer recommended using it for physical therapy to help a patient strengthen their legs.
- Provides secure transfers
- Reduces caregiver back strain
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
Hoyer EasyTrack 3-Post System
The Hoyer EasyTrack is very convenient since it isn’t permanently installed in the home. It can be installed and removed without altering the ceiling of your home. The EasyTrack is just as its name describes—easy because it is a portable lift track system to use with the Hoyer Portable Overhead Lifter, which is the power lift and sling that carries the patient (sold separately). These two together can be used for any type of patient, either weight-bearing or those that require rehabilitation support. The patient would have to be able to sit up on their own.
The 3-post configuration is unique as it allows the patient to be transferred easily and smoothly along the rail with minimal effort to anywhere along the 3-post area. Also available is a tub-mount bracket that allows a post to be mounted to a standard bathtub ledge and can provide access to the tub, sink, and toilet. It doesn’t require permanent installation or alterations to the ceiling because of the unique floor-to-ceiling spring-loaded design that can be used on ceilings from seven to nine feet. The caregiver’s part is considerably reduced with the telescopic rail that easily glides the patient to another part of the room. The cost of this device is pricey as covered by our best patient lift guide but not any more than other electrical lifts with slings mentioned above.