Patient Lifter – Occupational Therapy Service

There are many types of patient lifters or mechanical lifters, they may also be referred to as hoists. These can vary from non-powered lifters with light specifications, through to full-powered lifters.

At Community Therapy, our Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists support people living with disabilities and older adults through the assessment and prescription of lifters. We work in all settings including homes, group homes and residential aged care facilities.

We also support staff, formal carers and informal carers (such as family members) with the safe use of these lifters. This equipment is also covered in our Online Manual Handling Training course.

Individual Patient Lifter Considerations

There are many types of living environments that patient lifters are used within.

The use of assistive equipment/technology has become prevalent with the emergence of the NDIS and community aged care packages. It’s great that people are now able to access technical and complex equipment quite readily that enhances their quality of life.

In shared accommodation, it is possible that a lifter may be shared across several participants, with each participant having their own appropriate sling. However, it is common for NDIS participants living within group homes to have their own hoist, as there are quite a lot of variances in terms of what is suitable for each individual.

Who is Appropriate to Consider a Patient Lifter?

Patient lifters are typically prescribed for people that are having difficulties with their transfers and mobility.

Some people may need a non-powered lifter (i.e. Sara Stedy – a device we are also familiar with) or a stand-up lifter if they are able to weight-bear and/or stand with assistance.

Others will need a full hoist because they are no longer able to, or safely weight-bear through their lower limbs.

As part of our assessment, our Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists will recommend the equipment that is reasonable and necessary for the patient on an individual basis.

Related Equipment & Environment

When assessing and prescribing a lifter, it’s important to assess the respective environment and other equipment that may be used.

In terms of the environment, we are largely considering the floor surface. This is particularly relevant in the community setting because it can be a hazard to move a lifter over carpet, especially thick carpet. Similarly, thresholds (small steps, ramps, floor changes) must also be considered.

Clients may also have relevant equipment such as beds, chairs and bathroom equipment. It is important to assess how the lifter will work alongside this equipment, such as transferring between rooms, positioning next to other equipment and overall accessibility.

Patient Lifter Assessments

Please contact us or place a referral to start the process.

We will organise a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist to conduct an assessment and relevant and typically an equipment trial to determine the appropriate type of lifter.

The assessment, report and associated quote will then be submitted for approval of funding (on the assumption that a funding stream is involved). The initial assessment typically takes between 60-90 minutes to complete.

Who Can Access a Patient Lifter through Community Therapy?

We work under a variety of funding streams, namely:

  • NDIS participants (self, plan & agency managed)
  • Lifetime Care and Support
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Aged care package consumers
  • Residential aged care
  • Private paying clients

Types & Variations of Patient Lifters

 There are many types of lifters, brands, specifications and customisations.

  • Non-powered Sara Stedy
  • Stand up lifter
  • Full sling or hoist

Each lifter can vary in terms of specifications such as but not limited to:

  • Safe weight limit
  • Congruence with other pieces of equipment, particularly in how wide the lifters legs open

Manual Handling – Using the Patient Lifter Appropriately

Community Therapy will help the patient and relevant carers understand how to operate the Patient Lifter. In many cases, this is done after the equipment has been delivered.

At Community Therapy, we provide:

Our online course is very helpful for organisations, hospitals, residential care and other forms of community care as it is accessible through a computer or phone, can be completed anytime and is constantly updated.

There may be other cases where the manual handling component is quite complex and is best to conduct in-person. An example of this could be a person living with an amputation, who is requiring complex use of a hoist in a home environment where they need additional pieces of equipment or assistive technology to assist with the transfer, such as a slide board, which is best taught in-person.

Patient Lifter Referrals for Community Therapy

Community Therapy is highly experienced at providing care and Allied Health services for adults living with a disability and older adults, who are appropriate referrals for us.

  • Local team of experienced allied health professionals
  • NDIS registered and certified by SAI Global
  • Mobile team across Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter and Port Stephens
  • Locally owned and operated

To get started with Community Therapy, please feel free to call us, use our contact page, or place a referral directly. We look forward to hearing your story and helping you live your best life.

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