How To's

Rifton SoloLift Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Sololift different from the mobile sling lift I’m familiar with?

Many organizations have purchased mobile sling lifts for patient transfers, but staff often finds them to be cumbersome, inconvenient, and limited in the types of transfers they can accommodate. As a result, these expensive devices gather dust while caregivers resort to dangerous manual lifting.


The Sololift is superior to mobile sling lifts in five key ways:

  1. The Sololift requires just one caregiver and no pre-transfer lifting.
  2. Because transfers are fast, easy, and convenient – the SoloLift is used consistently.
  3. The SoloLift can transfer to a standing device such as a prone stander or gait trainer.
  4. An unconventional above -the-waist design radically simplifies toileting.
  5. The Sololift’s upright positioning is more dignified and comfortable for clients.


What are the weight and height limits for use of the SoloLift?

To use the SoloLift, the client’s weight must not exceed 350 lbs and their height must not exceed 6’4’’.


Is the SoloVest comfortable for women?

The vest is designed to be comfortable for both women and men. Above the contoured, segmented plastic shells and foam padding at the base of the vest is a soft upper portion that ensures comfort without excessive pressure. This innovative system gently, yet securely, grips the client's torso during transfer, distributing pressure evenly.

How do I decide which SoloVest to use?

The SoloVest is available in small, medium and large sizes. See the User Dimensions page to determine which size your client needs. For the client whose weight and girth measurements are met by either of two sizes, try the smaller vest first.

To check the fit, determine:

  1. Do the armpit cutouts line up with the client’s underarms?
  2. Are there at least 2 inches of overlap between the front panels, when straps are fully tightened and buckles closed?

Choosing the right size vest depends on the shape of the client’s torso, their arm and shoulder muscle tone, and how much of their own weight they can bear on their lower extremities. The therapist supervising the transfer should evaluate these factors.


Will the SoloVest ride up on the client during transfer?

The overall design and anti-slip material of the inner lining of the vest helps prevent it from riding up on the client during transfer. However, if the vest is not secured snugly or fitted too high, it may ride up the trunk. That’s why it’s important to position the bottom of the vest at or below the client’s waistline. In some cases, raising both of the client's arms simultaneously, while fitting the SoloVest into place, will allow for a better and more snug placement of the SoloVest around the client's lower trunk. Position the vest as low as possible; you can press down on the plastic shell inserts in the vest for best positioning. Then, overlap the vest flaps securely and firmly, and tighten the straps snugly, starting with the lower strap.
Observe the client closely as lifting is initiated. The more he leans forward, the more comfortable he will be. If the vest starts to slide up, or your client seems uncomfortable, just lower the Lift Arm until the client is seated, and adjust the vest. Or, try the smaller vest, if appropriate.


Does the SoloVest cause pressure under the client’s arms during the transfer?

No. The soft upper portion of the vest assures client comfort without pressure to the axillary area. The vest must be fitted low on the trunk and secured well prior to transfer.


What if above-the-waist lifting is difficult with my client?

The SoloLift is designed for use with both non–weight–bearing and partially weight–bearing individuals. Lifting successfully from above the waist isn’t always easy and depends on several factors, including your client’s 1) muscle tone, 2) body shape, 3) weight, 4) weight-bearing ability, and 5) clothing.

alt_SoloLift_useIf you make all the recommended adjustments and your client’s vest still slides up, there’s an alternate configuration of the leg straps that may help by supporting some of your client’s weight from below:

  1. Put your client’s vest on as usual
  2. Disconnect the leg straps from beneath the center of the swinging bar, and rehook them to the two rings at the back of the vest
  3. Bring the straps down between the client’s legs and secure by looping the rings over the blue knobs.


Can I use the SoloLift for clients with MS or muscular dystrophy? What about a client with a G-tube or back brace?

The SoloLift has been used successfully with a diverse range of clients, including some individuals with these cases. Always have a qualified professional assess your client’s unique medical circumstances before using the SoloLift.


Can the SoloLift be used to transfer to or from a supine or prone position?

No. The client must be placed in a seated position before being lifted with the SoloLift.


Can the SoloLift position a client on an exam table?

Yes. The SoloLift can lift a client into a seated position on a table (37" maximum height). The caregiver can then pivot the client around and into a supine position if necessary.


Can the SoloLift help with pressure mapping?

Yes. The SoloLift is ideal for lifting a client up and down during pressure mapping because there’s nothing below the waist to interfere with the mapping process.


Can I use the SoloVest with our overhead tracking system?

Yes, the SoloVest can be used with overhead tracking, but only if the R704 Adapter is used. The SoloVest will not work with a Hoyer®-type lift.


Can I use the SoloVest with a Hoyer®-type lift?

No. The SoloVest is not compatible with a Hoyer®-type lift.


Can the Swing Arm portion of the Lifting Arm unexpectedly drop down?

No. The arm is designed with a spring to balance the weight of the arm. It will stay in place in any position until it is moved.


What do I need to know about the battery?

There are two batteries provided with every SoloLift, along with two wall-mounted chargers. One battery remains on the wall charging while the other is on the SoloLift. When the SoloLift battery needs charging, simply exchange it for the charged battery. Two wall-mounted chargers have been included with your SoloLift to ensure that both batteries can be left charging at times when your facility is closed.

Depending on the weight of your clients, a battery is capable of 40–50 lifts between charges. When the battery needs charging, the indicator light on the front of the hand pendant will illuminate. There is also an indicator display on the SoloLift itself. Remove the battery from the control box, and secure it to one of the two wall-mounted chargers that come with the product. The charger and indicator light will shut off automatically when charging is complete.

The batteries should be charged regularly to ensure maximum battery life. Charging normally takes about six hours; if it takes more than eight hours, the battery should be replaced.

The SoloLift has a 10% duty cycle, which means that for every minute that the SoloLift is operated, it requires ten minutes at rest. The SoloLift with SoloVest is designed for short-duration transfers only; it is not made for continuous use. 

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