Therapeutic Benefits

Lifting Solo: Hoyer® Lift vs. SoloLift

Find out why using a transfer device makes sense, and why you should choose the Rifton SoloLift over the traditional Hoyer® Lift.

by Lori Potts, PT

Why lift with a lift?

Have you ever experienced back pain? In the healthcare sector, what is the leading cause of this common musculoskeletal injury? In far too many cases, it can be traced back to manual lifting—such as occurs during client transfers without a mechanical device.

There is increasing evidence that the incidence of staff injuries decreases dramatically—and workers compensation costs go down—when a device is used to perform transfers.

So why not use equipment? Typical arguments against the use of a transfer device might include: it is too time consuming, the clients don’t like it, the device is complicated, it doesn’t stay charged, and it’s just too strenuous to lift the client on and off the sling. The number of staff required to do it safely adds to the strain of it all. Plus, it really does nothing for the client.

Clearly, something is not working. What’s needed is a power–driven device that is easy to use, comfortable for the patient, and one that can even contribute to improving the patient’s functioning. It should be compact and mobile. And it should require only one operator or caregiver. Enter the SoloLift.

SoloLift, the ultimate transfer.

What makes the SoloLift the unbeatable choice for the low–functioning client? Consider these advantages:

  • Less time: The SoloLift transfer is simple. There’s no complex sling system, no awkward or difficult maneuvering of client, sling, and attachments, and no pre–transfer lifting where a sling has to be inserted underneath the client. Instead, the intuitive SoloVest buckles on quickly, and the transfer is performed in seconds.
  • Comfortable movement: The SoloLift transfer is a dignified process. It does not use a supine position for transfer, but rather lifts in an arc that simulates the natural sit–to–stand movement. The client is held comfortably and securely by the SoloVest in an upright position, feet on the ground, with no overhead boom.
  • Safe: The SoloLift transfer is stable, safe, and secure. The SoloLift is designed so that no side–to–side swinging occurs during transfer. Positioning with legs underneath the patient contributes to overall security and safety.
  • Less Staff: The easy–to–operate, powered controls and ingenious SoloVest make it possible for one caregiver to perform the transfer. On occasion a second caregiver may provide supervision as needed. Compare this to the effort of requiring 2 or 3 staff to be present for every transfer.

Not just good for staff — it’s good for clients, too.

The SoloLift is about so much more than lifting clients out of wheelchairs. The SoloLift actually improves patient functioning in two essential areas:

  • Toileting: Wheelchair to toilet transfers performed with the SoloLift occur with above–the–waist lifting. This provides unhampered access for toileting and hygiene care. Plus, the SoloLift speeds up the transfer process and reduces the number of staff required. This translates into increased opportunity for a client to void in an adapted commode, and can eliminate the need for strenuous and undignified horizontal mat changes.
From the Administrator
of an Adult Care Facility:

"I have a client, Maria, who has lived at Glenridge for years. Almost every day she would speak about how she used to be able to walk. Numerous times we’d had two or three strong aides attempt to get her into a standing position just to bear weight for a few seconds, but her balance, hemiplegia and her weight made it simply unsafe so we had to stop trying. But she pined for the day when she could try to learn to walk again.

Then Glenridge Center purchased a state of the art SoloLift. It allows one staff person to lift a client out of the wheelchair or bed and into a standing position through the use of an ingeniously designed vest.

We used the lift on about ten clients that first day and they all said the same thing, that it was very comfortable, and though it was scary being in a standing position for the first time in years—maybe in their lives—they couldn’t wait to try it again. And I cannot describe what a difference it has made for Maria. She is thrilled to be upright and active again.

It’s so much better than the old–style lifts for getting clients in and out of bed, much more maneuverable, and allows the staff to lift the client either completely off the bed into a wheelchair or just up a few inches for changing. All the staff are competing over who gets to use it first.

We have about thirty clients who are going to benefit from this device here at Glenridge. If the increased activity and circulation extends their life expectancy by one month then the unit has paid for itself. And if we save one staff person from one lifting injury, it’s paid for itself again. It’s an amazing piece of equipment. I strongly recommend the SoloLift for anyone with non–ambulatory clients."

Laurence Crowder, Administrator
ResCare Glenridge Center
Glendale, CA
  • Upright Mobility: If you want to lift someone into a front–leaning standing or walking device (such as the Pacer) the SoloLift is your only option. Current traditional mobile sling lifts are not designed for such a task.

    Without the SoloLift, transfers into standing devices are performed manually. There is increasing evidence that manual lifting is a significant cause of work–related–injury. In contrast, use of the SoloLift enables you to transfer a heavy, low–functioning patient through the natural sit–to–stand arc and into an upright device. Equipment–supported transfers and gait training open up a new world of opportunities for client health and functioning, without placing caregivers at risk of injury.

Convincing your administration

Sounds great. But how do I convince my administration that purchasing a SoloLift is a valuable and necessary investment?

Here are three good arguments:

  1. Save money and staff absences by reducing staff injury. Purchasing one SoloLift may actually save your establishment money in the end. And if you can avoid even one worker’s comp claim, your investment will have paid itself off. Read an example on this Michigan Risk Management website.
  2. Provide a more versatile product, and save space. You may currently have 3 or 4 lifts and adaptive devices on hand to do what one SoloLift could be doing. Read more about the SoloLift’s features.
  3. Achieve better outcomes for clients. With the SoloLift, you’re not just lifting them, you’re also giving them valuable opportunities for movement — not to mention dignity. Read about the positive impact the SoloLift made on one PT’s clients.
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Related Articles:

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