How To’s

Guidelines for Functional Use of the SoloLift

The SoloLift will transfer clients into an upright supportive walker or standing device. Even a low-functioning, non-weight-bearing individual can be assisted to move from sitting to standing, replicating the normal arc of movement in the transition from sit-to-stand. With the SoloLift, this natural movement promotes participation and dignity during transfer, and opens up the possibility and opportunity for healthy upright positioning in a supportive walker or standing device.

In addition, the SoloLift can be used to transfer a client to a toilet or commode. The SoloVest is attached above the client’s waist, which provides easy access to client clothing prior to toileting. The Leg Straps support the client, and the client may hold onto the padded bar during transfers. Because the SoloLift frame surrounds the client, and the SoloVest hugs the client, he or she feels supported and safe throughout the transfer.

The SoloLift is simple, secure, stable, safe, and most importantly, it promotes dignity.

NOTE: The SoloLift is designed for TRANSFERS ONLY. The client should not remain in the SoloLift for more than the time required for a transfer.

This article will describe the purposes, features, and appropriate use of the SoloLift.

SoloLift Transfers

  • Wheelchair to Pacer
  • Wheelchair to Toilet or Commode

SoloLift Features

  • Frame
  • Batteries
  • Lift Arm
  • Leg Straps and Handhold Bar
  • The SoloVest

SoloLift Transfers: Step by Step

  • Sit-to-Sit
  • Sit-to-Stand
  • Wheelchair to Floor Mat

SoloLift Transfers

For all transfers, it is recommended that the caregivers try the SoloLift themselves, to fully appreciate the comfort and convenience of transfer. Also, demonstrating the transfer to a client prior to their transfer can increase cooperation.

Wheelchair to Pacer

The comfortable arc-like motion of the SoloLift transfer mimics natural sit-to-stand transitioning. For many transfers the client's feet need never leave the floor, and the client may actively participate in the transfer according to ability. The client can maintain eye contact with the caregiver and can hold the padded bar during the transfer.

The SoloVest can be placed on the client by one caregiver. The SoloVest hook attachment draws the vest into a secure hold; the ample surface area of the vest assures a client’s comfort during transfer. The back of the SoloVest attaches with clips to the lifting arm, which lifts the client in a natural nose-over-toes position, when activated. (Figure 1)


Figure 1

Wheelchair to Toilet

The SoloVest is unique in that it lifts the client from above the waist, radically simplifying toileting. For transfers in a sitting position, the SoloLift's leg straps attach easily onto the Handhold Bar, which can serve as a handhold for the client during transfer. The SoloLift's padded, low profile Lift Arm attaches to the vest, lifting the client from behind, so there's nothing looming over the client, who stays within easy reach of the caregiver. (Figure 2)


Figure 2



Compact and low-profile, the Rifton SoloLift can pass through a standard 32" door with ease, and can be stored in a small space. An ergonomic foot pedal expands and retracts the width of the SoloLift frame for transfers to and from wheelchairs, gait trainers, and toilets. The two rear casters lock, to make the mobile SoloLift stable. (Figure 3)


Figure 3

Press down on the foot pedal to expand the frame legs for wheelchair or Pacer access to the SoloLift. Press down on the foot pedal to retract the frame legs and enable the SoloLift to move through a doorway (legs will lock into the narrower position.) A crossbar makes it easy for the caregiver to maneuver the SoloLift.


The SoloLift comes with a control box containing two batteries, and two wall chargers. The battery is not made for continuous use: it has a 10% duty cycle, which means that for every minute that the SoloLift is operated, it requires ten minutes at rest.

The batteries should be charged frequently to ensure maximum battery life. For best results, recharge fully after each day of SoloLift use. When the batteries need charging, an indicator light on the front of the hand control will light up. (Figure 4)


Figure 4

To re-charge the battery, remove it from the control box, and secure it to one of the two wall-mounted chargers that come with the SoloLift. The charger and indicator light will shut off automatically when charging is complete. Charging normally takes about six hours; if it takes more than eight hours, the battery should be replaced.

Note: There is an emergency stop option available on the control box. Should the electrical operation fail while a client is in the SoloLift, the caregiver can pull the red regulator straight up: this will slowly and safely lower the Lift Arm. Alternately, there is a hole marked “Emergency” on the control box. Use a narrow object such as a ballpoint pen to push this hole and lower the Lift Arm. Pushing the red emergency stop button on the control box will stop movement of the SoloLift Lift Arm.


The SoloLift's padded, low profile Lift Arm lifts the client from behind. The Swing Arm extension both lowers in place behind the client, and lifts up out of the way. Because the Swing Arm is designed with a spring to balance the weight of the arm, it will stay in any position until it is moved further. There is padding along the Lift Arm and behind the client’s head for protection and safety. The SoloVest hooks on the SoloVest are the quality standard used by cliff climbers. The SoloLift can transfer clients up to 275 lbs.

There is a blue lever on the Swing Arm that locks and unlocks the pivoting function: Push the lever up to rotate the client. (Figure 5) A client can be turned in place 180°, for example, to be positioned into a forward-facing gait trainer or other device. Pull the lever back down to lock after the rotation is complete.


Figure 5


For seated transfers, two convenient leg straps are available. These come in one size for all clients, with a T-handle for easy grab hold by the caregiver. Place the leg strap behind and under the client's knees, and hook it onto the frame. The simple ring attachment makes securing the clients legs quick, intuitive, and pinch-free. (Figure 6)


Figure 6


The SoloVest comes in three sizes: small (girth 22"-34") medium (girth 28"-40") and large (girth 36"-60"). All three sizes of vests can lift 350lbs. The circumference of the client's trunk has a big influence on vest size selection. The therapist supervising the transfer should make this decision.

For some clients, the large vest, with more surface area, may be preferred for comfort during transfer. However, the small vest may be less likely to slide up on the trunk of the client. For example, for a thin, 160lb client, the small vest may be more appropriate. The ample overlap of the vest flaps can accommodate a variety of trunk sizes.

The SoloVest’s design has contoured and segmented plastic shell inserts covered with 1" foam, sewn into the vest. The soft upper portion of the vest guarantees comfort for all clients without pressure under the axilla. The SoloVest is suitable for female and male clients.

The hook attachment draws the innovative strap system of the vest into a secure hug-like hold. Because the Lift Arm attaches to the SoloVest at the client’s upper back, the SoloLift enables a natural sit-to-stand motion with controlled, uniform pressure and even distribution of body weight during transfer. The client’s torso is gently, yet securely, held during the transfer; the ample surface area of the vest distributes pressure evenly.

The two flaps of the vest are designed to overlap, for adjustment when fitting a client. When the vest is initially fitted, it is important to push down on the back of the vest, to place the bottom of the vest lower than the waistline of the client. Once the vest is in place, overlap the vest flaps in front, securely and firmly, and clip the automotive-grade snap-in buckles together. Tighten the straps, lower one first, particularly for clients with larger abdomens. (Figure 7)


Figure 7

Observe the client closely as lifting is initiated. The more the client leans forward, the more comfortable it will be for them. The non-slip fabric sewn into the lining, prevents the SoloVest from riding up on the client during a transfer. This medical-grade, anti-microbial material is durable, and can be wiped down regularly for cleaning.

Transfers: Step-by-step

These instructions are for a single caregiver; however, for each transfer, the caregiver must assess whether additional caregivers are needed, to expedite transfer.

  1. Lock wheels on client equipment prior to transfer.
  2. Position the SoloVest around the client and pull the straps tight. The vest must be fitted low on the trunk and secured well prior to transfer. IT IS IMPORTANT TO TIGHTEN THE VEST STRAPS SECURELY.
  3. Extend SoloLift base legs if necessary. Roll the SoloLift up to the client with the swing arm in the up position. Once the SoloLift is in position, rotate the Swing Arm down behind the client.
  4. Lock the SoloLift rear casters. Attach SoloVest hooks onto the SoloLift Swing Arm. Undo the client’s wheelchair seatbelt.

Sit-to-Sit Transfer Using Leg Straps

  1. For transfer to the commode: The caregiver should decide the most considerate way to adjust clothing for a client. For transfer of the client in a seated position, fully clothed: Once the SoloVest clips are secured, attach the leg straps by hooking the leg strap rings over the blue hooks on the user handhold. Adjust the length of the leg straps as necessary.
  2. Or, the caregiver may choose to leave the leg straps unattached initially, and lift the client, in the SoloVest, into a partial standing position to adjust clothing. Then return client to a sitting position, and attach the leg straps.
  3. With the client secure and comfortable in the SoloVest, place the clients hands on the padded bar (if they can hold on.) Activate the lift by using the hand control, verifying that the SoloVest placement is secure and is not sliding up. Lift the client only high enough to perform the transfer.
  4. With the SoloLift and client in place, remove the client’s wheelchair, and roll a commode into position under the client.
  5. Or, remove the client’s wheelchair and then unlock the SoloLift casters, and use the foot pedal to close and latch the frame legs. Wheel the SoloLift with the client to a toilet.
  6. Lower the client onto the commode or toilet (first expanding the SoloLift frame legs if necessary.) With the leg straps in place, the client is placed in an optimal position, without any further re-positioning needed. The SoloLift can be moved elsewhere during toileting and you may leave the SoloVest on the client during the toileting process.

Sit-to-Stand Transfer Without Leg Straps

  1. For transfer to the Rifton Pacer: The SoloLift is in place, the SoloVest is on the client, attached to the Swing Arm. Remove the footrests of the client’s wheelchair, or place them to the side, and place the client’s feet on the floor. Position the clients hands on the padded Handhold. (For very high wheelchairs with fixed footrests, you may choose to use the leg straps initially. Once the client has been transferred from the wheelchair, the T-handle on the leg-straps makes it easy to detach the straps and lower the clients’ legs to the floor.)
  2. With the client secure and comfortable in the SoloVest, activate the lift by using the hand control, checking that the SoloVest is secure and not sliding up.
  3. Lift the client only high enough to perform the transfer. The client’s feet need never leave the floor. The client is lifted in a natural nose-over-toes position, in a comfortable arc-like motion that mimics natural sit-to-stand transitioning. The client can hold the padded bar for added security, and can participate in the transfer; the transfer is comfortable and dignified.
  4. Once the client is upright, remove the wheelchair. Push up the blue lever on the Swing Arm. This unlocks the pivot mechanism, to allow the client to rotate 180º.
  5. Rotate the client 180º. Roll the Pacer right up to the patient, and lock the brakes on the front Pacer casters.
  6. Bring the client’s arms into place on the Arm Prompts, securing the forearm straps and wrist straps for a large active client.
  7. Attach the Hip Positioner, and adjust it to hold the client’s body in position, to support the clients weight as needed.
  8. Slowly lower the SoloLift until the client is fully supported by the Arm Prompts and Hip Positioner.
  9. Unhook the SoloVest from the lift, and move the Swing Arm up and out of the way. Open the vest strap buckles, and remove vest from client. Secure the Chest Prompt and any other Pacer prompts for the client as needed. Unlock the Pacer casters.
  10. Encourage the client to move forward, away from the SoloLift.

Wheelchair to Floor Mat

The Lift Arm can be lowered sufficiently to place the client in a seated position on a floor mat. As with other transfers, the vest is secured on the client in a wheelchair. The SoloVest hooks are clipped in place, and the client is comfortably raised off the wheelchair seat. The wheelchair is then removed, and the client is gently rotated 180º. A floor mat is placed below the client. As the client is lowered, the SoloLift should be moved gently away from the client, allowing the client to be lowered comfortably on the floor mat. The SoloVest is unhooked from the frame, and the SoloLift is rolled away.

To return to the wheelchair the client is placed in a seated position on the floor mat and the SoloVest is secured on the client. The SoloLift, with the Lift Arm lowered, is positioned so that the client has their back to the SoloLift. The frame legs are placed under the mat on either side of the client, and the SoloVest hooks are clipped in place. The casters of the SoloLift do not need to be locked for this transfer. The client is raised into an upright position. Once the client is upright, gently and securely rotate the client 180º so they are facing the SoloLift frame, remove the floor mat, and place a wheelchair behind the client, with brakes on. Lower the client to a seated position in the wheelchair.

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