Hoists and Lifting
For an older person or someone living with complex physical disabilities, accepting care and support with day-to-day activities can be challenging – not least because when your mobility becomes limited and you’re faced with the loss of your sense of independence you may feel confused, fearful, guilty or even angry.
Care may come from a variety of places, from relatives and friends to care assistants, and the equipment could soon include a wheelchair, stairlifts, access ramps, lifts and hoists.
Pete Morley, Director at Obam Stairlifts, explains that when it comes to investigating the use of hoists in particular, fear can be one of the biggest obstacles people face.
“Using a hoist can be a frightening prospect: you’re trusting someone else to transfer you safely from one place to another. You’re handing over responsibility for your body to another human being – if I think about that for a moment, I can appreciate why people are nervous about it.
“In my experience people struggle to accept that they can’t physically move themselves from their bed to a chair, or from a chair to the toilet, but as part of our focus on the care of our customers, we’re dedicated to providing information on a number of options so that people are able to choose the best system for their particular needs.”
Pete explains that the human factor is at the heart of using a hoist, in both the care home setting and within a person’s family home. He said: “Professional care of this nature calls for equipment that will reduce any anxiety and promote trust between the person being moved and the person operating the hoist.”
Recent developments in the hoist category, including innovative wall-mounted equipment, mean that comfort for the person in the hoist and ease of use for the person controlling the hoist’s movement are both high up on the list of priorities.
Coupled with a neat appearance, wall-mounted hoists require less structural work, which reduces the overall cost and disruption during installation. Meanwhile, ceiling hoists can be used in a variety of spaces and are often called upon for people who need to move freely between multiple rooms.
Ceiling tracks can be installed to run across the room, to give people easier access to their bed and a chair, and they can run through doorways to connect people to their bathrooms or a lounge, so they can make full use of their home.
Pete adds: “In a care home situation hoists that can transfer people from their bedroom and bathroom, and can provide a safe transition from a bed into a wheelchair can give people better access to additional rooms within the home.
“This improved freedom to move between a bed and a chair or from room to room within a care home or family home environment can have far reaching benefits for the person using the hoist.
“Being able to enjoy meals with family or take part in activities with other residents can help a person remain part of a family or community and maintain relationships with those nearest to them.”
The impact of social isolation and loneliness in older adults has been well documented in recent years, with those affected often at greater risk of poorer mental health and incidents of falling and hospital stays.
A 2016 report on building companionship by Demos included a recommendation to encourage active citizenship among the older generation, including peer-led activities, such as group outings and collaborative work with local businesses.
It is hoped that this new wave of innovation, along with engaging care packages and the continual development of mobility equipment, including hoists, will help older people overcome mobility problems as they age and promote wellbeing.
For more information on the different adaptation products available, including hoists, please visit www.obam.co.uk