Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hoyer Lift Assistance Needed

I am having difficulty with Dear Son's Hoyer Lift. I have an Invacare Hoyer Lift (It's a rental and converts to a purchase once it reaches the purchase price; it did not come with an instruction manual.) and a full body sling that provide head support and does not have a commode opening. I have read the sling manual that I received with the purchase of the sling. I know the sling is the correct size because the therapists measured him and because I was able to use it properly the first time.

Problem: I am attempting to use the Hoyer Lift to get him out of his hospital bed and into the wheelchair. I can get the sling positioned properly, I can lift him with the lift however the problem arises when I release him into his wheelchair. I can't seem to get Dear Son's rear into the seat of his wheelchair. I keep falling short and Dear Son's rear end ends up on the front of the seat and I have to lift him up to position his rear end in the back part of the seat of the wheelchair. I did it successfully on Wednesday, so I know it's possible but I haven't been able to do it since.

When I attach the sling onto the Hoyer Lift, I am using the second loop (I have fabric sling hooks and not chains.) closest to his head and attaching that. I can't use the loop closet to his head because I can't seem to pull it up enough to attach it to the Hoyer Lift.

I have the Hoyer Lift positioned dead center over his waist and in the full release position when I am hooking the sling to the lift.

I am guiding him into the wheelchair however he needs be more upright in the sling so that when I lower him into the chair he is in a more upright position so I don't have to lift him. I am using the second loop on the bottom of the sling as well, because if I use one further away, I can't lift him up high enough to move him off of the bed.

If I have to lift him to get him positioned into the chair, it would be a lot less aggravation for me to just lift him into the wheelchair than to waste the time to get him into the sling, move the sling to the wheelchair and then have to lift him into the wheelchair anyway. However, I am trying to be a good patient and use this mechanical lift.

As you can see from the picture, The Hoyer Lift has tiny instructions that are attached to the round bars on the Hoyer Lift however they are in a small font and go almost all the way around the lift. The print is so small, that it didn't even show up on the picture, and I was standing pretty close to it. I can't read such tiny font and I can't read in circles since the instructions go half way around the bar. What genius thought of this?

As you may have surmised, I have no patience and no mechanical ability when it comes to these things.

I tried to search for instructions for the lift online at Invacare's website however the search tool couldn't locate them. I have a vendor coming on Monday however unfortunately, Dear Son needs to get out of bed prior to Monday evening.

Problem #2: I can't seem to get this legs of the Hoyer Lift to remain spread while I move/transport him. I can lock the legs in the full spread position however then the lift won't go through the three foot wide doorway. If I unlock the legs, then the legs move toward the center (you have to have the legs spread to support the weight of the patient). Does anyone have any ideas on how I can lock the legs when they spread less the full open position? I need to be able to transport him with the legs spread about 70% to fit through the doorway and I need it to lock in place. Here's a picture of the base. In the lift I used at the Respite House, it five slots in the bottom that you could hook the metal post in to lock it in place.

Yes, technically, I know you aren't supposed to transport him however I don't have much space in his bedroom so I am transporting him from his bed to the wheelchair in the dining room, which is about ten feet away. I have been assured this is o.k. from one of the nurses who came to my apartment. She checked the base and wasn't sure how this particular one worked and she uses Hoyer Lifts every day.



Deb said...

Dream Mom-

Can you be more specific about which invacare lift you are using? We might be able to help.


Dream Mom said...

On the serial number label, it says Model #9806, the large sticker on top says Model @9805.


Ashley said...

Hi Dream Mom,

I know you mentioned before that Dear Son's wheelchair is a tilt and recline...Have you tried putting the wheelchair in the most reclined position to transfer him in the chair?

I did find the user's manual for the 9806 model invacare lift. it's very general though, but maybe it can help. Here is the link. I dont think you can have the legs locked in at a partway postion...but I'm not totally sure.

if that link does not work, its on this page...under owners manual.

Good Luck!


Deb said...

Dream Mom-

I just e-mailed you the owners manuals as attachments.

I hope it helps!


Dream Mom said...

Thanks for your help today. I'll check them out.

Natan said...

Hey, found your site through Karen's blog (

I'm only a new grad OT, so I don't have too much experience with hoyer lifts. If you're still having trouble, I would recommend putting a few pillow cases or folded sheet over the wheelchair cushion. This way, even if you only get him halfway on the seat, all you have to do is pull the pillow cases back to have him slide to the back of the chair instead of having to actually pick up your son and move him to the back. I do this all the time in the hospital I work at.

Also, here's the manual to the 9805:
9805 Owners Manual (PDF)

jdkelly said...

Do you go into the chair fromthe front or the side? I have uded different types of hoyer lifts for the past 15 years with work this is what works best for me. DSs chair reclines right. Tilt the chair back as far as it goes then go in from the side the legs of the lift need to go around the back wheels of his chair his bottom will proably be above the back of the seat and as you lower him his butt should be hitting right above the seat once he is lowered unhook the lift raise the back of his chair and he should be all the way back. Even if his chair is sitting upright this will work better then going from the front and pulling him back. also when going this way you are in a better position to hold/pull him back while lowering him to also get him in the right position. The poster natan suggested putting a pillow cas on his coushin this would help to pull him back easier but could cause sliding There are no slip/slide pads that can be placed on the coushin that work well for helping move someone back with out the fear of sliding I think it is called an easy glide I can let you know about that next time I go to work next weekend if you want.
As far as moving the lift and keeping the legs open I don't know what to suggest at work we stopped using that type of hoyer because of that problem with the legs closing and not being as stable. The type we use now is batterie operated and can very safely be used with the legs closed. If that would be something you would like to look at when I go to work next I can look up the web site and maybe you would be able to work out a simular renatl agreement with a lift like that. It can very safetly be used and move with the legs closed infact I only open the legs on it to fit around a chair.
I hope my discription helped some it is hard to describe with out being there to show what I mean

Dream Mom said...

Thanks everyone. Lots of good tips.

JD-I tried to respond earlier but my comment got lost in cyberspace.

I understand what you are describing and it makes sense. I will try it tomororow. I am not certain if I can go in from the side as Dear Son's chair is quite large and I don't know that I can get the Hoyer Lift legs around it but I'll give it a try.

Things went better today. I was able to hook him up on two different colored loops versus the same color as the manual suggested. I tilted the chair all the way back, as was suggested, and that did help.

I will work on getting a different Hoyer Lift, if this hasn't converted to a purchase. It doesn't feel safe to me to transport him since I am worried about tipping when I maneuver him.

Thanks again for all of the good suggestions and the manuals.

Dream Mom said...

JD-I tried your suggestion of coming in from the side however the lift does not fit around (I also tried under)the chair as it is quite large.

I am having success about half of the time but it's a lot better than it was the other day so I must be improving a bit.

I contacted the DME vendor yesterday and all of Dear Son's equipment has now converted to a purchase, including the Hoyer Lift. I need to speak with Customer Service to discuss getting a different lift, however the wait time was too long and I didn't have time to wait. I'll try again today.

JD-If you have time, can you e-mail me the type of lift you are using? My e-mail is I'll try and check out the Invacare website as well and see what other options they have with regards to lifts. Dear Son has an Invacare Lift so I doubt I would be able to switch to a different brand.

Thank you for your time and assistance with this.

jdkelly said...

DM I don't go to work again until Sat night but I will e-mail you what we use Sunday. I think that the lift also has a web site on it if I remember correctly

Teresa said...

I have worked with these lifts a bit and have found that pushing the knees down and back while lowering the sling is helpful. It doesn't hurt them it just swings their bottoms back into the chair.

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