Comprehensive Guide on How to Use a Hoyer Lift

Hoyer Lifts are indispensable tools for caregivers and medical professionals when it comes to transferring individuals with limited mobility. These lifts are designed to minimize physical effort and ensure safe and comfortable transfers. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the proper use of a Hoyer Lift, covering essential steps, precautions, and best practices. Before attempting to lift anyone, it is crucial to practice with the lift using a helper, not the consumer, to familiarize yourself with the equipment’s operation.

Understanding Hoyer Lift Components

Hoyer Lifts come in both manual and powered versions. Manual lifts feature hydraulic cylinders and a hand pump, while powered lifts are equipped with rechargeable battery packs and a hand control with push buttons. Regardless of the type, all Hoyer Lifts share common components, and it’s essential to understand their names and functions.

Nomenclature for Hoyer Lift Components:

  • Boom: The vertical arm of the lift that extends downward.
  • Base: The wheeled frame that provides stability and support.
  • Cradle: The attachment point where the sling connects to the lift.
  • Hydraulic Pump Handle: Found on manual lifts, it is used for hydraulic operation.
  • Hand Control: Present in powered lifts, it allows for remote operation.

Using the Hoyer Lift

1. Preparing for the Transfer

Before starting the transfer, ensure that the consumer is informed about the lifting sequence. It is essential to communicate and gain their trust and cooperation throughout the process. The consumer’s weight must be centered over the base legs at all times. The boom of the lift does not swivel, so it’s crucial to keep the consumer facing the attendant operating the lifter.

2. Positioning the Lift for Use

  1. Spread the legs of the base as wide as possible to maximize stability.
  2. Use the steering handle to maneuver the lift into position near the consumer.
  3. Lower the lift to facilitate easy attachment of the sling.

3. Transfer from a Bed

If the consumer is in a hospital bed and needs support, follow these steps:

  1. Raise the side rails of the bed and have the consumer hold onto them.
  2. Raise the bed to its highest position to minimize the distance the consumer needs to be elevated.
  3. When ready to lift, lower the side rail and the bed to reduce the lifting distance.

4. Attaching the Sling

The U-Sling is commonly used for transferring a consumer from a bed. Follow these steps to attach the sling properly:

  1. Roll the consumer onto their side away from you.
  2. Place the folded sling behind the consumer’s back and roll them back onto their back.
  3. Pull the leg loops of the sling forward and under the consumer’s thighs.
  4. Cross the leg loops to secure them.
  5. Position the lift so that the cradle is directly over the consumer, ensuring not to lower the frame onto the consumer.
  6. With both sides of the sling attached to their respective sides of the cradle, slowly raise the consumer, elevating their buttocks just above the mattress.
  7. If the consumer is in a hospital bed, slightly raise the head section to assist with the transfer.
  8. Turn the consumer to face the attendant using the lift’s controls.
  9. Move the lift away from the bed and position the consumer over the seat of a wheelchair or another transport device.
  10. Lower the consumer into the wheelchair, ensuring that the wheelchair brakes are engaged.

5. Fitting the Sling from a Lying Position

For consumers lying in bed, follow these additional steps to fit the sling:

  1. Roll the consumer onto the sling, ensuring that the top of the commode aperture is at the base of their spine.
  2. Bring the leg support straps up and between the consumer’s legs and attach them to the shortest possible loops.
  3. If transferring to a high bed, you may need to lower the consumer onto an intermediate surface and adjust the strap length accordingly.

6. Additional Directions for Using Hoyer Slings with Chains

For Hoyer Lifts equipped with chains, ensure the following steps are followed:

  1. Attach the S-hooks of the chain to the loops of the seat hangers, with the hooks inserted away from the consumer, to the outside of the sling.
  2. Attach the ends of the chains to the swivel bar hooks. Adjust the height of the sling from the floor by hooking the chain into any suitable link.
  3. Connect the S-hooks of the back to links 1, 2, or 3, as needed, ensuring that an equal number of links are used on each side.
  4. Confirm that the S-hooks are securely attached to the chains and properly positioned.


Mastering the use of a Hoyer Lift is essential for caregivers and healthcare professionals. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure safe and efficient transfers for individuals with limited mobility. Effective communication with the consumer, proper positioning of the lift, and correct attachment of the sling are key to a successful transfer.

Remember that safety is paramount, and always adhere to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer and healthcare facility. With the right knowledge and equipment, you can provide the best possible care for those in need of assistance.

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