Using a sit-to-stand or stand-assist lift is an excellent choice for older adults who can support some of their own weight and actively participate in their care. To effectively use a sit-to-stand lift, follow these step-by-step instructions. You’ll need the lift itself, a suitable sit-to-stand sling, and access to a power outlet if you’re using an electric patient lift.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use a Sit-to-Stand Lift:
- Examine the patient lift and sling to ensure they are in good working condition, with no damage to the sling and freely moving wheels on the lift.
2. Patient Positioning:
- Start with the patient seated on the edge of a bed or chair.
3. Sling Placement:
- Wrap the center of the sling around the patient’s back so that the upper straps emerge just under the patient’s arms.
4. Thigh Support:
- Bring the narrower sections of the sling around and under each of the patient’s thighs, directing them towards the middle.
5. Attach Sling to Lift:
- Hook the straps onto the attachment points on the patient lift.
6. Patient Preparation:
- Instruct the patient to grip the handholds and place their feet on the footplate of the patient lift.
7. Knee Pad Adjustment:
- Adjust the knee pads so that they rest just below the patient’s kneecaps.
8. Lift Operation:
- Depending on the lift type, either pump the lever (for hydraulic models) or press the button (for powered models) to raise the patient to a standing or semi-standing position.
9. Transfer or Mobility Device:
- Move the sit-to-stand patient lift over to the surface to which the patient is transferring (e.g., a manual wheelchair, power chair, or transport chair) or assist the patient in transferring to their mobility device (e.g., mobility scooter, rollator, or cane) after raising them to a standing position. If needed, remove the footplate to allow the patient’s feet to touch the floor.
Who Can Use a Sit-to-Stand Lift?
Sit-to-stand patient lifts are suitable for patients who meet specific criteria:
- Possess adequate torso and upper-body strength.
- Can support their neck and head.
- Can grasp the lift’s handholds with at least one hand.
- Are capable of bearing 25-75% of their body weight on their legs, ankles, knees, and feet.
- Demonstrate cooperation during the transfer process.
Patients who meet these criteria can benefit from a sit-to-stand lift, which offers cost-effective support for standing, dressing, toileting, and bathing.
Types of Sit-to-Stand Patient Lifts:
There are two main types of sit-to-stand lifts:
- Manual (Hydraulic) Lifts: Operated using a hydraulic lever, suitable when caregivers have the strength to operate the lever.
- Electric (Powered) Lifts: Powered by batteries or connected to a power outlet, ideal for bariatric patients and when caregivers are unable to operate a hydraulic lever.
Selecting the appropriate type of lift should involve consultation with the patient’s healthcare team and training for the caregiver on proper usage.
In conclusion, learning how to use a sit-to-stand lift is a relatively straightforward process. Always consult with the patient’s healthcare provider and ensure that the user and caregiver are trained in its safe operation. Once mastered, the sit-to-stand lift can greatly enhance the patient’s ability to transfer and maintain or improve their physical strength.