Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use a Sit-to-Stand Lift

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:

1. Inspection:

  • 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.

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