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My in-laws live in a home that was built in the 1950's and there isn't much room in the bathroom. They recently remodeled it to accommodate my FIL's wheelchair but there isn't much room between the toilet and the shower. The shower can accommodate a wheelchair but there is a soffett above the entrance to the shower. Don't have the actual measurements though. Does anyone know what the measurements need to be? I know there is a lift that a metal bar of sorts is put into the ceiling; this is out of the question as far as my MIL thinks, so the lift will have to be on a stand. Also, is it difficult to transfer a very elderly man whose legs do NOT support him from the toilet to the lift or the lift to the toilet?

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Ya, I should make a video because while Medicare pays for it and the pharmacy delivers it, no one teaches you techniques needed for the tricky maneuvers. Its been months of practice but havent mastered removing the diaper in it yet, haha. I will look up the Portalift, thanks!
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RR- bedroom products is what I am involved with but I try to offer help anywhere. The "Port-a-Lift" there which is a very interesting transfer device. I talked a long time with the company owner and got a lot of details. Not cheap but actual transfers look pretty easy. Has to be "sitting to sitting" transfers however.
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Wow! I could take some lessons from Riversoles, the Hoyer-Pro! Maybe you can make an instructional video sometime!
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Thanks Lilly and Friendly, I hoyer Mom into her wheelchair and take her to the kitchen to be with all of us in the evening for dinner. We try and do as much as we can and took her and her hoyer to the lakehouse 3 times this summer.She has no idea where she is but we need to get away sometimes. It was so much work it was incredible but so worth it for a change of scenery. I do not use the gaitbelt because it rides up her sides and breasts and I cant put it too tight and loosen it to sit her. I will try and find you Friendly and btw you two, I just talked to Turn2 and ordered that item today so I should be able to turn her when my husband isnt home now I hope, thanks again!!!!!!!!
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RR- you have my sympathies for your situation- it is amazing no one has been hurt yet. I hope you are using gait belts for lifting and that you checked out the better ones from Posey and others. There is clothing that snaps that may help the dressing problem but you certainly have your hands filled. Hardwood floors are important for a Hoyer so I am glad that is working. If you can find me on this website I may be able to offer other ideas.
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Reversoles: You are really working very, very hard! I was going to add that you may want to take a nursing assistant class and learn how to utlize those draw sheets better, and drop the lift. Learn how to turn & transfer & dress the Mom with draw sheets. Kind of like in the Turn2 video.
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Hello FriendlyBedGuy, my mom is 91 and probably 150 pounds, no lightweight.
She is strong but has no clue how to use it as her dementia is so advanced. She cannot hold on, her hands curl and she cannot understand. She cannot walk, says a few words here and there. So I guess the answer is no upper or lower body strength. I finally learned how to get her straight into a wheelchair with the hoyer by tipping the wheelchair back, yeah! Hoyering her into her recliner and into bed is no problem either. Lets say she wakes up soaked , which she always does, my morning helper and I lift and pivot her right into the wheelchair, then lift her onto her feet and pivot on and off the toilet to bathe her and do her business. Once back in the wheelchair if she needs the bathroom again, I have to do all that lifting again. I have a ranch, all smooth wood floors and the bathroom is just 2 doors down. I could wheelchair her in there and have the hoyer in there, but how do I get off her diaper, then the hoyer sling off to bathe her and how do you get the diaper and pants back on without lifting her by hand? I ordered a U-Sling thats mesh but I had a nylon one before and she seemed unsafe with her entire rear hanging out. Any ideas appreciated, my left arm I am afraid has been ruined for life now from lifting her. Thank You so much! RR
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Happyjack: You have my serious respect! I worked at a home once where they were so cheap that it took four of us aides to lift a patient every day. Later the fellow was transferred to a home with a lift - only after one of the aides married him!
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ReverseRoles- glad I could help. I don't know version would work out best for you as I met the inventor at a tradeshow and believed it was a great product to help people. I might be able to suggest something for your hoyer problem but need more info. Any upper or lower body strength for your mother? Are you transporting her to a far bathroom or a close commode? How heavy is she?
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FriendlyBedGuy, THANK YOU very much for that information. I have been trying to think on how to make something just like that but of course never did. Do you recommend the disposible ones or reusable? I could use this to change her and put the hoyer sling under her. You have made my night, thanks again.
Now, if you can tell me how to hoyer Mom on and off the toilet and remove her diaper and redress her I would be golden! lol THANKS!
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There is a different style of lift called the EasyPivot that will work in smaller spaces; some of my families with a patient with muscular dystrophy can use that. It is good to be able to get out of bed if at all possible, I commend you for not just settling for your loved one becoming bed-bound with bed baths and diapers. PT and /or OT home eval and training how to use any lift, or just seeing what other ideas they might have would be a very good idea if you can get it.
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FriendlyBedGuy: I went & watched the video for the Turn2 Turning Aid. Such a simple idea, but it appears to work. I'm going to order some to try. I can see how they would be helpful too when trying to position my father to prevent pressure sores. I still would not want my 77 year old mother to use them to reposition him, but can see how they would help all the rest of us. Thanks for your help.
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ReverseRoles- hey it's me again. I wish you well in your struggles and I can suggest another unknown product you should check out. It is a simple item that could help you turn your mother and should reduce risk of injury to yourself- check out the Turn2 Turning Aid- google "Turning Aid" and you can find info. I run into lots of helpful products at tradeshows, etc.- hope this helps!
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notwellmyself, thank you for the information . My Mom cannot understand , and lays flat all night because she has no idea how to turn over, I wish she did. She is I guess you would call it late stage dementia/alz. She doesnt know me, she cannot use her hands, she cannot feed herself, or walk, etc, she cant see much if anything either. But, let me tell you, her body is strong!! When I try and roll her she resists like there is no tomorrow! LOL !
I do have my morning Aide I hired , thanks God for her. Thanks again! RR
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Hi! I would strongly recommend a home evaluation by an Occupational Therapist as they deal with equipment recommendations for the bathroom. If a Hoyer lift fit into the bathroom it may work, however, they are cumbersome & not used with any recent hip or back injuries. The sit to stand lift is another option but I would refrain from using those with clients with limited shoulder range of motion. Sounds like a wheeled shower chair may be an option. He could be transferred into the chair via sliding board (if he has decent upper body strength & postural control) & then wheeled into the shower. Best Wishes!
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Sorry, if I could get my lefts & rights straight, that answer might make sense. The "At that point" sentence should say "unroll the sling on her right side".
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Is there not another hospice company. I live in rural MS and there are 3 or 4 different ones here. Is your mom in a hospital bed? If so, can she pull herself over on her side using the rail? The reason I ask, is if you roll up the far side of the sling (to about half-way), have her roll over on her right side and then you stuff the sling under her, all the way down from her head to the bottom of the sling. Roll her over onto her back and have her pull herself onto her left side. At that point you should be able to unroll the sling on her left side. I wish there were some way I could help you. I know there are days I wish there were someone to help me. Heck, there are moments I wish there were someone to help. We have finally found 2 aides we hire part-time. We are all able to do the Hoyer by ourselves. The hospice people will not operate it. They say because of liablity reasons.
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Notwellmyself, thanks for the posting and advice, I appreciate it. My Mom was on Hospice for less than 2 weeks and I canceled them. They send an Aide who couldnt roll my mom to bathe her. They then send another Aide who barely could roll her and she called into Hospice on day 2 saying she hurt her back rolling my mother. Hospice then told me they had no one else mornings and that they are only supplemental help and might have a 2pm opening for someone to come. For what? I need help mornings and evenings, not during her nap time, lol
I learned myself thru the brochure, research, talking and youtube , how to use the hoyer very well and its great for me. My issue with getting her on and off the toilet is my problem. This week I have had my morning helper and I havent changed my mom until my husband gets home and he helps me, gives my arm a break. Fortunately she didnt get uncomfortable that I had to take her into the bathroom before he got home.
Rural, Hospice only sends one Aide to operate the hoyer here and its really nothing to operate alone, its the rolling of the patient to get that sling under them thats impossible . If I could only figure out how to remove her pants to hoyer her onto the toilet I would be all set. Dont let it scare you, they are great. Thanks everyone and take care.
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Hospice please - don't think it is for the dying - it is for those who MIGHT be dying. If there is any expectancy they might not last 6 months they are eligible. They re-assess periodically and extend the diagnosis as long as needed. They can tell you what you need to know about when someone might be dying too, turns out (I learned the hard way just now) that many things we think are illness are the readying for death. We all need to learn to recognize and prepare yourself. But your question is about lifting. I was lectured by a hospice worker that you simply cannot use a Hoyer lift with only one person - and that is the only way to get someone who can not stand in and out of a chair or a bed. I think that's true, but I'm only someone who has been asking a lot of questions of nurses..... Good luck.....
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Reverseroles, I am so very sorry. I really don't know what to suggest. Have you had your back checked to make sure you have not hurt your spine? It sounds like you may have hurt yourself trying to lift her. Because I too have done that (it is my right arm), I can understand. The pain is really awful. While I hate to give medical advice since I am not a doctor and don't know you, I will tell you I have had somewhere around 6 (3 session) nerve blocks and will never have another. They are extremely expensive, even with insurance, and they don't last. The best thing I have found is someone who will do theraputic massage. Not the frue, frue, feel good massage, but rather someone who will really get in and work the knots out of your muscles. Even with that, I live on Excedrin , ice and heating blankets.
Now to your questions, my father is unaware anymore of when he needs to eliminate. We have now completely gone to diapers and pads. Unfortunately, at that point you need to be able to roll a person and tuck under them similar to when using the lift. It sounds to me as tho you need more help. Has anyone taught you how to roll up the sling and tuck under her? Is your mother at a point whre you can enroll her in hospice? We thought, and had been told, that a person had to be within 6 months of death. We found out that is not true. When the nurse came to do the assessment of my father, she was amazed we had not enrolled him earlier. With hospice, we have an aide that comes in 3 times a week to bathe my father and a nurse comes in 2 times a week to check on him. The social worker comes in about once a month to see if there is anything else we need.
Can your mother stand? Before my father became completely disabled, we had found a walker with an attachment at the top for him to hold himself upright with his arm strength so we could get pants on and off of him. I do not know what the thing is called, but it has a place to put the forearms in to help support the body.
Perhaps someone else has something they can suggest. I wish I could help you more. Please take steps to ensure you don't hurt yourself further. You don't want to get so hurt that you cannot take care of your mother. Please take care of yourself.
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Friendlybedguy and Notwellmyself, I am hoping and praying someone, maybe one of you, can help me with a question. I use a hoyer lift for my Mom from wheelchair to recliner and to bed and finally learned how to hoyer into a wheelchair straight. I do have to lift my Mom out of bed because I cannot roll her myself to put the sling under her. But, I hired morning help. My Big Problem is this........ My Mom is totally incontinent, cannot walk, says very few words, and is in pretty late stage alz/dementia. For some reason, she does know when she has to have a bowel movement by crying and moving her bum in her chair. I have been pretty successful with her doing her BM's in the mornings finally but not always. I bathe her on the toilet every morning and dress her. I have to lift her out of wheelchair onto toilet, adjust her on toilet to clean back and front of her, and then lift her up to pull up her pants and turn her into her wheelchair. I have been doing this for 2 years and my left arm wakes me in severe pain everynight now, its really bad, no exageration.
I Have to learn how to get Mom onto the toilet without lifting her. The hoyer will fit in the bathroom but how do I get her diaper and pants on and off?
HELP Anyone, Please, I am really desperate and will not put my Mom in a Nusring Home. My Moms very sweet, smiles and laughs even thou she does sleep alot and I just love her so much.
Thank You .
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Thanks again, FriendlyBedGuy. I'll try to figure out what my MIL has in mind as it's up to her to make the decision(s).
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I think moving their bed into the living room may be the way they handle having my FIL bedridden; not sure though as I haven't asked my MIL to explain. She seems to get upset when I ask too many questions; I'm not challenging her just wanting to understand. There might be enough room in the living room to use a lift but she didn't indicate that to me.

FIL still has some upper body strength, at least as far as I know, I think what part of the problem might be is for him to be able to follow instructions. Anything new confuses him. A couple of months ago when they first got their lift-assist recliner, the caregiver was trying to help him get into the chair. She had to use both hands to direct him and he had the lift control in his hand. Instead of pushing the reclining button he kept pushing the inclining button even though the caregiver was telling him to push the other button. He wound up on the floor but no injury. Caregiver had to get a neighbor to help her get my FIL up off the floor.

I did suggest to my MIL that they have another evaluation from a PT or nurse to see if there is anything that they could recommend. I think the last evaluation was in May but that is a long time ago at this stage of my FIL's life. She hasn't done anything about getting another eval. I can only suggest things and have to be VERY careful or she gets testy.

NO muscle strength in his legs. Am wondering if it is all due to arthritis or can part be due to his declining mental state. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.
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Hoyer lifts can be great but not for everyone. How does moving the bed to the living room help with transfer problems? Does he have reasonable upper body strength left because if so there are other things I could suggest. If there is any muscle tone left in his legs check out a "sit to stand lift" (google it) because there are some options there that would likely be much better than a Hoyer but a therapist would have to advise. If they are doing manual transfers at least have them get a fancy gait belt (Posey has many versions) instead of the simple standard ones- much easier, safer, and more comfortable for person and caregiver.
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notwellmyself - Thanks again. I talked to my MIL last night and she says that they just can't use the hoyer lift, so thanks for the offer to get the site you used. At this point, they are considering moving their bed into the living room. The saddest thing is that their primary caregiver will not longer be with them. She is a gem and it will be hard on both of my in-laws to not have her. With my FIL's dementia, anything new is a challenge so a new caregiver will pose yet another challenge for him.
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Hi Happyjack, No, unfortunately Daddy is completely incontinent now. He was able to walk with a walker and someone behind him for safety. But then he had to go in the hospital. By the time he left there a week later his legs had drawn up. We have now entered a whole new stage. When he could stand, we always stood in front of the lift chair so he could not slide out. I always put my knees to his knees. Now that his legs are drawn up he can't stand at all.
You may want to see if you can get an order for a physical therapist. The one they sent us, before the last hospital stay, showed us and Daddy how to transfer safely from the bed to his wheelchair and from his lift chair to the wheelchair. At one time Medicare would not continue to pay for the therapist if the person was not making progress, but right before Daddy went into hospice the nurse told us that was changing. She said that now they will pay to maintain the physical status instead of just progressing.
Life has now changed with Daddy in hospice. The last hospital stay was disasterous. He was taken to the ER for choking and left ready for hospice.
I will see if I can find the website I used. It had a built in application where one could pick the lifts of interest and put them into a spreadsheet showing dimensions, attributes etc so they could easily be compared.
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Hi Notwellmyself, Do you use your Hoyer Lift to transfer your dad to the toilet? If so, how does one do the transferring? There is absolutely no room on the sides of the toilet so the transfer would have to be done from the front if that is even possible in their tight quarters. Fortunately, my MIL had the foresight to remove the carpets from all areas that my FIL's wheelchair usually goes; sometimes, he does go into the living room but the caregivers roll him there. My FIL isn't able to use the lift chair anymore; last time, he slid to the floor even with the assistance of the caregiver. I will try googling for the room dimensions for the lift but I wasn't able to find specific info the last time I tried. Thanks.
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There are websites that tell you the room dimensions & furniture clearances needed for different types of lifts. Because we now have a Hoyer lift, I got rid of the info so I don't have the site address I used. But, I just Googled for it. We use the Hoyer Lift on carpet, but we make sure slow & steady is the order of the day. Daddy weighs 167 and it easily lifts him. I hurt myself several times trying to lift him before we agreed to the lift. I had heard horror stories about them and was terrified of them. However, it was one of the best things we ever got. The lift we got from Medicare is small enough that it can be used in small areas. The first couple of times he was a little scared of it, but now we joke about charging people to go for rides.
I don't know anything about the type of lift FriendlyBedGuy mentions, but my father has become completely disabled so it does not sound like something he would be able to use. We use the lift to move him from the bed to the living room so he can sit in his lift chair and be with everyone else. He can also be moved from the bed to a wheelchair in it.
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It seems we just finish settling one problem and another pops up! God bless you!
How about a potty chair for the bedroom if he can swivel into it. A bedpan would be the next option. Using a hoyer lift at home can be dangerous. My husband slipped out of one when we tried it. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt. He's now in a nursing home. Their hoyer lifts are much better, safer..and the aides do the transferring. Best of luck , hugs, and prayers. Corinne
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If he has no leg strength then the caregivers are lifting 190 lbs and it is amazing no one has been hurt yet. My products/expertise are for people that have some independence left- some level of upper or lower body strength. For people needing total help slings and a Hoyer is an option but that is also a pain- managing slings and moving on carpets is difficult and might be scary for him. Another option is a "Sit to Stand" lift which you can google to check out. It is a device with a simple "behind the back" sling and does the basics of getting a person out of bed and into a wheelchair or on a toilet. Nursing home has been using that for my 95.5 yr old father with bad dementia. A therapist may need to confirm it is suitable for him but that may be a much better option than a Hoyer. Nothing good comes free but if there is a choice of spending some money or completely losing independence (and paying huge dollars) for ALF or SNF (current average for that is about $250/day) any item to keep a person home can be a bargain. Hope this helps a bit- good luck.
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