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If lifting is physically challenging do you prefer boards or manual? I use boards to transfer my grandfather but have to lift him mostly for wheelchair to toilet, or wheelchair to bed, because the board is too hard to get right. Do you guys have the same issue?

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As the skin thins and becomes more fragile bruises and abrasions can become more common.
What I did was to make sure the sling was perfectly aligned and there were no wrinkles in the fabric. (I did this with everything sheets, clothes as well as the slings)
At some point you have to weigh risk VS benefit of getting the person out of bed. You have to ask am I getting them up and into a chair for ME or for THEM.
I wanted to keep things as "normal" as possible for as long as possible but at some point I came to the conclusion that he was safer in bed. I will admit that it was not until the last 1 to 2 weeks that my Husband remained in bed.
It was one of the last realizations that I had that the end was closer. With each piece of equipment that he had to use then "graduated" to a new low that required the use of another piece of equipment.
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I think bruising and skin tears would be a consequence of improper use and not having the right sling, lifts are used exclusively in the NH and there are never problems. If you are going that route have an OT go over your home to identify your needs and fit the sling (they're not one size fits all), and ask about some training to position it properly.
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Thank you very much for all this information. I am looking into hoyer lifts as medicare can cover it. Has anyone had issues with it causing skin tears or abrasions as I read few comments about it.
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Thanks for the OSHA link- a lot of good info there but it doesn't include any balance poles or Friendly Beds. A balance pole can be a critical aid in standing from bed (and can be held onto as long as necessary to prevent a fall). The report shows how devices can save caregiver injuries but ignores the fact that a person in a sling is not using whatever muscle strength they have- which may cause further decline. I would rather see a person using their muscles to the greatest degree possible to safely "help themselves"- better for the person and caregiver. I am not a fan of hoyers unless there are no other choices.
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If you need a hoyer lift and your insurance doesn't cover it, check Craigslist. They seem to have a lot of choice.
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By the way the equipment that I got was through Hospice.
the "guidelines" in a facility require 2 people for using equipment and in general re-positioning but at home that is not a requirement.
There is a safe way that 1 person can use equipment but I would caution if you have any doubts about your own physical strength and ability to handle moving someone with the use of any piece of equipment and that is anything from a gait belt to a hoyer then it would be best that either you have a caregiver at all times when there might be the possibility of having to transfer someone or they be placed where any transfer can be done safely. (That is not to say accidents don't happen in a facility, they can happen anywhere)
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That is tremendously helpful and very interesting reading, thank you!

I particularly enjoyed learning that there should have been two of me repositioning my mother in bed throughout the night ;) But, seriously, it is so good to see practical techniques fully explained.
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Moving this up. Have no experience in this.
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There are many good suggestions here -- I'd like to add a bit. My husband who is much bigger and heavier than I, cannot transfer himself or stand for more than a few seconds. Spoke with his doctor (after a hospital stay) and prescribed physical therapy through Home Health. A Physical Therapist came to the house to work with both of us in our environment as well as evaluating the home situation -- she also made suggestions and recommended products. She gave him exercises to do. A visit from an occupational therapist might be good also. Some equipment is covered by Medicare and must be prescribed by a doctor and patient be evaluated by a therapist to be sure it is the right fit. Good luck -- this is sooooo hard.
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I use a sheet. Sometimes the belt is too short, and the board is uneven or too difficult to maneuver. My mom has rheumatoid arthritis and her hands are crippled and half closed and she has no upper body strength. So the sheet is the best option!
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RayLin, check out renting a Sit to Stand. We rented one for $135 per month. It wasn’t a Hoyer, but there are other brands just as good. Check out “patient lifts”on YouTube.
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Transfer boards are very helpful but so are patient lifts. What I would do before going through the patient's doctor to try to get these items is to have him taken to physical therapy to check his physical abilities. They'll probably try to work with him to get him more able to self transfer. If this person is able to self transfer, they should be strongly encouraged to transfer themselves and stop risking injury to others, especially if they're heavy
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If he has Medicare go see a Physical Therapist for for advice how to safely transfer your grandfather and protect yourself from injury.
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Boy, those "sit to stand" are not cheap! But still cheaper than a NH.

I will book mark for future reference. Thank you Grandma1954.
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We just purchased (on payments) a Hoyer Advance 340 portable lift and we are still learning to use it. It’s is meant for transfers, including to the car and although rather bulky, it fits in my trunk. I should have gotten the electric one, it it was $100 more a month. This has worked the best for us.
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Rather than watch you tube videos, please ask your grandfather's doctor for a physical therapist to come to your home. The PT will evaluate your G-father and then suggest the safest way to accomplish transfers. They will also provide the training that you need to safely transfer him. (I'm an occupational therapist).
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If a person has enough leg strength to support their own weight a SuperPole (or balance pole of a Friendly Bed) can be grabbed to aid in standing and then pivoting into a wheelchair or onto a mattress or commode. Slings are a pain and a hoyer can be difficult and unsafe but may be the last resort. Another option (if arm strength is decent) is the Transfer Bar option of a Friendly Bed- it allows safe/independent bed transfers for many with no leg strength. Another option is a SureHands unit which is used as part of a ceiling lift system- much better support is given to the person and is easier on the caregiver. Another disadvantage of using a hoyer- the person is no longer using the strength they have so loss of strength may be accelerated.
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First I used a "gait belt" this helped me get my husband up and able to use his walker. I also used it to support/guide him while he was walking. When it became difficult to get him to stand up I used a "Sit-to-Stand"
A wide supportive belt is placed around the person and the the belt is attached to the hooks on the sit to stand. The person holds the handles on the upper part of the sit to stand and the caregiver raises the sit to stand. This will raise the person to a standing position easily. The sit to stand has wheels so you can transfer the person from a chair to a bed or wherever they need to go.
The sit to stand works well as long as the person can stand and hold onto the handles.
If they can no longer stand or hold on too much stress is put on the arms and there can be skin tears or abrasions. (the belt is padded but it is not meant to support the full weight of someone)
Once the person can no longer stand and support themselves the option is a Hoyer lift.
There are different types of slings to go with a hoyer. A mesh one with a commode hole, a full solid sling or a split leg sling. I used a mesh one with commode hole to get my husband into the shower chair then used a split leg sling after the shower.
At some point after going to the hoyer you will realize that it is easier on the person and safer to remain in bed. The chance for skin tears, abrasions increase with each use of the hoyer.
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Mom's complete inability to stand and pivot was a big factor in me finally putting her in a nursing home. Transfer boards are great for someone with enough upper body strength to assist in their own transfers but IMO aren't going to work for someone as limp as a rag doll. I researched lifts, both portable and ceiling mounted ones, and I came to the conclusion that I just didn't want to go there. Up until then I had spent a lot of my stress relief time lifting weights so I could help her stand and pivot, although she wasn't that heavy and I'm not that old her daily routine took a lot of muscle and when things went wrong and she fell it took everything I had.

(For a practical demonstration of wheelchair transfers and pivot transfers you should watch a few YouTube video tutorials.)
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Unless your grandfather is able to assist during these transfers, taking at least part of his own weight; or unless you are a big strapping lad and he is only say 110 lbs wet through; you are begging for a slipped disc or some other accident where you both get hurt: you because something gives way, him because you drop him.

Has anyone suggested a Hoyer lift to you? They come with slings which can be adapted for toilet transfers.
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