My mom is in a nursing home and has to be lifted by a Hoyer Lift. The straps are bruising her legs and underarms, is this abuse?

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It's very important that you view the aides as they transfer your mom. My mom has been in rehab then nursing home for about 13 months now. She weights 250lbs and was always complaining about the sling hurting her legs underneath. I am proactive and as watching the whole process I realized this was a simple fix, however, you have to ask for everything, since they won't take any other actions if it requires more steps or work involved. I told them the straps were hurting mom as she transfers so please wrap them with a pillow case or soft towel to cushion her skin. They said "Oh of course they can", and have been ever since. It has made transferring a lot more comfortable for mom. We have decided to bring her home for care since they won't rehab her anymore due to lack of progress. Good Luck.
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I had 2 rather 3 slings that I used for my husband.
One was a full mesh sling with a commode hole we used that getting him out of bed into the shower chair for his showers.
We also had a sling that was a "split leg" sling those straps would go between the legs then cross over. We used that after the shower. Or we would use a full body sling.
We never had a problem with chafing, bruising. Once in a while I would get a red mark just from the pressure.
Keep in mind as the skin becomes more fragile you will see red marks, and possibly some bruising once in a while.
I would watch and see how they transfer. See if you can observe without them knowing you are watching. This way you can see how your Mom reacts and how they position the sling.
If there is a problem that you see this should be discussed.
If your Mom is combative and the transfer is necessary discuss medicating before the transfer, with enough time for the meds to work.
If the staff is rough or not checking the sling that is another problem that needs to be addressed.
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My mother is frail and must be transferred with a Hoyer Lift and has been for the last four years. I'm the one who does the transfer at home. There has never been bruises - ever. Ask the staff to show you a live demonstration of your mother's transfer. Don't take their word for it that these bruises are from the Hoyer Lift transfer. Document - in front of them - in writing (date and time) what you've seen- and pay exact attention to the location of the bruises to how she's positioned in the sling. By you showing them you're taking notes - this is a subtle, yet strong message - that you mean business when it comes to who is touching your mother. Ask to talk to your mother's doctor immediately, showing him/her the bruises. If the doctor is being dismissive, you let him know you're keeping notes on the location of the bruises. Document in writing when you've observed the doctor reviewing your mother's skin. Ask the doctor how can this be? Does she have a medical condition that's prone to bruising? Keep notes on your mother's bruise progress or regression - and also the location of more bruises if they develop. Every time you visit her - you - review her skin head-to-toe and front and back - even review the private areas; don't turn your mother to do this - ask the staff to turn your mother over and pay attention to their hands on your mother as you're reviewing the skin. Take a pair of gloves and run your hands through her hair, gently pulling away hair so you can review the scalp for dandruff or skin irritation. You can always contact the State's Human and Health Services Department to ask for advice on how to monitor what's going on with your mother. You don't have to give your mother's name. Tell them you're not looking to cause trouble but you will NOT TOLERATE bruising of any kind to her. Ask them the steps in how to proceed moving forward. Unfortunately, rough-housing/mishandling of frail elders happens way too often then is discussed in the mainstream media. You are your mother's advocate.
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Kathy, one time I saw the nursing stuff use a Hoyer Lift for my Mom, and Mom hated it, she would be flinging her arms and kicking her legs, yelling to get out. I never checked for bruising because the staff had to what they needed to do.

And my Mom was thin, but her dementia was in late stage and she couldn't stand or walk.

Once my Mom was moved to long-term-care, there was a strapping young fellow who was able to lift Mom up to transfer her, and it appeared Mom preferred this over the lift.

Guess it depends on the situation, the weight of the patient, and if the patient cooperates in the lift.
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Her arms should be inside the sling.

I also don't understand how there could be bruising, unless she has an underlying condition. Is the sling they are using a rectangle (either with or without a hole) or is it an upside down U shape? With the upside down U shape the leg straps can either go between her legs or they can go under them. Maybe they can try using it where they keep her legs together and the straps are underneath her.

If you need to, you can watch videos on YouTube that show the proper way to use a Hoyer Lift. Maybe the staff needs re-training.
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Dear Kathy,

I wouldn't hesitate to address your concerns with the nursing staff or manager of the care facility. I'm glad you noticed the bruising and want to get this addressed. Maybe the staff is being too rough, it is something that must be investigated. And if you do not get a satisfactory answer then don't hesitate to move your mom or report any concerns to the state.
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Unless your mother is on warfarin or similar..? This shouldn't be happening. I used a Hoyer lift with a sling to transfer my mother. The straps, properly fitted and adjusted, are padded, designed not to cause discomfort or excessive pressure, and would not cause bruising except to a person with some underlying condition that made them prone to it.

Underarms? Especially, this seems very odd. Is she being manually held upright, or what?

Have you observed her being transferred? Do you know exactly what is being done to move her?
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Have you discussed your concerns with the nurse manager at all? Give them the opportunity to troubleshoot. Maybe your mom is on medications that make her bruise easily, or she is prone to bruising. How much does she weigh? Maybe they need a larger sling or extra padding where her skin meets the sling material.
Why do you think this is abuse? Have you witnessed the staff transfer her?
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