February 26, 2019 Jeff Conner
Think before you buy: proper lift selection and usage are important for both patient and caregiver safety. Consider features like versatility, convenience, permanence, and cohesion with the living environment before selecting your new lift. Also, always follow manufacturer recommendations for usage and ask your mobility vendor for a demonstration to ensure safety and security during operation.
If you are ready to gain better access to your home surroundings or if you are tired of physical limitations impeding everyday living, it could be time to consider lifts; there are numerous types and styles to accommodate everything from gaining access to your upstairs to helping you get in and out of your car. Before you rule out a lift as being an integral part of your everyday life, find out what they can do and how easy they are to implement. You may decide that the freedom and convenience provided by a lift make it a prudent and pragmatic investment for your home or living situation.
Choose your lift carefully based on needs and living situation
Your physical strengths and challenges will point toward the most practical lift options for you, but you also want to consider where and how you live. For instance, do you drive a vehicle regularly? Does your home have green space that you enjoy spending time in? How large is your home? These are questions that can also tease out the patient lifts that are most likely to fit in with your lifestyle and help perform the tasks you need them to daily.
For instance, some features to look for in your new lift include:
When it comes to mobility equipment with versatility, the unique shower-buddy system steals the show. This is an ergonomically-friendly device that cuts down on the need for numerous transfers, which reduces the risk of a fall. The shower-buddy is designed to assist with bathing and toileting, in one trip, which enhances safety for both patient and caregiver.
Investing in a stair lift is a big decision, but one that you will never regret. These are installed to be permanent fixtures of the home, at least until you move. Choose lifts for the interiors, pool lifts, or other hydraulic and rail systems for a sense of permanence that can be comforting.
If you or a caregiver plan on driving, vehicle lifts are worth a look. These have features so that you are completely independent, as the lift moves and stores your wheelchair in the bed of your truck for you with the touch of a keypad.
If you are concerned about how cohesively your new lift will fit into the household, know that a free-standing lift is temporary and mobile, and can be moved about to fit into your busy lifestyle and any living situation.
Proper Usage is Important for both patients and caregivers
It bears repeating that learning to operate the lift properly is key for safety, security, and efficacy in transfers and improving the overall quality of living for those relying on the device as well as their caregivers. Take time to study and practice using the lift, read the documentation that comes with your lift, and ask for a demonstration of proper usage from the installation technician. Make sure that you and your caregiver feel comfortable and that you know who to call if a question should arise.
Some safe usage tips for consumers include these recommendations:
- Invest in sensors that can detect when there is an obstacle in the path of your lift, which includes pets, toys, and children.
- Make sure that children do not use the lift or your mobility equipment without supervision; if the device is damaged due to your negligence, you likely will be responsible for the repair or replacement costs, if needed.
- Use the safety belt each-and-every time you utilize the lift; don’t try to cut corners here. Also, if using a stair lift, fold the seat up after each use to allow for free flow of others who may use the stairs
- No food or drink when you are operating your lift, liquids can be especially damaging to the electronics, which can compromise the integrity and safety of your lift.
- Only allow one person at a time to occupy the lift and use it according to the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Maintain the equipment with regular inspections and service, as needed, but make sure that only a qualified mobility technician works on, repairs, or installs your mobility aids and devices. If you allow a layman to make repairs or augment your lift, you risk personal safety, property damage, and loss of warranties in some instances. Don’t risk it; call the vendor who you bought the lift from for service or support.
Ready to see some lifts? Come see what we have to offer
Visit the mobility professionals at Pacific Mobility to see for yourself the difference that the right lift can make. From a stair lift to a shower-buddy, see how mobility aids can make your life accessible, autonomous, and convenient, contributing to better overall quality of life. Don’t be hindered by physical limitations or mobility challenges any longer; come see us to learn more.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stair lifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
- 24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
- Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
- Licensed General Contractor since 1998
- Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
- Board Member for Home Access Professionals
- Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)