If you’ve never been able to weight bear, you’re probably already familiar with hoists and hoisting. If transferring is more recently becoming difficult or unsafe, this might be something new to you that you’re needing to consider now. Some adults have shared that they resisted using a hoist for as long as possible, wanting to maintain their independence and because they saw it as extra equipment and extra hassle. That’s totally understandable, although if you’ve been assessed as needing to use a hoist when transferring, for example from your wheelchair to your bed or onto a toilet or shower seat, it will be to do with ensuring your safety and the safety of your partner / personal assistant(s) who need appropriate equipment to assist you to move in a safe way and also take care to avoid injuring themselves. 

Your physio and OT can give your partner / PAs advice about safe lifting in general and advise on the best equipment to help. This is often a hoist which is usually a strong metal frame which has a lifting mechanism operated manually or powered by a battery or electricity. A sling on a ‘spreader bar’ is suspended from the frame or lifting arm to support you as you’re lifted. There are different types (see below) and your OT will be able to advise on the most suitable one for you and organise getting it. All PAs should be trained in safe ‘moving and handling’ – your OT or the supplier of your hoist will make sure your partner / PAs have the training they need to use it safely. 

Any hoists and slings you have should be serviced regularly as advised by the manufacturer. This may be carried out by the manufacturer or the supplier - or arranged by the local community equipment service if your hoist is supplied though statutory services (such as the NHS or Local Authority).

Page last reviewed / updated: April 2021 
Next review due: April 2022