You may have always needed lifting or this might be something new (and possibly strange) to you; and now you’re taller and heavier, your parents and PAs (Personal Assistants) need to take care to avoid injuring their backs as well as make sure you’re lifted safely. Your physio and OT can give advice on this and equipment that will help, such as hoists.

Hoists provide a mechanical way of lifting and moving you from one place or position to another (sometimes called transferring), for example if your muscle weakness makes it too difficult for you to get from your bed into your wheelchair, or from your wheelchair onto a toilet or a shower seat. 

A hoist is usually a strong metal frame which has a lifting mechanism operated manually or powered by electricity. A sling on a ‘spreader bar’ is suspended from the frame or lifting arm to support you as you’re lifted.

Your OT will be able to assess you and your parents / PAs needs, advise on the most suitable hoist and slings and organise getting them. They and / or the supplier of your hoist will make sure your parents / PAs have the training they need to use the hoist 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 or Education Authority).

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