6 Patient Lifting Aids To Save Your Back

6 Patient Lifting Aids To Save Your Back

Whether you’re working in community care, hospitals, nursing homes or home care environments, there are challenges that arise when transferring patients in and out of beds, chairs, toilets and showers. Nursing staff, carers and those who live with and assist people with mobility impairments understand that lifting someone may pose risks to their own health and safety. Joints and muscles are at high risk of strains causing pain, discomfort and potential damage. Of this, backs and shoulders are at high risk. It is important to lift patients in a way that the patient and carer are both safe and comfortable.  

Lifting aids and hoists are designed for every-day use to assist lifting, moving and transferring patients. Lifting aids and hoists are fantastic tools to reduce risk, reduce time and reduce effort for both carer and patient when moving between seats, toilets and showers. Different aids provide varied options and are fitted with different handles, hooks and slings. These differences allow person-centred care to be put into practise as you can match the attachments and special functions to the direct needs of the patient. The following will provide you with several lifting aids which are ideal for transfers and ensure your back gets a break while your patient is fully secured, comfortable and mobile.


It is often the situation in hospitals, nursing homes and home care environments where staff may be limited in number and only one carer is available to help a patient move about. In these situations, it is highly beneficial for lifting aids and lifting hoists to be operated by one person. The Salsa Mobile Standing Hoist is just that and can be operated by a single carer. It assists the carer in lifting their patient into a standing position and actively moving them. This ensures the carer is not straining their back while lifting their patient, which is important if they’re performing these actions multiple times every-day. This lifting hoist is perfect for bed to chair and toilet transfers. It is lightweight with 4 wheels making it highly manoeuvrable which is perfect for moving patients around. The Salsa Mobile Standing Hoist offers a removable footplate and height adjustable knee pad providing optimal comfort and safety for the patient while they are being transferred.


Larger patients mean heavier lifting during transfers. If carers are continuously trying to use their own strength and force to lift their patients, it can cause major issues for carers’ health and safety. It is important to think about both the patient and carer in these situations, ensuring everyone is safe and risks are reduced.

Bariatric lifting aids are perfect for heavier patients with the ability to lift up to 200kg or 320kg depending on the model. These aids amazingly reduce carers’ risk of strains, injuries, aches and pains. The Salsa Mobile Standing Hoist mentioned above, The Alto Client Lifting Hoist and The Forte 320 Bariatric Hoist with 4-point yoke are a few models that all offer this speciality. The Alto Client Lifting Hoist is a bariatric, heavy-duty lifting aid that helps carers to transfer and move patients between chairs, toilets and beds. Secure and comfortable slings of a variety of sizes, shapes and designs are attached to this lifting aid with ease. The slings wrap around the patient to secure them in position before they are lifted and transferred. This minimises the risk of back injuries for the carers and specifically ensures the patient is comfortable and secured. The Alto Client Lifting Hoist is highly manoeuvrable and offers a range of extras including tilt-pivot frames, 4-point yokes and scales. This hoist can lift up to 200kg and is ideal for hospitals, residential and community care.

The Forte 320 Bariatric Hoist is perfect for the larger user as it has the capacity to lift up to 320kg. This aid has a high-quality aluminium frame with electric controls for raising and lowering clients allowing ease of use. This specific design contains armrests for extra stability and reassurance when training gait, using the toilet and moving the client around. Wheels ensure this lifting aid is easily mobile and assists both carer and patient.


With the option of manual or electric models, The Sonata Mobile Client Lifting Hoist is perfect and easy for any carer to use. This lifting aid is ideal for every-day use in hospitals, residential and community care environments. When deciding between the manual or electric model it is important to note the key differences before making your choice. The original Manual Sonata Hoist has a slightly cheaper price tag and offers manual base width adjustments. The Electric Sonata Model provides “electric leg spread”, meaning you can adjust the base width electrically. This makes adjusting the base easier on carpet and when lifting a heavier patient. With slight differences in product specifications and measurements, attachment options and product quality don’t fluctuate between the two. Like the Alto, the Sonata models are compatible with a wide variety of slings that are placed around the patient prior to lifting. This allows the load of the patient to be taken up by the sling and the hoist rather than the carer. This minimizes possible strains and pain associated with manually lifting patients. The 4 wheels and lightweight design make the Mobile Client Lifting Hoist highly mobile and easy to move around.


Hoists and lifting aids may be large and obstructive when placed in smaller rooms with limited space. It is important to ensure the aids do not become a safety risk and/or hazard to people moving around the room. Our Neos Folding Lightweight Hoist offers the perfect solution with an aluminium folding frame that allows for easy storage. A quick release mechanism ensures ease and safety when folding the frame. This hoist is easy to use and can be raised and lowered electrically. The legs can also be effortlessly adjusted using a foot pedal to widen the base. This lifting aid can carry up to 150kg and is mobile and easy to manoeuvre. The Neos Folding Lightweight Hoist enables the carer to move their patient without straining their joints and muscles encouraging safety and self-care.


For anyone who uses a wheelchair or assists someone who uses a wheelchair, you’ll know how difficult, time consuming and strength dependent it may be to lift someone from a wheelchair into a car. If performed incorrectly, these actions and movements can put the patient and carer at high risk of injuries. It is therefore ideal for aids and devices to limit or remove the amount of manual handling and physical lifting needed during these transfers. Without any lifting involved in the process, Our IBIS Portable Car Access Lifter has a highly intelligent design that allows people who use wheelchairs to be seated in the front seat of a car. This smart device attaches to the car and helps transfer a patient from wheelchair to front seat at the push of a button. It removes the need for manual handling and therefore saves the carer from strains and pain and increases patient safety and security. It is lightweight and completely portable allowing it to sit in the boot of the car when not in use or while travelling.


Manual handling, lifting and transfers are skilled tasks that need practice and correct performance to ensure the health and safety of all personnel are maintained. It is important and recommended to speak with and consult professionals before attempting these lifts and transfers and using any products mentioned above. Please contact our Occupational Therapy Services with any questions, concerns or queries you have about products, lifting or transfers.