Patient lifts are essential in transferring those lacking mobility from a bed to a chair or other areas for care. A patient lifter sling connects to the lift itself and is the actual device that holds the patient. There are a variety of patient lifter slings to suit every need.
Universal slings, also known as quick-fit slings, accommodate the majority of patient needs when using a lift. A universal sling is the easiest to use for transfer into a wheelchair due to the fact the bottom is open allowing the patient to slide easily into the chair. They come in two styles: a full-body design and a U-shape design. A U-shape lift is ideal for most needs while a full-body sling is for those individuals who require more support particularly in the neck and head are.
Hygienic slings, also called bathing and toileting slings, are specifically designed to accommodate daily activities in the shower or restroom. Hygienic slings are designed to fully support the patient sitting the sling while making it feasible to remove clothing. Toileting slings have a hole strategically placed for when the patient is sitting on the toilet while in the sling. Showering slings are often made of mesh to allow for quick drying. For all hygienic slings, make sure that if there is foam padding, that it is in a closed-cell to allow for washing the sling while keeping the foam itself dry.
Lastly, there are slings that are called stand up slings. These slings are easy to fit and are for those patients who have some amount of ability to bear their own weight while standing. These slings generally feature a cross-over strap to keep the sling in place during transfer and pads to support the back and under-arms while the patient is in the sling.
Slings make it easier for both the patient and the caregiver to transfer a patient with minimal risk of injury to either. When purchasing a sling, keep in mind the weight capacity, and the width and length of the sling to make sure the specific sling is able to accommodate the specific patient’s needs.