How to Use Sling Hoists

People who are bedridden due to illness or injury are unable to move on their own. Sling hoists are used to help the care taker pick the person up and transfer them from a bed to a chair without putting any strain on their backs. Hoists consist of a stand with an arm that holds a spreader bar. The spreader bar is what the sling attaches to. Hoists are used in hospitals, nursing homes and at home.

Test the battery by turning the hoist on to check if it is working properly. Check the maintenance sticker for the date of the last maintenance, which should be performed every six months. Choose a sling that is appropriate for the size, weight and shape of the person you are going to move with the hoist.

Put the brakes on the bed or chair that they are in, and the bed or chair that they are going to be transferred to. If the person is on a bed, raise the bed up to a comfortable working height.

Help the person roll onto their side. Slide the sling under their back. Place the bottom edge of the sling under their hip as far as it will go. Position the leg slats of the sling under their thighs. Pull the sling up slightly to create slack near their backs. Help the person roll onto their back. Ease their legs and lower part of their body through the sling.

Check the lower edge of the back of the sling, which is now under the patient's hips, to make sure that it isn't bunched up under them. Put the leg and chest attachments on the hoist's spread bar.

Hoist the person up a short distance, just high enough to test the sling's attachments to make sure that they are secure on the spreader bar. Raise the person up until they are clear of the bed or chair they are being transferred from. Move the hoist and the person over to their transfer destination and lower them onto it.

Unhook the attachments. Move the hoist away from the patient. Remove the sling by helping them slowly ease out of it at their own pace.


Tell the person you are going to move with the sling hoist what you are doing as you go. This reassures them and puts them at ease, as some people are afraid of being dropped. The leg and chest attachments may have to be crossed over each other as they are put on the spreader bar of the hoist.


Do not raise the person up to the hoist's highest point unless it is absolutely necessary. Inspect the sling and the hoist before use. Do not use if the sling is damaged.

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About the Author

Alexis Rohlin is a professional writer for various websites. She has produced works for Red Anvil Publishing and was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2007 Midnight Hour Short Story Contest for Rohlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Madonna University.