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How to Choose the Right Mobile Hoist – The Complete Guide


Mobile hoists can be a great help for people with limited mobility. This is why you’ll find them in almost every care home or hospital and in more and more residential homes where an elder lives.

These mechanical devices can offer extra independence to people with limited mobility. In institutionalised care facility, they are helpful for both the patients and the staff members caring for them. Moving a limited mobility patient from one place to another is a challenging task that often requires more than one person. Furthermore, you can easily get injured (back injuries are very common in this line of work) when moving a patient.

This is why mobile hoists are becoming more and more popular. As their popularity increases, so does the number of options you have to choose from when shopping for a mobile hoist.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution (every patient is unique and has unique needs), the good news is that there are a few rules of thumb to help you choose the right mobile hoist. But first, a quick primer.

What Are Mobile Hoists?


Mobile hoists are mechanical devices used to move a seated person from one place to another. You can use them to transfer a patient from a seat to another seat or to a bathtub, for instance. If you opt for a more advanced hoist, you can also use it to transfer someone to another room – you’ll find these hoists under the name of ceiling lifts.

Ceiling lifts are manually or electrically powered devices that (as the name suggests) are mounted on ceiling rails. The length and placement of the rails depends on the trajectory you need the lift to follow – from one room to another (for instance, from a bedroom to a bathroom) or within the same room.

If you don’t need the mobile hoist to work on bigger distances, you can opt for a wheeled hoist or a stationary one.

A stationary hoist is usually mounted on the floor or a wall. They have a fixed base and a mobile support arm that can pivot and transfer the user sideways. The support arm also has a sling that has to be placed around the user. You can do that for seated or lying patients and then use the sling to easily hoist them up.

A wheeled hoist is more mobile than a stationary one, but the functioning principle is the same. You have a mobile arm and a sling or a harness, but instead of the fixed base you have a wheeled one. This helps you cover larger distances and even move patients from one room to another.

How Do I Choose the Right Mobile Hoist?


Mobile hoists are a great investment for the user and the caregiver alike. In order to get the most out of your investment, take a look at the following factors before hitting the “buy” button:

  • Space considerations: mobile hoists can take up a lot of space, especially the wheeled ones and the ceiling lifts. Make sure your (care) home has enough space to place them safely. Aside from the space for the hoist itself, you also need to make sure that there is enough room for the patient to be hoisted safely i.e. without hitting objects in the room during the transfer.
  • Structural integrity: ceiling lifts rely heavily on the structure of your ceiling, so consult with a constructor before installing one. Stationary hoists have similar demands: the floor or the wall they are mounted on needs to be resistant enough to withhold the hoist and the user during transfer.
  • User weight and size: when you shop for hoists, look at the weight and size specifications. Most sellers clearly specify the maximum weight a hoist can withstand. You can also have a custom hoist created for a specific purpose, for instance, for a very tall person to use in the bathroom.
  • User mobility: can the user withstand their own weight, even for brief periods of time? If so, you can opt for stationary hoists. Otherwise, you will need a wheeled hoist or a ceiling lift and, most likely, a caregiver to assist the user.
  • Patient’s cognitive state: can the patient tell you what they need? Can they express pain or discomfort? Some hoists can be uncomfortable during the transfer, so it’s important to know if the user can tell you what bothers them.


You can easily buy excellent mobile hoists in the UK, no matter how complex the user’s needs are. But in order to make sure those needs are covered, we advise you consult with a professional. They can tell you what type of hoist you need and what extra options are worth the investment.






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