How to Use a Hoyer Lift & a Sling


A Hoyer Lift is a hydraulic device used for moving people short distances who cannot move by themselves and are too heavy to be lifted by one or two aides. A Hoyer Lift can be manually operated or electric powered. It is designed primarily to slide underneath a hospital bed, raise a patient easily, and lower her into a wheelchair. Using a Hoyer Lift protects the patient as well as the muscles and backs of the aides. Although one experienced operator can operate the lift, it's best to have two people to ensure safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoyer Lift
  • Patient to lift
  • An aide

Step One: The Patient

  • Roll the patient on her side, using proper hospital turning techniques. Center the sling behind her, with the bottom of the sling at the knees. Along the length of the sling, bunch up half of it against the patient's back. Roll the patient the other way, then straighten out the bunched-up portion. This places the sling under the patient without lifting.

  • Raise the boom of the Hoyer Lift after closing the hydraulic valve. Spread the lift's legs and roll them under the bed so the boom is over the patient.

  • Release the hydraulic valve control to lower the boom so that the chains reach the sling bars, taking care not to hit the patient with the boom or swivel bar. Slip the S-hooks through the holes in the sling bars. The shorter chains are attached near the shoulders, while the longer chains go to the knees.

  • Close the hydraulic valve control, then pump the boom up enough to tighten the sling. Ensure that the sling is firmly under the patient's rear end so he doesn't slip, and that his arms are inside the sling. If necessary, hold up the patient's head. Pump the boom up so that the patient is lifted above the bed.

  • Pull the Hoyer Lift slowly away from the bed. With the other aide guiding the patient, move the lift to where it's needed and lock the wheels.

  • Open the hydraulic valve control slowly to lower the patient, while the other aide guides the patient into the wheelchair. Ensure that the patient's hips are to the back of the chair. After the patient is situated, remove the S-hooks from the sling, which will remain under the patient.

  • Reverse the procedure to put the patient back to bed, and roll him back and forth to remove the sling.

Tips & Warnings

  • The patient may swing back and forth while the Hoyer Lift is moving. Also, the lift has many hard metal parts, so be careful that no part hits the patient.
  • The patient represents a lot of weight freely dangling over the floor. Be careful.

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