Best Chairs for People Who Are Hoisted
Across the UK, thousands of people rely on hoists every day. A hoist allows a carer to safely move someone from one place to another when they are unable to move on their own.
Hoisted transfers are used for many daily tasks. Such as moving someone from bed to the bath or from a wheelchair to a lounge chair. For people with disabilities that limit their mobility, hoists are so important for maintaining good quality of life.
We’ve got lots of resources on the best hoists for moving and handling. But another question we get asked a lot is “What’s the best kind of chair for someone that’s hoisted?” The short answer is a care chair.
In this guide, we’ll explain what makes care chairs so good for hoisted individuals and give some top tips for choosing the right care chair for someone.
Jump straight to…
What is a care chair?
If you’re not familiar with care chairs, here’s a quick explanation…
A care chair is the most advanced type of specialist seating.
Other seating options, like rise recliners, are typically used for people who are still mobile but have some difficulties with sitting and standing, posture and pressure care. Whereas care chairs are used for people with more complex needs.
Care chairs offer extra support for transfers, repositioning, and postural management.
There are 3 key features you’ll find on all care chairs:
- Seat sizing that is tailored to the user.
For more background information, please read our ‘What is a care chair?’ article.
Why are care chairs good for people who are hoisted?
Care chairs are designed for use with hoists!
About 95% of the time, when we recommend a care chair it is for someone who is hoisted.
The way these chairs are built makes hoisted transfers much easier for everyone involved.
The wheels minimise the number of transfers required each day
If you need to move someone to another room, but don’t need to move them out of their chair, then a care chair is ideal.
Simply take off the brakes and push the chair where you want to go!
This saves time and energy for carers. They don’t have to set up the hoist, position the sling, then physically lift the person across into their wheelchair before moving. They can just go. It turns a 20-minute job into a 2-minute job!
Crucially, this is also much better for the person being transferred. No matter how good your hoist system is, being hoisted is inconvenient and unpleasant. Lots of people can find the process uncomfortable or distressing.
Being transferred in their chair is much more practical and dignified. It also means people can often be moved from room to room without being disturbed if they are sleeping.
Hoists fit around care chairs
When you do need to use a hoist, e.g. to transfer someone into bed, then once again care chairs make things easier.
The base of a care chair is raised slightly off the ground – because of the wheels. This means a mobile hoist fits perfectly around the chair.
You can position the base of the hoist right under the chair. This helps to make the transfer quicker, safer, and easier.
Care chairs support people’s underlying medical conditions
There’s more to care chairs than supporting hoisted transfers.
When you’re choosing a chair for someone who is hoisted, you also need to think about the reasons why they are hoisted.
Generally, if someone needs hoisted transfers it’s because they have a medical condition that affects their mobility.
All these conditions affect someone’s ability to support themselves whilst sitting as well as their ability to stand and move around independently.
Care chairs have the features and functions to properly support the posture and positioning of someone who is immobile.
Here are a few examples:
- People with MND tend to benefit from a care chair that has built-in tilt-in-space. By tilting the chair back, they can rest assured that their body is being supported and it allows them to maintain eye contact and conversation if they can no longer keep their head lifted.
- Having a care chair with reclining backrest helps someone with MD to maintain proper pelvic positioning, even if they have hip contractures.
- Care chairs can have things like lateral support cushions incorporated into the backrest. This gives additional support to people with spina bifida who have more C-shaped curvature or slumping.
Key features to look for
If all care chairs include wheels, tilt-in-space, and tailored seat sizing, how do you choose the right option?
There are two other key features you should look for when choosing a care chair for someone who is hoisted.
1. Manual or Electric Action
The tilt-in-space, backrest recline, and legrest elevation on most care chairs can be controlled either manually (by a carer) or electronically (using a handset).
Before choosing a care chair for someone who is hoisted, think about which controls are best for them.
Many people will still be able to operate a handset to use the chair themselves. In these cases, electric action is likely the best option. It gives someone much more independence.
However, you also need to consider their cognitive skills. Someone may be physically able to operate the handset, but they may have cognitive impairments that mean electric action is unsafe.
Unfortunately, this is a common problem for people with late-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s. In these cases, manual action may be the safest option.
2. Adjustable Sizing
Correct seat sizing is essential for hoisted individuals to get the postural support and pressure relief they need.
Some care chairs are custom made – the seat dimensions are measured to be an exact fit for the user. However, other care chairs are available with adjustable sizing.
We recommend choosing a care chair with adjustable sizing.
A custom care chair might be a great fit, to begin with. But adjustable sizing gives more flexibility. If the user has fluctuating weight or shrinks over time, then a custom care chair may no longer fit properly. Whereas, if the chair has adjustable sizing it can be quickly resized to ensure it’s always a perfect fit.
This cuts down long-term costs – you aren’t going to need to replace the care chair after a few years! Plus, it protects the user from the risk of pressure sores and other injuries associated with poor seat sizing.
Our recommended chair for hoisted individuals
Our top choice for people who are hoisted is the Lento Care Chair. It comes with removable armrests, options for electric or manual action, and fully adjustable seat sizing. Research has found the original Lento is flexible enough to suit 80% of hoisted individuals. Plus, there is now a hospital-spec Lento (with enhanced infection control) and Little Lento (for people under 5’ 2”) to support an even wider range of people!
Book a free seating assessment or enquire below to try the Lento at home – with a Money Back Guarantee if you aren’t 100% satisfied after 7-days!