In general, stand-up lifts are not designed for long distance transport, (between units, for example). Rather, they are intended primarily to assist a resident to stand from a seated position, permitting the caregiver to move him to a nearby location such as a wheelchair or bathroom. They are normally used for transferring residents who are too frail or lack the balance to stand without assistance.
The main reason these lifts are not used for long distance transport are that they require greater push-pull forces on the part of the caregiver in order to move them across the different surfaces, thresholds, etc., than would be required when using transport stretchers or wheelchairs. Also, because they have smaller wheels to permit access under low beds, they may jostle the patient unnecessarily when passing over irregular surfaces such as thresholds or other obstacles. Thus their use as “off the unit” transport devices is generally avoided. Of course, under extenuating circumstances or emergency conditions their use to transport residents over greater distances should not be entirely prohibited.
While the International Standard for Lifting Devices (ISO 10535) does not prohibit their use for transport purposes, your evaluation should be based on the unique circumstances and floor surfaces within each facility or care environment. As with all resident lifting tasks, the safety and comfort of both resident and caregiver should be fully assessed before making a final decision.
As a reminder, the advantage of this type of device over a general purpose, full body floor lift is it provides the resident a greater degree of independence and participation, promotes enhanced circulation, and may facilitate enhanced clinical outcomes by enabling the resident to stand for a period of time if able to do so.
THE LIFT DOCTOR*