Occupational Therapist encourages overhead lifting solutions

3 minute(s) to read

Occupational Therapist Deanna Davies has first-hand experience helping a client bring her vision for an overhead lifting solution to life. Based on that experience, Davies encourages more Occupational Therapists to consider prescribing these as a solution to minimise the risk of injury to whānau, carers and the clients themselves.

“Overhead lifting solutions are not only desirable but essential; I believe they are paramount for the person transferring the client whether it be a family member or a carer. If a family member or carer is injured whilst transferring a client, they may require time off work, possibly their own carer (which may require training) and may also need to lodge an ACC claim themselves” says Davies.

Previously her client’s (high-level tetraplegic) morning routine involved a transfer from her bed onto a shower commode then wheeled into the bathroom where her personal care routines were completed. She was then wheeled back to the bed (on her wet shower commode), transferred from the shower commode onto the bed, dressed and then transferred into her wheelchair. 

''Both the whānau of the client and carers reported they found the system very easy to use and the effort required to transfer her was significantly less''

Since the installation, the full coverage ceiling hoist solution has improved her client’s daily routine by enabling her carers to effortlessly guide the sling along from the bedroom to the bathroom. Both the whānau of the client and carers reported they found the system very easy to use and the effort required to transfer her was significantly less.

Davies explains other key benefits include:

• Reduced strain on the carer’s body as the carer has fewer manual lifts
• Faster transfers - the carer can simply guide the client between rooms
• Improved accessibility - the client can shift from bed to bath, toilet to vanity, bed to chair, etc.
• Greater independence - the client can be hoisted and positioned to fully utilise the vanity and mirror. This may seem like a small thing, however it’s given her a greater sense of empowerment
 • Increase flexibility – a full coverage design solution means the room can be reconfigured as and when the client wants i.e. the bed can be shifted away from the window in winter and towards the window in summer without affecting room access

When it comes to getting approval, Davies advises other Occupational Therapists recommending overhead lifting solutions to complete a comprehensive assessment identifying the client’s needs, the benefit to both the client and the carers and the environment the system would be used in. The assessor will need to be familiar with the process of applying for housing modifications with either ACC or MoH before requesting a formal quote and making the application.

“If the assessor is unsure of the process or eligibility, contact the MoH Enable Housing Team or the ACC Housing Team who can provide guidance and support when required” says Davies. “I would also encourage Occupational Therapists to engage with providers like Cubro who can provide information and advice on the installation process and possible options to meet the client’s needs” she adds. 

“Overall, everyone I speak to that’s had an overhead lifting system installed has been extremely happy with the outcome”, says Davies.

If you need advice finding the right solution for your client or assistance with your funding application, please get in touch with our friendly team.