There comes a point in every parent’s life where your child grows too big to physically lift them.
But when your child has cerebral palsy, that creates a major challenge. You can no longer help them out of bed and into a wheelchair just by picking them up. Showering and toileting can be back-breaking exercises, and maneuvering limbs in and out of clothes can put a lot of pressure on parents’ own backs and shoulder muscles.
“Having an overhead lifting system just takes the pressure off,” explains Jordon Hood’s mum, Carla. “It’s fantastic.”
Jordon is 13 years-old and lives in South Auckland with his mum and older brother, Mason. Up until the end of 2020, it would take two people to manually lift Jordon in and out of bed each day. But New Zealand’s nationwide COVID-19 lockdown forced Carla to look at other options.
“We were in a position where we were handling him more frequently. He wasn’t at school, so we didn’t get that physical break during the day. For me, that’s when it became more apparent that my shoulders were really feeling it.”
Initially, the family were given a manual hoist but it was extremely bulky and took up a lot of space in the room. “By the time you added a wheelchair or shower chair, or if there were other people in the room, it was ridiculous,” Carla says.
She set about researching other options and saw a freestanding hoist that was being used in Europe that she liked the look of. “I said to our OT at the time, ‘hey, where can I get this?’ She went through the channels and applied for funding, and the Ministry of Health actually agreed!”
Cubro was then contracted to supply and install a suitable hoist and an Etac Molift Quattro gantry was installed in Jordon’s bedroom in May 2021. The freestanding traverse gantry is supported by four posts (which aren’t fixed to the wall or ceiling). It can hold up to 300kg of weight and operates at the touch of a button – sliding forwards, backwards and sideways, giving full access to the entire room.
“I was highly impressed with the way it just blended into the room,” Carla says. “Special needs equipment can be quite intrusive in your home but the colour actually just blended into the colour of our walls.”
The best part is Jordon feels safe and secure and the family can position the hoist exactly where they want. “The other type of hoist that we did have, you couldn’t do that. Jordon had to hang in his sling for some time while you pulled a chair out and put the other chair in, whereas this is really effortless and easy.”
Carla says she was impressed by the installation service Cubro provided and describes Equipment Specialist Garry Stanners as “quite a perfectionist”.
“I’ve dealt with Cubro through our Occupational Therapists, and they’re a fantastic company to deal with. I generally choose them over other companies because I feel that their product is far superior. All their gear is hard wearing. For me, I like to have something solid and stable for Jordon, because as he gets heavier and older stability and security for the person using the equipment will become more and more important.”
The new lifter has also made life easier for Carla and Jordon’s older brother who is no longer required to help lift him in and out of bed. “It was always ‘Mason, I need your help' and the overhead hoist has really eased that pressure off so he’s just able to be a normal teenager."
“Our caregiver is able to provide for all of Jordon’s needs while I’m working or outside of the family home for a few hours thanks to this amazing hoist. It gives me peace of mind knowing that Jordon is really safe and secure. A huge thanks to our OT and Cubro, we are so delighted.”