A mobile hoist, although a versatile and readily available piece of equipment in most community equipment stores, does not have the required reach and combined stability to be able to position a person into a bath. Although many height adjustable baths, (such as the Gemini 2000 bath), can accommodate the base of a mobile hoist, the way in which a mobile hoist functions and maintains its balance makes this a very challenging way of trying to hoist your client into a bath and maintain their safety whilst being hoisted. Mobile hoists also have limitations on height which means that often users cannot get their feet clear of the sides of the bath to be able to enter.
Such compatibility problems can be overcome using a Ceiling Track Hoist (CTH), such as the Shuttle 200, which offer a compatible solution for accessing a height adjustable care bath. They do not require the floor space of a mobile hoist and a user can be lifted and positioned at the desired lowering point over the bath or integral platform.
A CTH installer will require a physical survey of the home to ensure that the ceiling height will be adequate to support clearance of a hoisted user into the bath, and that the physical walls or ceiling joists can support the weight of a person and the hoist carriage and track. Once those details have been confirmed a CTH provides an easy and compatible way to allow your client to access a bath easily with carer support of 1 or 2 persons dependent on your risk assessment.
Ease of positioning
Hoisting a user in and out of the bath can be a challenge, however a height adjustable bath and platform, such as the Gemini 2000, provides an easy access solution for a hoisted user and their carer. When used along with a CTH a carer can position their client easily on the integral platform to support changing or lowering into the bath. The reach of a CTH would also enable a carer to lower their client directly into a bath easily and quickly.
Often when choosing and configuring slings to support hoisting in/out of a bath, the need to position correctly in a bath can be overlooked in a handling plan. If the sling you are using has adjustable straps and can be adjusted for that transfer to elevate the client’s feet, it should be at least a consideration. It is important to remember that one sling attachment configuration does not suit all purposes. Risk assessments and subsequent handling plans should reflect this need to reduce risk and improve flexibility.