Getting out of bed. Standing up. Going to the toilet. Moving to another seat. Putting a pair of trousers on. These are all things most able-bodied people take for granted. Simple everyday tasks that are barely given a second thought. For wheelchair users who are unable or struggle to stand or walk, these everyday movements or tasks are impossible. In these situations, a hoist is vital for every transfer. The transition from being independently mobile to being a hoist user can be a difficult one. Today I’m sharing how my sister and I dealt with this change and how a Quick Raiser made daily hoist transfers easy and safe.
Disclaimer: This post is entirely the personal experience of both myself and my sister as we transitioned from having independent mobility to becoming hoist users. It documents the journey and our experience finding the right type of hoist that met our personal needs and circumstances. All opinions are our own. Please keep in mind that what works for some disabled people, won’t work for others. This post is not affiliated with any company mentioned.
Growing Up With Muscular Dystrophy
My older sister and I both have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and are full-time wheelchair users. We were both diagnosed in our childhood, around the age of seven years old. For many years throughout our childhood, we were able to walk, run, stand up and get in and out of our wheelchairs independently.
Gradually getting weaker as our muscles deteriorated. Losing more ability and strength to do these simple things. We then needed more assistance from our parents whether that was holding onto them for support to walk or in our case waddle (my fellow Muscular Dystrophy friends will know that waddle walk) as well as physical help to stand up.
Manual lifts became the norm for getting in and out of bed, going to the toilet, getting dressed and transferring in and out of our wheelchairs. Our Mum’s back took the brunt of constant heavy manual lifting multiple times a day for two disabled daughters. Thirty years later our Mum is still our main carer along with our partners. To this day my Mum still has back problems. Our younger sister also became accustomed to manual lifts and mastered the very unique knack required to lift and move us.
Making Our Home More Accessible: Why We Needed A Ceiling Track Hoist
To make our family home more accessible we had an extension built onto our house over twenty-five years ago. This was built for the purpose of being my sister’s bedroom with an ensuite wet room bathroom. A ceiling track hoist was installed from the bedroom straight through to the bathroom.
At the time we didn’t really need the hoist for most of our transfers, but we thought it was the best option for us long term due to our progressive muscle-wasting condition. We tried to persevere with using the hoist, but we kept going back to manual lifts for quickness and the practicality of the situation.
Years later, the constant manual lifts and the risk of injury/accidents became too much. This was also around the time we started looking into getting help from carers. We knew we couldn’t have carers manually lifting us, so that’s when we had to accept hoisting to become part of our lives whether we liked it or not.
We were young teenagers at the time and didn’t like the thought of strangers helping us with our personal care. It was especially difficult because we always had our family provide our care and support our whole lives. We wanted the process of hoisting to be easier and dignified. At the time, we felt that the ceiling track hoist wasn’t the best option for us.
All we knew was that we wanted to be lifted from a seated position so our carers had easier access and then lowered onto the toilet. Quick, easy, and no faffing.
Researching Alternative Hoisting Options
My older sister began looking online for options. This was in the early days of the internet so it still amazes me that she was able to research different types of hoists. Our social work department was adamant there were no alternative options whatsoever. It was a ceiling track hoist or nothing.
Thankfully my sister persisted and found alternative options. There was a piece of lifting equipment out there that was exactly what we were looking for. With some convincing and a few demonstrations from different companies, social work agreed to provide us with a sit-to-stand hoist.
Sit-To-Stand Hoist: Molift Quick Raiser 1
We tried a few different sit-to-stand hoists, but we felt the Molift Quick Raiser 1 was a perfect choice. Fast forward twenty years and we are still using the Molift Quick Raiser hoist.
My sister and I don’t live in the family home anymore. We both have our own homes and our own Molift hoist. Making sure I had my own Molift hoist was one of the first things I thought about when looking to move into my own home. It was a main priority.
Why We Love The Molift Quick Raiser Sit-To-Stand Hoist
Personally, this hoist has been life-changing for us and we couldn’t see ourselves using anything else for hoisting in our homes.
Compact and Fits In Tight Spaces
It’s designed to be compact and fit in narrow spaces around toilets and under most wheelchairs. My sister has a Closomat and I have Geberit toilet, which are wash and dry toilets. Our Molift Quick Raiser hoists fit around them perfectly with no problems at all. My sister and I both have average-sized bathrooms so the Molift fits well and has good manoeuvrability for turning in tight spaces.
Rolls Easily Under Beds
The Molift Quick Raiser has a low base of 7cm so it is able to roll underneath our beds. As long as you don’t have an enclosed bed base, this hoist will easily roll underneath. Whenever I stay in hotels I always look under the bed and see whether the Molift Quick Raiser hoist or another portable hoist will fit underneath. It is always something I mention in my hotel reviews.
Perfect for travelling: Folds Down and Portable
The Molift Quick Raiser can also be dismantled easily and transported when you travel so I feel it’s important to check the clearance under hotel beds for anyone travelling with a portable hoist like this one. Due to being portable and not having to rely on ceiling tracks, you have the option to use it anywhere around the home, for example, sitting on the couch or if you want to move your bed to the opposite side of the room etc. There is more flexibility, which is nice.
Supported Standing and Dignified Toilet Transfers
It has been designed to imitate the natural pattern of movement to stand, allowing you to weight bear slightly while being fully secured and supported. My sister is unable to weight bear at all and is able to use this hoist with no problems whatsoever. We love that it allows us to stand from our seated positions and makes it easy for trousers to be pulled up and down when going to the toilet, getting dressed or dried after a shower.
Quick and Easy To Use
It’s super quick and easy to use as you place the belt around your waist, place the ropes onto the hooks and press the controller. Perfect when in a rush and need to quickly transfer.
There are other models of the Molift which feature an electrically adjustable leg base to fit around wheelchairs or wider toilet bases. A battery light indicator will flash and beep when the hoist needs to be charged. There is also an emergency stop button which will bring you back down if the hoist runs out of charge. Thankfully this has never happened to me in the entire time I’ve used this hoist. My sister and I personally like to place the ropes on the highest placement so we stand fairly straight. However, the ropes can be placed lower down to give a more leaning back transfer. Leg straps are attached to keep your knees against the knee pads. Personally, we don’t tend to use the leg straps, but again this is just personal preference.
The Molift Quick Raiser 1 is a fantastic sit-to-stand hoist for quick and easy transferring. A great alternative to a ceiling track hoist if you would like to be able to stand (even slightly) with some degree of weight-bearing while being completely supported for bed, wheelchair and toilet transfers. The Molift Quick Raiser fits under and around tight spaces easily. This is a great sit-to-stand hoist that enables my sister and me to get out of bed, in/out of our wheelchairs, on/off the toilet and dressed quickly and easily. This works for us in our own homes and when we go on holiday due to being portable. This type of hoist will of course not suit everyone, but if you find that the Molift Quick Raiser hoist will meet your individual needs, then I recommend you check it out and give it a try.
Changing Places with ceiling track hoists are essential for so many disabled children and adults when out and about. It’s great to see more places installing permanent Changing Places facilities or hiring charities like Mobiloo and Pamis to attend events to ensure everyone can attend and go to the toilet whenever they wish.
To find out more about my sister Claire and what she does please check out her awesome website Wildflowers & Pixels.
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