How to use a Hoyer lift


A Hoyer lift is a type of machine specially designed for patients that cannot move on their own. The machine is being entirely operated by a nurse or caregiver, while the patient doesn’t have to move at all, in some cases.

Besides Hoyer, you can find some decent alternatives on the market, such as Invacare – but keep in mind that several of them might have different features than the one you have previously used, so it’s recommended that you give the user’s manual a good read before using a new type of machine.

With the assistance of a new Hoyer lift, a patient can be easily lifted from the surface they were sitting on, and then being transferred to a lying down or sitting position. The operator does not have to use any physical strength, as the lift functions using hydraulic or electric leverage.

In the following paragraphs, we will show you how to properly use a Hoyer lift, so that you won’t have any issues while employing one.


The lift parts

Before attempting to move a patient with a Hoyer lift, you should get accustomed to every part that the lift consists of. All of the lifts use the same nomenclature when it comes to their parts.

It is also recommended that you take some time to explain the lifting procedure to the patient you have to lift. It’s important that they don’t move, as the patient’s weight has to be centered over the base legs of the lift at all times.

You should also keep in mind that the lift’s boom does not swivel and that you must not start the lifting procedure if the mast/boom assembly is swiveled to the right or left side. The upper part of the lift must be positioned in such a way that the patient is facing the nurse or caregiver that is operating the lift.


Lift positioning

The legs of the base must be open and unlocked before you start the lifting procedure. After taking care of this part, the lift will be pushed into the proper position by using the steering handle. Then, you have to lower the lift so that the sling is easy to attach on the patient that’s going to be lifted.

After you have attached the sling to the patient and they are off the bed surface, you can now swing their feet off the bed. Then, using the same steering handle we have mentioned before, you begin to move the lift to your desired/needed location.

Remember that, while moving the lift carrying the patient away from the bed, you must turn the patient – basically, the sling that’s attached to the lift – and get him or her facing you, the operator.

You can also open the control valve – or press the down button in the case of an electric lift – to lower the patient. This will give him or her the ability to rest their feet on the base of the lift. After the patient got into the position where their feet are rested, you can safely close the control valve.

To place the patient on a new surface, you have to slowly lower the lift until they touch the desired surface – also, you have to remember to remove the sling in which the patient was carried as soon as they are set down so that you can move the lift to a new location.