"Yo Srin, what's that for?" - The ceiling track hoist

Welcome to the second edition of "Yo Srin, what's that for?". This week, I'll be explaining the purpose of a ceiling track hoist.

If you're new to this column, to explain some basic background; I was inspired to start it after a recent trip to Singapore where I showed a good friend my hotel room to explain how an adapted room was different to usual rooms in a hotel. She pointed at my hoist and said "Yo Srin, what's that for?". I realised that if a good friend who knew me for many years had no idea, it was likely many others had no idea what these vital bits of equipment or building adaptations were for.

Last time I covered the roll-in shower; and this week I'll be covering the ceiling track hoist, an important device that I am heavily dependent on.

1. What is it?

A ceiling track hoist is a type of hoist that's anchored and fixed to the ceiling of a room. For those unfamiliar, a hoist is a mechanical device to lift somebody, which saves any care assistant from having to manually lift someone.

Here's a video of a ceiling track hoist in action:

As you can see from the video, the user sits in a harness called a sling, and is lifted, usually from bed to wheelchair (or shower chair) and vice versa.

The hoist is anchored to the ceiling and travels along a fixed track - hence its called a ceiling track hoist. Hoists come in many forms and a ceiling track hoist is just one example.

The design of the track also comes in several permutations. The track can travel between two rooms and around a bathroom or can be part of a "H-frame" that allows navigation around an entire room.

Single track around / between rooms

H-frame track

On the second image, the tracks are arranged across one another allowing the hoist to be moved around the entire room.

2. Why is it needed?

Folks like me cannot be easily lifted by one person. I'm a heavy guy and if a care assistant was to manually lift in and out of bed everyday, it wouldn't be long before they broke their back!

Ceiling tracks hoists in particular save a care assistant a considerable amount of physical energy in comparison to wheeled or mobile hoists; that have to be manually pushed from point A to point B. Hoists travel along a track that's controlled by remote control.

Moreover, when travelling, staying at a property with a ceiling hoist in place means that the traveller doesn't need to bring their own hoist (which can be a real pain).

3. What makes a good ceiling track hoist system?

The example in the above video is good as:

  • There is plenty of space for the hoist to be affixed.

  • The track system goes from bedroom to bathroom or is on an H-frame. This gives flexibility and allows the user position bed and wheelchair wherever they want.

  • Sturdy walls give the hoist good anchoring for safety.

  • The lifting unit is remote controlled and allows the user to manage the lift, should they wish.

4. Does everyone requiring an adapted room need a ceiling track hoist?

No. Not at all. The ceiling track hoist is usually on the higher end of adaptations and only a relatively small number of properties will have one. However, at Accomable, we have one of the largest collections of properties with ceiling hoists.

Such devices aren't needed if you can manually transfer; and for many who can't transfer, a mobile hoist will suffice. However, for users of hoists several times a day, the ceiling track hoist is the most convenient and labour saving means of transfer.

If you'd like more information on what makes a good ceiling track hoist system, feel free to get in touch with us at hello@accomable.com.

Much love,
Srin

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