I want a Universal All Day Toileting Sling for my Patient Hoists

Over a 20 year period we have noticed a huge change in patient handling across Ireland. Patient Ceiling Hoists are common place in hospitals and quality nursing homes. Mobile lifters are dispatched by HSE stores to homes who qualify, and home help are now demanding proper patient handling equipment to be in place before working with individuals with greater care needs.


Yet the importance of getting patient sling assessments done correctly is still lagging far behind. It is more logistics based rather than person centered.

Can we have a universal all day sling one size fits all that we can leave behind them in their day chair and bring them to the toilet with as needed?

This is the golden fleece. The dream sling that does everything one could want, it’s just no one has invented it yet.

Lets spend a few minutes breaking this down.

Universal All Day Lifting sling.

So by this it is expected that the lifting sling of choice will be strong enough to lift the patient as and when needed, yet light enough to be kept in-situ between the patients back and the wheelchair. This means that the fabric choice must not increase the body heat of the resident or induce sweating, because this could result in a pressure injury to the skin.

The good news is, is that there are such fabrics available, the trade off is that the person cannot be fitted with these type of slings in a seated position, they must be rolled into and out of them. (This presents an issue when it comes to toileting)


One size fits all.

Life would be much simpler if we all had the same shoe size. If every resident wears a size 6 shoe, we would just need to keep 1 size in stock, regardless of BMI, height, weight, muscle tone, mobility level.


The same thinking is applied by upper management and those in the Stores department, who would like to keep the ordering system as streamlined as possible. The problem with that is, we are all different shapes and sizes, so the risk here is that a small person in a lifting sling sized too big for them is at risk of falling through the sling, (I know of one such incident where it proved fatal), then there is the problem of someone who is large being squeezed in a sling that is too small for them, making the transfer process quite painful. This is even more pronounced where a person has poor shoulder muscles, suffers from shoulder subluxations or suffers from ALS. We are actually causing damage to this resident.


Bring them to the toilet as Needed

Enable Supplies patient handling training is grounded on a simple premise that everyone should have the right to Pee, as and when they need to Pee, as many times are is necessary for them through the day. So residents having a sling in place to enable then to be brought to the toilet as and when the need arises fits snuggly with our company premise. However the issue with all day slings are two fold. The first is that they cannot be fitted while seated. You need to be rolled into and out of the sling, not an easy thing to do suspended over a toilet bowl. Some companies have developed a solution to this quandary by sewing a Velcro hatch it the seat of the all day sling. But as the law of unintended consequences decreed, that same hatch causes trouble around the pelvic area because of the additional stitching and fabric making it quite uncomfortable to sit on ALL DAY.

The other issue is that the level of support that lifting sling is designed to provide, is for people with poor core strength and poor head support. Trying to get a patient lacking in strength and tone in this hoist sling into a balance position on a toilet seat is cumbersome in the extreme in fact it can be the cause of accidents.

So that brings us back to the start, can I have a universal all day hoist lifting sling one size fits all that we can leave behind them in their day chair and bring them to the toilet with as needed?

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