Mobile Hoist vs Ceiling Track Hoist

If a person is no longer able to stand to transfer safely, they require a hoist to transfer them from one place to another.

Mobile Hoists

A mobile (or portable) hoist is often the first type of hoist to go in as it can be issued easily and can provide an immediate solution. An Occupational Therapist would recommend what size hoist is required and what sling would be appropriate for the person. Slings come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and fabrics and a competent person needs to determine which one is correct for the person using it.

Sling Mobile Hoist
An example of a Sling & Mobile Hoist

The advantages of a mobile hoist are:

  • Cost
  • Speed of delivery
  • Ability to move from room to room if required.

The disadvantages are:

  • Requires 2 carers to use it in most cases.
  • It can be difficult to manoeuvre particularly on plush carpets
  • The environment may make it difficult to move the hoist around i.e narrow doorways, tight turns, small or cluttered rooms.
  • It requires the battery to be charged up to work.
  • It is difficult to store.

Ceiling Track Hoist

A ceiling track hoist is fitted onto the ceiling and is a track with a motor and hanger. This is a permanent fixture for as long as the person requires it. It can be removed when no longer in use. If the ceiling is not suitable, it can be fitted to the walls, or a gantry hoist can be used. Often a hoist is fitted over the person’s bed, and then they are hoisted onto a mobile commode or wheelchair and moved from room to room like this. If they have an armchair with wheels, they can be transferred into this under hoist also. If they have a static armchair in the living room, another ceiling track may be required over this.

An occupational Therapist would carry out an assessment and determine if a ceiling track hoist would be beneficial. If it is, this will be discussed with the client and family to decide if they would like to pursue this option. Often, if care is being provided by the local authority, and a ceiling track hoist would reduce the number of carers required from 2 to 1, this equipment would be strongly recommended as it reduces costs of care long term.

Ceiling Track 1 Ceiling Track 2 Ceiling Track 3
Examples of a ceiling track hoist

Gantry Hoist System Gantry Hoist System
Examples of a gantry hoist system

Advantages of a ceiling track hoist:

  • It is out of the way as fixed to ceiling
  • It does not require manoeuvring.
  • Often, one person can use it rather than 2 with a mobile hoist (as assessment would need to determine if this is safe.).
  • It will always be charged up.
  • Sometimes a person can learn to self hoist.
  • It is much easier and quicker to use than a mobile hoist.

Disadvantages of a ceiling track hoist:

  • It does have to be a fixed piece of equipment while required.