Patient Hoists Guide

Patient Lifting Hoists for Transferring – All You Need to Know

Around the Home

Patient lifting hoists for the home are designed for transferring high dependency persons who have very limited mobility around the home, for example from a bed to a chair or the bath. The dependency of a patient is categorised into two classifications:

Two patient dependency classifications


A patient that is is classified as active means they are able to support themselves and whilst they find walking difficult and require assistance, they do have some mobility.


Those classified as passive are patients that have highly restricted or no mobility and are unable to support themselves. They are completely dependent on external support and require specialist hoisting equipment to be transferred safely.

View examples of patient hoists by our recommended supplier, Felgains

Three hoist types

There are three patient lifting hoists you need to consider:

Stand aid patient hoists – Active

Stand Aid Patient HoistStand aid hoists are an excellent aid for transferring a patient from a seated position to a standing, mobile position. These hoists usually use a combination of leverage and hydraulics to enable the occupant to stand, being particularly useful for people with limited strength in their upper body.

A stand aid hoist comprises of a manoeuvrable, rigid frame with castors, and is fitted with shin and palm padding, grab handles, a footplate, and attachments for a sling. Once fitted with a sling, these hoists provide excellent security and support to the user whilst in transit, and make the transferring process considerably less strenuous and stressful for the assistant or carer. Most stand aid hoists are fitted with electric motors to minimise the physical effort required.

Mobile patient hoists – Passive

Mobile Patient HoistMobile hoists are a carer operated hoisting system that are designed to minimise and remove the strain of lifting the patient manually. These hoists are versatile transferring system, able to get into most spaces around a care unit. The lifting function is either electrically or hydraulically operated, but a carer is required to give those lifting commands and manually move the hoist around the care environment.

Mobile patient hoists has a metal boom with a spreader bar on the end that contains attachments for a handling sling. There are grab handles on the main metal upright that the patient can use to steady themselves during transit. Usually a mobile hoist’s legs are capable of parting by using a foot pedal. This enables the hoist to get as close to a seated patient as possible, the legs going either side of the chair. The mobile hoist is a very versatile, agile hoisting system, but does need to be operated by a carer.

Overhead/ceiling track patient hoists – Passive

Overhead Patient HoistOverhead hoists are a hoisting system that is integrated into the structure of a care unit. They present a substantial investment and are often part of a construction or adaption project for a patient who is immobile and would like to live as independently as possible. This hoisting system consists of a ceiling track that is specially made and fitted into a new or existing building structure.

The main hoisting motor unit runs along the ceiling track and has a spreader bar suspended from it to attach the sling to. Aside from getting the patient into and out of the sling, overhead hoists require no carer assistance. A remote is connected to the motor unit that the occupant uses to electrically control the direction that the hoist moves in. The sling can be raised and lowered to enable the patient to transfer themselves from a seated or laid position.

Mobility Home recommends…

FelgainsOur preferred supplier for patient hoists is Felgains. The Suffolk-based company have built good rapport with occupational therapists and their home consultation service is helpful for ensuring you get the right hoist. Visit the Felgains website.