Ceiling Lift Sling Information
Ceiling lifts use a sling of some sort to lift the user during transfers. While the slings from all the manufacturers are are quite similar in design and use there are slight differences in dimensions which make them unique to their own lifts. Most manufacturers are quite clear that only their own slings are to be used with their lifts.
There are many types and styles of slings and each is intended for a different use or a different type of user. In addition to the different styles many slings come in different materials and sizes. In the event that none of a manufacturer's slings are suitable, most manufacturers will create custom slings to meet the user's needs.
Most manufacturers will provide a couple of options for sling material depending on the intended use.
- One common material for use on slings will be a canvas like material that may or may not have some padding sewn into it for comfort. These slings are not often used in institutions because they can become stained and will take some time to dry when washed.
- A second type of material that is commonly used is a fairly light nylon like material that doesn't absorb moisture. This material will be easier to clean and will dry quickly when washed.
- A third material used for slings is a nylon mesh that is usually used where the sling is expected to become wet on a regular basis. They are often used in bath rooms and to access swimming pools.
Most slings are machine washable but the manufacturer's directions should be heeded for best results.
Guldmann Basic Sling
Prism Universal Sling
The sling pictured to the right is a Basic Basic sling manufactured by Guldmann. All the manufacturers make a similar sling and have a different name for it but this style is often referred to as a Universal Sling.
The Universal Sling is the most common sling used today. Its design enables the caregiver, or in some cases the user themselves, to put the on and remove it while the user is sitting in a wheelchair because the user doesn't actually sit on the sling as they would have with older style slings.
To put the universal sling on a user while sitting in a wheelchair the sling is slide down between the back upholstery and the user's back all the way down to their tailbone area. The legstraps are then pulled forward along the outside of their thighs, slid under each thigh so they meet between the legs. The sling straps are then hooked onto the crossbar on a fixed lift or the attachment hooks on a portable lift.
Hooking Up The Sling
The straps that attach to the crossbar/portable lift normally have two or three loops in them that will allow for adjusting the angle at which the user sits when lifted. To have the user as upright as possible the shoulder straps should be set as short as possible and the leg straps as long as possible. To have the user reclined while lifted the straps would be hooked up the opposite way.
The center straps shown on the pictured Prism sling can also be found on some other manufacturer's slings. Depending on the shape of the sling they can help keep the sides of the sling close to the user and provide added support and security.
Most Manufacturers offer universal style slings for people who need head support as an option. The head support universal slings have a higher back to provide support from the tail bone area all the way to the top of the head.