Home Login/Join My Space Help Members Forums Search Today's Active Topics New Since Last Visit
Kennedys Disease Association Homepage    Kennedys Disease Community    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  General Discussion  Hop To Forums  Accesibility    Lifts, Hoists, and Poles. Oh My!

Moderators: Bruce, SusanneW
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Lifts, Hoists, and Poles. Oh My!
 Login/Join
 
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Reply With QuoteReport This Post  
I'm planning for the day when I can no longer do self transfers between my various elevated surfaces - powerchair, bed, Robo John (Toilet-Aid), and shower bench. All of these get me up to 27" (I'm 5'10") which is high enough for me to get my knees locked before I start a transfer.

For my powerchair <-> bed transfer I use a walker for the stand and pivot move. This transfer is getting a bit rocky for me and I need a better, more sure transfer. For the other moves I'm going to/from relatively fixed platforms but the walker is not that stable in comparison.

So, I'm looking for other options. I thought I would make a post here to see what others have come up with when self-transfers became difficult. Options involving another person'a assistance are welcome but I would have to hire assistance and live on their schedule - something I'm trying to avoid.

I know there was a post here once about the Sure-Hands lift but I don't see it anymore. If anyone has experience with Sure-Hands can you make a reply? Are you able to use it w/o assistance?

Anyone using a SuperPole or EZ-Assist pole - how are they working for you.

I've seen posts here for robots! I expect these may be a solution at some point - but hopefully KD will have a cure by then! Speaking of fantasy devices check this out TEK Robotic. Far as I have heard its price tag is around $20K - something to buy after I win the lottery! (I did the win the lottery today but it was only $91...) I'm not sure it would work for us anyway as strapping in looks a bit hard. OK for spinal chord folks that have strong upper bodies. Great idea in any case!

I'd rather remain independent but there may come a time when an attendant operate lift is required. If you are using one please post to describe your experience. I'd guess most wind up with a Hoyer-like lift but something like the Rifton Tram looks like a better solution for us.

Alternative ideas anyone? Advice? Thanks!


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Picture of Bruce
Registered: 09-28-2005
Posts: 654
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Bob, what helped me was to raise the bed. I added leg extensions and now it is high enough for me to easily transfer to the chair. I'll be interested in other ideas also.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
How do you transfer to the chair? I use a old style walker to stand in between the two surfaces. What do you do?


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Picture of Bruce
Registered: 09-28-2005
Posts: 654
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Bob,maybe I don't understand your situation. I park the chair alongside the bed - sides almost touching. Then I place my right hand on the chair's armrest and the left hand on the bed. Then I push off and pivot 45 degrees. It is almost the same maneuver I use when getting off the elevated seat of the toilet. It has worked well, and is fairly safe and convenient. If we are not on the same page, please amplify upon your question/situation.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Same page - just wonder how folks are performing their transfers.

Sliding transfers haven't worked too well in the past for me, but I'll give it a try again. I have a bed with power elevation so I can adjust the height as needed.

What I've been doing to "standing" as best I can from an elevated surface then bending over (somewhat beyond "nose over toes") and reaching out to the destination, and then using my arms/shoulders to get upright. I then stand-pivot to the destination. For the robo-john transfers I first reach out bent over then push up to standing, then use a grab bar (heavy duty shower current rod) up high that I use to pivot to the destination. (About the same for the shower chair.) For the bed I'm using a walker in-between the surfaces. This one is giving me problems now as it isn't as steady as the other surfaces and standing/pivoting using the walker is getting to be a challenge.

Thanks!

Anyone else have another transfer method that is working for you?


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Someone local mention to me that they have an articulating bed but it does not have the "elevate" axis. He uses the foot axis to gain height to transfer off. This allows for a reasonable fixed height for transferring on and for his spouse.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bob Heitzman,


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Well, the day I couldn't do my own transfers came sooner rather than later. I've experienced a capability "slide" down in capability and I had to call on my son to help me with my Power Chair(PWC)/bed transfers AM and PM. A few days later I had a fall in the bathroom and wound up with a splint (later removed when bone doc said nothing was broken.)

This required a rushed rental of a "Hoyer" lift and the hiring of care givers for an hour AM and PM. The rental folks didn't supply the proper sling which took a while to resolve before the Hoyer was easier to use. I tried a Stand-Up lift later but it didn't prove to the any easier to use than the Hoyer with the proper sling. Sling choice turns out to be a big deal - here is what I wound up with.

All this started me down the path to figure out how to get along without the care givers (about $64/day for one hour AM and PM.) I had an idea of what I thought would work as outlined in the initial post. The Sure-Hands folks have a closed retail network and the closest dealer is 300+ miles away. I really wanted to work with my local DME (mostly ramp van stuff) guy who also works on fabricating solutions of all sorts for the disabled. I eventually found a company Prism Medical that would work with the DEM guy at a wholesale level.

Here are the parts I tried:
"Pressure Fit" overhead track
C300 Lift
"Independent Lifter" (instead of a sling)

The reason the the Pressure Fit is that I rent and I can't attached stuff to the ceiling.

Close but no cigar! I have 7' (+ a bit) ceiling height and when all the parts are assembled the Independent Lift gizmo, at it highest, wasn't high enough the lift me off my PWC. I'd guess at least an 8' ceiling, if not higher, would be needed to make the setup work.So my DEM guy is looking for a workaround.

In the bathroom I'm scheming on find a way to place something between the walls (7' span) that I can hook the C300/P300 to. This setup may allow the Lifter to be high enough to use.

If anyone out there is an expert on Uni-Strut/Power-Strut/???Strut materials please contact me. This technology looks like it would work for me but it is complicate and I couldn't come up with the proper parts list. Please email me at rheitzman at gmail if you could help me with this stuff - or if you have another idea how I can span the 7' and provide a "sky hook" in the proper place avoiding ceiling attachment (I can attach to the walls.)

-------------

Another rush thing was dealing with not being able to stand at will to urinate. A solution is intermittent self-catheterization (ISC) - yuk, I know... but it does appear to be the best option. I highly recommend that the next time you visit a urologist (or just get a referral for ISC) that you get an Rx for ISC and learn how to perform the act and get the initial supplies. This is not something you want to put off and deal with it when needed yesterday. The fact that you use a PWC (or get forced into one due to some reason), and have limited mobility, is justification enough for the doc to issue an Rx. 180Medical.com seems to be the go to place if you want insurance to pay for the supplies. They aren't the cheapest, but the fact they get between you and the insurance folks is worth a lot. If anyone has questions on ISC feel free to contact me.


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Picture of Bruce
Registered: 09-28-2005
Posts: 654
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
WOW! Bob, it appears this all happened pretty quickly. Did anything happen in the last couple of months to set this off? Do you feel it is permanent or temporary?

As always, you have done your research and trial and error work. We all appreciate your sharing of this story. Keep us advised of what works and what doesn't. Good luck!
Location: Illinois
Registered: 05-17-2012
Posts: 9
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Bob, I am surprised as well. I want to thank you for sharing your story. Since I live alone,I am going to be heading down the same road you are on at some point trying to figure out how to do self transfers and the rest. I am glad to learn that you have a son close by to help out in emergencies. I know I have cycled in and out of muscle weakness so I hope maybe you can get some strength back and this is only temporary. Not sure if you tried physical therapy lately. It helped me get out of a rough weak patch. Maybe it could help, although I don't have the extreme weakness that you have. Please keep us informed on how you are progressing. Be well

Ron
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
>>Happened quickly? - I've been have problems with transfer for that last 9 - 12 months. Usually took the form of trying to stand, failing, and going back to rest and try again. I also had several minor falls that required assistance to get upright again during the period. So I have been in decline for a while. My last fall was a bit worse and required a split for awhile which took my marginal self transfers out of the question, hence the addition of care givers.

>> permanent or temporary? - I hope it is temporary, but I doubt it. Past experience with slides tells me the change is as much psychological as physical. Once I loose confidence in an ability it is hard to get it back, I compensate for the change and just get used to the new normal.

>>PT - PT may help a bit but I doubt enough to get me back up a level of capability. This change is primarily muscle related so I'm placing some hope in the ongoing clinical trial to come up with a way to rebuild. PT will be in order then.

>> self transfers/independence - see my other thread on "things that worked for me." Sort of a journal along the path I'm on and how I'm dealing with it. If anyone has specific questions feel free to contact me. There is a lot we can do as individuals to take care of ourselves and make the load on our care givers easier. We may as well do as much as we can for as long as we can. I'm sure doing this frustrates care givers close to us who naturally want to jump in and do things for us we can do ourselves.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bob Heitzman,


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Thread FYI: The "Independent Lifter" didn't work for me. The device needs a lot of vertical lift distance. When used with the pressure fit track, with my 7' ceiling, the lifter is too low to lift me off my powerchair. It may work if you have an 8' ceiling.

I'm looking for alternate solutions - I'll post when something works.


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 155
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Is there any way you can raise the height that you sit in the power chair? I find it easier to rise to standing from a higher seat.

Last week I replaced our dining room table with a home made one that stands a couple inches higher and is on wheels with locking casters. The higher table allows for higher chairs and the wheels allow for easy repositioning so I can maximize the room for my scooter most of the time but pull the table out further when we have company.

Still on my to do list is to raise the height of our bed and several other pieces of furniture.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
I have been using the "higher seat trick for a long time - call it "life at 27 inches."
0 C300 Powerchair w/seat elevator
0 Power Toilet Aid
0 "hospital" bed with power up/down
0 lift chair recliner
0 sliding/swivel shower chair

Elevated tables are off-the-shelf these days - I have a small one since I live in a studio

Problem is, even with the higher platforms, my transfers are difficult and no longer safe.

I fabricated a lift track in my bathroom and I'm using the pressure fit system over my bed so I can do sling transfers now w/o an attendant. I'll make a post about the bathroom rig soon.

A problem I haven't solved is how to get my pants on and off. Going out and about w/o pants isn't an option - I guess I could start wearing a dress!

Since I can still stand somewhat I'm thing of something that may provide 10-20 pounds of up assist maybe combined with an inertial reel fall device. Or perhaps a power standing frame that I could use to get me up enough for dressing the bottom half.


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 155
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
It's hard to imagine the challenges this disease progression brings until we actually get there.

If only you were Scottish then you could wear a kilt.

My favorite summer garment are shorts made for hiking. They are loose fitting shorts with belt loops made of thin and light synthetic fabric. Easy to get my legs in/out of, even with my shoes on. And it doesn't take much of a belt to hold them up so long as I don't put anything substantial in the pockets. I've taken to using a shoulder bag, wife calls it a man purse, to carry my keys, phone, wallet, etc. and keep a very minimal fabric billfold with just my drivers license, a visa card and a bank note or two in my pocket.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 150
posted   Hide PostReply With QuoteReport This Post  
Shoulder Bag - I use a "diaper bag!"

I'm using a powerchair full time and I hang a bag off the side. The diaper bag design works well - it has a large central area and bottle holders on the outside ends. The bottle holders are handy for cell phone and rolled up magazines. eBay has a search category for "men's diaper bag" (the design color and accents are more manly.)

I use Jeep brand, Eddie Bauer has some too.

The shoulder bag may work with a chair. I remove the extra straps and use light duty carabiner clips to attach to the chair. I find the dollar store cat collars useful for mounting as well.


=================
email:rheitzman at gmail
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Kennedys Disease Association Homepage    Kennedys Disease Community    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  General Discussion  Hop To Forums  Accesibility    Lifts, Hoists, and Poles. Oh My!

Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614
Tel: 1-855-532-7762
Email: info@kennedysdisease.org