HuwMAINIT’S EASY for some people to take mobility for granted, writes Dr HUW THOMAS.

As someone with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy who has for many years needed help to transfer from my wheelchair to, well, anywhere, I “get it” – I really do.

I never take for granted that a central part of my life is all about ensuring that I have access to safe, comfortable and wherever possible, dignified, manual handling.

That’s why I invented the ProMove Sling, a different way of helping a disabled person transfer from A-to-B with dignity when a hoist is not a feasible option.

People don’t come with handles ready attached. Lifting a person by holding onto bits of their anatomy is extremely risky and should be avoided.

Apart from the obvious danger of dropping the person, localised pressure caused by trying to hold onto the person can cause bruising, skin shearing, fractures or dislocations.

Lifting someone without proper handholds also increases the risk of injury to those doing the lifting.

If someone is to be lifted manually, it is important that the weight is distributed between as many people as possible – with everyone having a proper grip and being fully aware of lifting techniques and posture.

It is generally accepted that the safest way of moving someone is to raise them using a powered hoist while they are supported by an appropriately designed sling of the correct size.

I strongly support this approach wherever the equipment is available and there are people trained in its use around to assist.

But the reality is that fixed hoisting is often not there when you need it.

So when you are wanting to transfer safely it’s tempting sometimes to compromise too much . . .

The result being a lift that’s more akin to moving a sack of potatoes than a safe comfortable and, yes, dignified transfer, that also puts your family, friends, PA or other care professional at risk because the lift just isn’t right.

For me, the answer is don’t compromise too much. Use a fixed hoist wherever possible.

But if not an option look at a quality mobile hoist if you can transport it, or try my ProMove Sling which offers a truly mobile alternative that fits in a bag, and is a safe, comfortable and genuinely dignified way to transfer from your wheelchair to just about anywhere.

Tel 01970 820893

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