What is a Hoyer Lift? With All The Answers

Hoyer lift instructions

Have you ever thought about how can nurses move and lift their patients? In this article, I’m going to give you all the answers to the question “What is a Hoyer Lift?”. Besides that, this article covers also subjects like Hoyer lift instructions, Hoyer lift vs Ceiling lift, and much more.

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The most physically demanding tasks in nursing are assisting patient movement and manual lifting and moving. Manual shifting refers to the shifting of the load by a muscular effort by lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, or rolling. The basic principle is to avoid lifting the patient by hand and prolonged working in a poor position.

Functioning may be impaired by aging, illness, injury, or amputation
as a result. If a person is unable to actively participate in the transition, the use of a Hoyer lift is recommended.

After this picture, I’m going to give a detailed answer to what is a Hoyer lift.

What is a Hoyer lift?

Hoyer lifts are used in nursing environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, and homes. Lifting aids help nurses a lot.

Assisting patient movement and manual lifting and moving are physically the heaviest jobs in nursing. They put physical strain on nurses, by using Hoyer lifts can reduce and thus lighten nurse’s work.

Hoyer lift is designed for safe and ergonomic patient transfer. There are really many different types of Hoyer lifts and also different brands are so many.

Patient lifts are classified according to their characteristics as roof lifts, stand lifts, and personal lifts. Now you know what is a Hoyer lift so it’s time to give you the instructions on how to use it.

Hoyer lift instructions

Now that you know what is a Hoyer lift you might be thinking about how to use it. Well, I’m going to give you two options;

  1. You can read Hoyer lift instructions written by me.
  2. Alternatively, you can watch this video that gives you a closer look at Hoyer lift instructions.

If you prefer the text version you can scroll past this YouTube video embed.

These are the steps on how to safely transfer a patient from their wheelchair to a bed.

Start by locking wheels on the patient’s wheelchair. Then fold the sling so that the smooth side will be in contact with the patient.

Ask the patient to lean forward and tuck the sling in behind them all the way down to the patient’s tailbone. Next, pull the leg straps alongside the outside of the patient’s legs making sure that the straps don’t catch on any part of the wheelchair.

Position yourself in front of the patient and carefully raise each of the patient’s legs to pull the straps underneath and over the patient’s legs. You want straps to be mid-thigh on the patient for the most comfortable of the transfer. Finally, cross the leg straps pulling one strap through the other you are ready to bring in your Hoyer lift.

With the patient’s wheelchair locked approach the patient with the lift to keep in the bar below the patient’s line of sight so that you are not coming directly at the patient’s face. Connect your slings noose to the lift bar keeping in mind that these shoulder loops will result in a more reclined position.

With one hand on the patient and one hand on the lift controls slowly begin lifting the patient. As the patient’s wheelchair is locked in place while the lift is not. The lift will move toward the patient rather than jerking them out of the chair.

With the patient lifted you can now move them easily towards the bed. Rotate the patient so that they are parallel with the bed and push the lift until the patient is properly positioned before locking the lift in place.

With one hand on the patient and one hand on the lift controls carefully lower the patient until they are lying on the bed. Unhook the sling loop and lift and move the lift out of the way.

To remove the sling gently roll the patient to one side and roll one half of the sling up and tuck it under the patient. Carefully roll the patient to their other side and remove the sling before returning the patient to a lying position.

With these Hoyer lift instructions, I’m sure you’re going to get your patient to the bed and back to the wheelchair.

Can Hoyer lift be used by one person?

The short answer to the question “Can Hoyer lift be used by one person?” is “Yes, one person is able to use Hoyer lifts by himself“.

Of course, it might be much easier with two persons doing the work. So if you have the possibility to invite a co-worker or a friend of yours to help out you should do that.

How much weight can a Hoyer lift hold?

It depends on the Hoyer lift. Next, I will make a list of different Hoyer lifts.

As you can see that the max load capacity varies. The price also varies greatly depending on the features.

Hoyer lift vs Ceiling lift

At this point, you should already know what is a Hoyer lift. But so that I can show you a proper comparison of the Hoyer lift vs Ceiling lift you need to know the basic information about ceiling lifts also.

Hoyer lift vs Ceiling lift


Most of the time Ceiling lifts are limited only to horizontal movement. Movement is dependent on the placement of the overhead tracks on the ceiling.

The operating principles are otherwise the same as with Hoyer lifts. The only functional difference is that Ceiling lifts are attached to the ceiling and Hoyer lifts can be moved freely to another room for example.

Based on these facts, it could be easy to say that the Hoyer lift is a far better option than the Ceiling lift.

But the truth is that both of these lifts have their own places and needs. High-end Ceiling lifts are capable of carrying more weight than most Hoyer lifts. That’s a major advantage if weight capacity is needed!

Otherwise, my recommendation is to use Hoyer lifts. Hoyer lifts are mostly way cheaper and their mobility is much better.

See also: Home Health Nurse Interview Questions

Conclusion: What is a Hoyer lift?

At this point, you should know what is a Hoyer lift. But to refresh your memory, I will give you a short brief:

  • With the Hoyer lift, you can transfer a patient from a wheelchair to the bed and vice versa.
  • The average Hoyer lift has a weight capacity of 400 lbs (181 kg).
  • The cost of a Hoyer lift is mostly between $400 and $1500.

If you want to learn some more about nursing check out also these articles of ours:

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.