Please avoid the following when moving an immobile or fallen person:
- Leaving an individual unattended. It is necessary to stay with a loved one, particularly if the individual is injured or ill (i.e. has just suffered a stroke, is having a heart attack). If the two of you are on your own and cannot get in touch with a family member, friend, or neighbor, do not hesitate to call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance.
- Using a bed sheet. Sometimes when people are in a pinch and need to move a loved one quickly, they grab something that they have on hand, such as a bed sheet. A bed sheet is not a good way to move someone. It is not safe or secure for you or your loved one. You can easily drop your loved one and strain yourself in the process. If you do not have a personal lift and transfer device, such as a Smart Lift Vest, and are unable to assist the individual on your own, call for help.
- Selecting the wrong device and/or size. Even when you do have access to a transfer device, it is important to select the correct device in an appropriate size for the individual. If you run a healthcare facility or are caring for an immobile individual on a long-term basis, it is beneficial to do your research about available devices and make a purchase accordingly. A great device will not help you or your loved ones if it does not fit your needs.
- Failure to follow manufacturer instructions. If you choose to purchase a medical lift device for transferring an individual, it is best practice to read the manual in full and stick to it. Don't forget to read the instructions for using the included safety harness, belt, or attachment. One of the most frequent failures for transfers is improper use of these components.