When someone becomes immobile or bedridden, they often end up in a nursing home because their family can't care for them properly. One of the biggest challenges involves moving them. Fortunately, there are in-home devices that you can use to move your loved one to and from the bed without exerting much effort on your part. A hoyer lift, for example, makes it possible for you to easily move someone who requires 90 percent to 100 percent of assistance. However, for the safety of your loved one, you must learn to use one correctly. Following are a few safety tips for using a hoyer lift at home. 

Stable Base

The base and wheels of the hoyer lift provide all of the stability for the device. Before using the lift, make sure that all components of the base are tight and secure. When maneuvering the lift into place, ensure that all of the wheels are on an even, sturdy base. Remember that you will have more stability if you widen the base. In most cases, you will want to widen the base completely before moving your loved one. Most models allow you to do so easily. Some even have electric controls to do so. 

Steady Balance

To keep the device balanced at all times and to prevent tipping the device, always follow all operating instructions. Never swing your loved to the side or behind the base. They must always remain balanced directly over the base. Do not try to lift your loved one if the boom is not centered directly over the base. If you pay attention to where your loved one is in relation to the base at all times, you will greatly reduce the chances of a tip and fall accident. 

Secure Sling

If the sling is not put on properly, your loved one could slide out of it during transport. Make sure that you follow all instructions. Fold the sling according to the manufacturer's instructions before placing it under your loved one. Then, follow the steps precisely to secure it, making sure that all loops and flaps are in the proper place and secure. 

A hoyer lift can help you keep your loved one home, but you must know how to use it properly or you may hurt them. If you're not confident in using the device, ask your loved one's nurse to show you how to operate it before you take them home. Your medical supply company can also supply you with some training.