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Using a Hoyer Lift Sling

Using a Hoyer Lift Sling

Degree of difficulty to use:
You can measure the degree of difficulty of using a Patient Lift Sling by the type of sling and the position of the patient. It is not really a degree of difficulty, more of a process that can require caregiver patience.

Some slings are easier to use:
There are several styles or types of Patient Lifts. U-Slings are the most effective for transfers and toileting, but some patients cannot use a U-Sling. Patients in a supine position may not be capable of using a U-Sling and may require use of a full-body type sling.
  1. Easy - Patients that can sit up, even if only a little, are best candidates for U-Slings. U-Slings are the easiest to use and the patient is not sitting on the sling once seated. Transfer to wheelchair, bed, and commode are easily accomplished with a U-style sling.
    1. Slide the back support behind the patient
    2. Loop the leg straps around patient's leg
    3. Attach straps to lift cradle
    4. Raise the patient
  2. Process - We won't say it's harder to use a Full-Body style sling, let's just say it's more time consuming. It is indeed a "process" that requires caregiver patience.
    1. Lay the patient to one side
    2. Fold the sling in half (lengthwise)
    3. Slide the folded sling under half the body
    4. Roll the patient back the other direction
    5. Grab the folded part and drag it to the other side
    6. Roll the patient back to a supine position on their back
    7. Attach the sling to the cradle
    8. Slowly raise the patient

U-Sling Hammock Sling Full-Body

See all Slings: Sling Catalog


1. Arrange all items for a smooth transfer - lifter, sling, wheelchair.

2. Patient should be in center of twin size bed or to one side of double size bed.

3. Roll patient on side away from attendant. (Raise side rail, if equipped, on side opposite attendant).

4. For full hammock style slings place sling folded half-way under patient so cut-out is just below tail-bone.

5. Place wider piece (seat) under patient's thighs so lower edge of seat is up to knees. Place narrower piece (back) just above small of back. If patient is in hospital bed, position seat sling, then elevate head of bed to facilitate placing back piece.

6. Place sling folded half-way under patient so lower edge of seat is slightly below the knees.

7. Roll patient towards attendant. Pull sling through (like positioning draw sheet).

8. If patient is in chair, you may place sling under patient without lifting patient by following these few simple steps:

  • Have leg flaps open.
  • Have patient lean forward slightly and slide open portion of sling down to seat and lay leg flaps alongside patient's legs.
  • Grasp leg flap on one side of patient and, while holding against knee, pull leg flap forward; repeat with other side until sling is in correct position.
  • Bring flap under one thigh and insert ring (A) into snap (A). Repeat for other leg, inserting ring (B) into snap (B), thus enclosing a thigh in each leg flap.
  • If you wish to use the sling without containing the thighs, follow instructions above but bring ring (A) to snap (B) and ring (B) to snap (A), crisscrossing flaps under the leg.
  • It will help to raise the head of bed after sling is positioned if patient is in a hospital bed.


  1. Attach the ends of the chains to the swivel bar hooks. You may hook any link of chain into the swivel bar hook to adjust the height of sling from floor. Make sure links are equal on each side.
  2. Attach the S-hooks of the back in links 1,2 or 3, as required. Count links to be sure there are the same number on each side. Check to see that S-hooks are hooked all the way into the chains. DO NOT PLACE S-HOOKS OF BACK INTO EXCESS PORTION OF CHAIN BUT INTO LINKS BETWEEN SEAT AND SWIVEL BAR!
  3. Patient's arms should be outside chains if possible. He may hold onto chains if desired.
  4. Check chains and S-hooks to see that they are properly positioned.

Machine wash warm or cold. Air dry or very low dryer heat. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Do not wash with other colors. Remove bars before washing. (The bars and seat hangers of the two-piece slings are not removable. It is recommended that these be hand washed.

This page shows some of the most popular slings: Common Hoyer Slings & Compatibility Table

Sling Catalog

See all Slings:

Back to How to use a Hoyer Lift

See all Patient Lifts & Slings