Ceiling hoist installation

Hi, I’m new to this forum and wondering if anyone can give me any information on ceiling hoists in the home. I care for my husband who has multiple sclerosis and up until now we have managed with a rotastand for transfers, however over the last 6 months this has been much more difficult for us both and I now have problems in my back. Our ot has arranged for a company to come out to look at our home to see if they can fit ceiling hoists in our bungalow. Does anyone know how quickly these can be put in and if I will be able to use it on my own.


Hi Julie,
I only have experience with my brother who was bedridden and very overweight. I can’t remember how long it took to install the ceiling hoist. We had two carers four times a week, and two of them would use it together. I paid for hoist training for me. It definitely needed two people, but it may be easier if your husband is not so overweight. I may have used it alone once or twice. I would hope that the company can advise you. We eventually had a second hoist at right angles put in so my brother could also be moved to a recliner, and some kind of bar had to be installed in the ceiling for that. The carers were supposed to know how to use the hoist, but there were sometimes problems. You certainly should not do anything to hurt your back.
Social services advised on the hoist. I think even if you don’t use carers, there should be a technical social services department in your local authority who could advise you. Try phoning adult social services, if you haven’t yet done so.

Thanks for your reply Greta.

Hi Julie
I’ve worked with fixed ceiling hoists and also the mobile hoists… Have you considered if this mobile type may be more appropriate? They wheel around with an arm that has hooks for the sling and can be used for both bed, commode and chair hoisting and used in different rooms. They are more versatile and less permanent. I guess the disadvantage of the fixed ceiling hoist if there is one is that they occupy less space. I’ve only ever used either of them with 2 people using them.

At home with dad I used a stand aid which is a kind of cross between the rotastand and a hoist. I managed to use that on my own but at the time Dad could could weight bear to some extent.
It would be best to get the advice of a professional occupational therepist to find the most practical solution and make sure you are not paying for it privately.


I use a mobile hoist for my wife, I do that on my own mostly, (our carers help four mornings a week). I’m not sure that it would be the solution if the operator has a potential back problem: it requires considerable effort to turn them 90° which is usually required getting to and from a bed. You can make this easier by not using the handles to turn them and just moving the legs with your feet, (but it slows down the whole process and needs more space).

I think from the Nanny state H&S aspect, all hoists require two operators, but in real life that doesn’t always happen and I don’t find it a problem using it on my own.

Hi Julie

My husband has MS and following a brain bleed in 2014 became unable to pivot transfer. We have a ceiling track hoist above the bed which is just a straight bar and have just had an “h” shaped ceiling hoist fitted in the living room. I would absolutely recommend one as opposed to a mobile hoist as there is no effort required on the part of the operator. My husband is 6"4 and 18 stone and I move him alone with no problem.

If you have to move him to a variety of places, I would thoroughly recommend the “h” shaped track.

As for time to installation I guess that would depend on whether you are self funding. When we needed one in an emergency, we got a loan one for above the bed which was like goalpoasts. Might be worth enquiring if you are desperate.

Try and find someone locally who has one that you can try out or wheelchair services have hoists in place which you may be able to see if you can manage.

Not sure where you are located but I’m in Hertfordshire and you would be welcome to see our set up and try it

Best of luck


Hi thankyou all for your kind advice and to Anne thankyou for the offer of looking at your home setup however we live in the north east of England. An update is that the ot has arranged for us to have a ceiling hoist in the bedroom and living room and it should be fitted next week. This should be a great help however she is trying to convince me to have caters in morning and night until my back recovers however I’m reluctant to do this as we like our independence. I will probably wait until the equipment is installed and see how I get on with it myself. Thanks again to you all for your comments.

Hi Julie
Don’t be too quick to dismiss the offer of temporary carers. It can be a good way of caree getting used to them just in case something happens to you, say for example your back puts you into hospital. If they have to be started in a crisis it can be be more traumatic on top of worry. Also it would help you see if the lifting/hoisting is causing your back problems.
We don’t want 2 of you out of action now do we?


Thanks MrsA for your reply I am going to see how much effort it will be for me with the new equipment and if I think it’s too much I will get help in place.

In the meantime I have another question for all ceiling hoist users when a person is hoisted from bed to a rise recliner chair can you leave the sling in place behind the person it’s just my husband would struggle to sit forward without me pulling him forward and is quite heavy.


No, it would be dangerous for his skin if he sat on the sling all the time. But I used to leave my brother in the sling when we went to hospital in a wheelchair, yet never knowing how we would manage when we got there - if they’d have their own hoist or not. If the person is heavy, it could be very difficult to roll him onto the sling.

Thanks Greta don’t know how I’ll manage to get it out and in under him on his chair but occupational therapist is coming out on Monday to give me some training.

Thanks for your response

There is an “All-day” sling available, we have one but my wife doesn’t like it, she says it’s too warm,(despite usually complaining that she’s cold)) and tbh it’s not ideal as it has to be removed and swapped for a normal sling in order to use the commode.

Every time I fit a sling on my wife I can’t help thinking that there must be a better way - with some research, I did find something akin to a jacket (worn all the time) with straps - but at just under £400 I wasn’t prepared to take a punt knowing my wife’s fickle nature with anything new.

When you’re going anywhere like a hospital, you do have to ensure that they know that a hoist will be required for transfers.

My husband has an in-situ sling, can be left on for up to 3 hours, so can be handy, he doesn’t find it too hot, but I think the material could possibly make that a problem for some people.

Hi everyone, our ceiling hoist was installed today it’s the voyager one which can be removed from the track in the living room to the track in the bedroom but trouble is it’s too high for me to reach so I will have to get some small steps to remove it. The ot came out to show me how to use it . Seems complicated but hopefully with practice it will become easier. The hardest bit will be removing the hammock sling from under my husband when he is settled and putting it back in again to hoist. I know the guidelines are to remove it but it would be so much easier to leave it in place. I know I have seen people in wheelchairs out and about with slings still in place. So glad I joined your forum it’s a great idea for careers to be able to share experiences, get help and advice and support each other.

I don’t like the thought of you having to use steps to change slings from one room to another. Can’t they give you two? Or provide a longer sling?

I’ve never seen this, but looked online and seen them now. It is the hoist itself, not the sling, that needs to be moved to another room. It will have to be high, of course. It would be ideal to have two, or for a carer or two to use it (getting husband into sling) or for you to have more instruction!

Thanks bowlingbun i agree I’ll ask the ot if she can get a separate hoist for the bedroom as it will be a pain getting up on steps to transfer it.


Thanks Greta I’ll see if I can have another hoist to remain in the bedroom am going to query it with the ot.


Julie, I agree.

Don’t say “it will be a pain” but use some Health and Safety type language, much more effective. Did they do a Risk Assessment for you on steps?? Unsafe, you don’t like heights, risk of falls etc. Good luck.