Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My New Sure Hands Overhead Lift System

IMG_1414 My April 29 post said:
“The Sure Hands lift system has the unique characteristic of allowing a disabled person to control the entire process. If I had one of these, I could transfer from bed to Invacare wheelchair to shower chair to iBot wheelchair to toilet, or any combination thereof –all by myself. How cool would that be?”
Well, it’s installed, and I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and it is very cool indeed.

As you can see from the photos, there are two “hands” that grab me around my chest just under my armpits, and there are two hooks that go around my thighs. I have a remote control hanging around my neck with buttons for up, down, travel right, and travel left. I wouldn’t characterize the lift as “comfortable.” It’s more like “acceptable.” I wouldn’t want to be suspended in this way for more than a minute or two, and luckily I don’t have to be.

I’m able to transfer from my wheelchair to my bed or to the toilet. If we put a second wheelchair or a shower chair anywhere under the overhead rail system, I can transfer to that as well.

IMG_1424 Kim likes to sleep later than me on weekends. For the past couple of years I’ve been unable to get out of bed without her assistance. I can now. Granted, the activity wakes her up, but she has been able to fall back asleep once I finish my transfer.

Until the system was in place, we were doing some rather unorthodox transfers, which carried a certain amount of risk for Kim as well as me. Those days are behind us, at least at home.

My insurance company indicated they will reimburse all but $700 of the $12,000 product cost. I haven’t seen that check yet, and I won’t believe it until I do.

Independence – it’s a wonderful thing.



  1. It sure is! And you, with all you engineering backgound, lead the way for the rest of us, You always find the best solutions available. Thank you so much for posting the pix. I'm curious, can the rail system be installed all over the house and where did you elect to put yours? I'm speculating that perhaps a person could do all the transferring in the bedroom/bathroom area?

  2. That's excellent Mitch! Safe travels!

  3. Wow! That's cool. I, too, wonder how far the rail system might go. Lucky you!

  4. Great report, Mitch. yeah for independence!

  5. Daphne, I do have a habit of studying the marketplace before making big purchases. I'll typically build a spreadsheet and rate the options on various characteristics, add up the numbers, and statistically determine the best solution. If I don't like the solution, I fudge the numbers until I do :-)

    Muffie, my rail system goes from bed to toilet. I could have made an offshoot to the shower, but I have a portable shower seat anyway that I just place under the rail when I want to get into it. Every foot of rail you add increases costs significantly.

    Darren and Carol, thanks for your support!

  6. And you don't find getting in and out of your clothes a problem, esp. in the bathroom? This set-up looks great!

  7. Webster,I'm still working on the clothing issue with my occupational therapist!

  8. Wow! Do you need a license for that thing? Awesome! ;)

  9. Love it.

    I wonder if Phoebe thinks you've learned to fly.