We recently had a call from a gentleman, who lived with his house bound wife, in an apartment complex in Stepaside. He was very anxious and reported that he needed to get his wife into respite accommodation to facilitate vacating his apartment to enable the fitting of a permanent hoist that would facilitate her routine safe transfer from bed to wheelchair. He also mentioned that a Private Ambulance Company had already declined the transfer on the basis that their equipment was unsuitable for it.

He mentioned that his wife was a bariatric patient and weighed 145 Kg. Her wheelchair was a bariatric chair with a wheelbase of some 29 inches. He reported that his wife was fully committed to leaving the apartment to allow this critical work to occur and had even booked herself into a local hotel for the 3 day conversion period having failed to find suitable respite accommodation for that time.

DSC_8726We attended the site to assess the situation, her move and their strategy for achieving the installation of the hoist. When we attended the site we found their apartment complex was situated on a steep almost 45 degree incline. The access area was similarly steep and it was apparent that great care would be needed if this patient were to access our vehicle safely.

We visited the apartment on the ground floor. We took measurement of the patient in her chair at the widest points and also the widths of the doors and corridors that led from the apartment to the front door. We determined that the doorframes would need to be removed to accommodate exit. Furthermore, we discussed the need for respite in a suitable facility and began to make enquiries as to availability.

While we were there we identified a suitable Nursing Home with respite suitability and availability and advised our clients that they should consider using this facility instead of the hotel that they had targeted. We made contact with the suppliers of the Hoist and their fitting agents and requested the doorframes were removed and widened as part of the refurbishment that went with the fitting of the hoist. Finally we agreed the dates for respite and the dates needed for the refurbishment and agreed to facilitate the move with our staff and vehicle.

On the appointed morning, we arrived at their apartment in Stepaside. There were four us including one driver, two male carers and one Nurse. We began by positioning our vehicle with the front facing directly downhill. The point of entry was from the rear and our built in ramp negated the downhill effect allowing for a flat entry to the vehicle from the rear.


Very carefully and using our on-board electric hoist we positioned our client at the foot of the ramp and with four of us assisting, together with the electric hoist we gradually brought her on board securing her chair into position and finally applying our wheelchair seatbelt system to secure her for the journey.

The journey was uneventful. We arrived at her respite centre and similarly carefully, using the onboard hoist and four attendants, managed her slowly out of the vehicle and into respite. The operation took a great deal of effort. However we happily were able to facilitate this lovely couple in achieving their goals and maintaining independent living.

Given, the right level of expertise, a robust and thoughtful plan, enough resources and a can-do attitude we at CareCabs feel up to even the most difficult transfers and will always place our clients safety and welfare as our No.1 priority