11 Helpful Devices to Lift the Elderly Off the Floor After a Fall

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Lifting an elderly person off the floor after a fall improperly can cause additional injuries. Plus, how can seniors who are home alone get back up? These helpful devices lift elderly people off the floor after a fall and most can be used without needing caregiver assistance.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

While there are plenty of health concerns to keep in mind as we age, it is essential to be mindful of one of the leading health risks among seniors – falling (and the dire consequences of falling). For the most part, the vast majority of our elderly cherish their independence and freedom to move around. However, with frail and aging bodies and poor reaction times, moving around can be a daunting challenge for our elderly.

Looking at statistics related to falls among seniors paints a gloomy picture. 1 in every 4 Americans aged 65 years or more fall annually. This translates to one elderly being treated in the emergency room for injuries caused by falling every 11 seconds. In other words, approximately 3 million seniors are hospitalized for fall injuries. Consequently, falls are a leading cause of fatal injuries among our elderly. (source)

With this knowledge, it is only logical for caregivers to prepare well. You ought to make concerted efforts to reduce the risk of falls in their living environment. Furthermore, you should prepare for the instances when an elderly falls, especially if they suffer from any neurological disorder or leg weakness.

Herein we will explore the best methods and devices to lift the elderly off the floor after a fall. Given the potential of suffering from serious injuries occasioned by a fall, it is vital for seniors and/or their caregivers to use an assistive lift device to lift the elderly carefully while avoiding aggravating any injury and/or additional injuries.

1. Raising Chair Devices

Raising chairs are motor operated lifting chairs to help fallen people get to an almost-standing position in just a few minutes. While the chair is battery operated, the chair needs an assistant to assist the user while the chair is working.

Typically, these chairs come with two parts – a seat and the backrest as separate sections of the device. The chair is assembled in place and under the user. The seat is placed under the user’s knee. Thereafter, the backrest section of the device is placed under the back, where the backrest and seat snap together. Once the seat and the backrest attach and secure together, a battery-operated motor raises the chair along with the user to a standing posture.

Example: Raizer LiftUp Mobile Lifting Chair

Raizer LiftUp Mobile Lifting Chair

This powered chair allows a single caregiver to safely and easily lift a patient from the floor, all with the touch of a button, to an upright seated position.

The most notable of these devices include the Raizer and Raizer II. Raizer and Raizer II are a line of raising chairs designed and made by Lift Up for seniors in scenarios of falling.

Video: Using the Raizer Device to Lift an Elderly Person off the Floor at Home

Pros Of Using Raising Chairs For Lifting Seniors

  • Comfortable and safe to use
  • Portable
  • Users do not need to expend energy to use the product
  • Easy to set up
  • Cleaning-friendly

Cons Raising Chairs For Lifting Seniors

  • Requires assistance from caregivers to use
  • Seniors can only use the device on a hard surface
  • The lifting chairs are relatively heavy owing to the batteries and the motor system

2. Step Ladder Devices

This category of lift products is designed to gradually increase your height while sitting down without straining the back. Step ladders consist of several steps that make gradual lifting possible, with each step incrementally lifting the user’s height while in a seated position. After ascending to the top step, the user will have sufficient height to sit on a chair, wheelchair, or bed. When on the top step, users simply slide back to get seated and recover from the fall.

These products are designed with portability and ergonomics as crucial characteristics. As such, the step ladders can be moved anywhere needed. Crucially, seniors will find the device easy and comfortable to use.

Two of the best example of Step Ladder lifting devices include the ResQUp Self-Help Senior Lift and The Para Ladder Manual Lift (Model PL1000).

Example #1: ResQUp Self-Help Senior Lift

This series of steps allows seniors to gradually raise themselves back to a seated position from which they can stand up. Of course, they will need the arm strength to do so.

Simple in design and function, the ResQUp Self-Help Senior Lift is a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-use lift ladder designed and optimized to meet the senior citizens’ needs. With no assembly necessary or complicated mechanisms, you can rely on the ResQUp lift ladder to help seniors under your care self-lift to a chair, bed, or wheelchair with ease and comfort.

The lift ladder allows individuals to self-lift using their hands or elbows without exerting their back and/or using a lot of leg strength. The slow, systematic, and gradual lifting process reduces the chances of aggravating any knocks one might have gotten upon falling.

Video: Using the ResQUp Device to Help a Senior Up at Home

Pros Of The ResQUp Self-Help Senior Lift

  • A portable design that allows caregivers to take anywhere in the house.
  • Fold up design gives the product a compact design for easy storage.
  • Perfect for lifting a person to a chair or bed, as well as lowering the user to the floor.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • A shorter distance between the levels makes it easier to use if an individual does not have ample upper body strength.

Cons Of The ResQUp Self-Help Senior Lift

  • User exerts their upper body – the user needs ample upper body strength.
  • Impractical for seniors who live alone.

Example 2: The Para Ladder Manual Lift (Model PL1000)

The Para Ladder Manual Lift (Model PL1000)

Durable steel constructed series of ladder steps that allow seniors to gently work themselves back to a seated height to transfer to other furniture and then stand.

The Para Ladder Manual Lift is a step ladder for fall recovery designed for people with a strong upper body. It has a three-level step ladder design and distinctive padded raised handles on either side of the ladder. The raised ladder gives users more leverage for faster lifting. This assistive device’s raised handles make standing up after a fall a tad easier without enduring transfer-related injuries or exacerbating any injuries.

With a rigid yet lightweight aluminum frame, moving the step ladder is an easy process. Moreover, the device folds a compact size that reduces the space required for storage.

Pros Of The Para Ladder Manual Lift

  • Lightweight aluminum frame.
  • Collapsible design for compact storage.
  • Portable.
  • Ladder steps make it easy for users to rest while ascending.
  • Can use the device for both standing up and descending.

Cons Of The Para Ladder Manual Lift

  • It requires users to have enough upper body strength to use the product.
  • Difficult and sometimes impossible to use the living alone.

3. Mechanical Lifting System

Mechanical lift systems come in two types – the immobile ceiling installed lifts and a mobile wheeled lifts version. As you can tell, the ceiling lifts are permanently attached to the ceiling. This version of mechanical lift systems are only used in the particular room they are installed. On the other hand, the wheeled version of lift systems are mobile, and caregivers can roll the assistive device to any room.

As for their lifting mechanism, both the mobile and ceiling hoist system have similar mechanisms. The user fastens the harness around them or rolls over a cloth sling, secures themselves, and pushes a button, hoists himself or herself up. The lift system is a good alternative if an elderly does not have the arm strength to use the step ladder.

Example: IndeeLift Human Floor Lift for Fall Recovery

IndeeLift Human Floor Lift for Fall Recovery

This powered lifting device for the elderly works like a utility dolly with a powered raising seat. Designed to be used independently.

One of the most popular products in this category include the IndeeLift Human Floor Lift for Fall Recovery.

Pros Of Using A Lift System

  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy and straightforward to use
  • The elderly can use the system even when they do not have enough strength
  • Versatile – the hoist system can be used to help you get to a wheelchair, chair, bed, or even toilet.

Cons Of Using A Hoist System

  • Both the mobile and ceiling hoist system are expensive devices
  • Difficult to store
  • Poor portability

4. Inflatable Emergency Lifts

Inflatable emergency lifts are lifting assistive devices that use air-inflation methods and tools to lift a fallen person. The chairs are designed with internal rings for exceptional rigidity. Consequently, the devices are optimized to help seniors rise from a fall and sit down.

Using the device for lifting purposes involves moving the machine next to the individual, then rolling it under the senior, and positioning the device correctly. The final step is using an air compressor to inflate the chair to a seated level.

Among the best inflatable lifting chairs on the market include Mangar Elk Emergency Lift and the Mangar Camel Emergency Lift. While the Camel and Elk use the same raising mechanism, the Camel offers extra support via its inflated backrest. The Camel’s backrest makes it easier for seniors to use the assistive device independently of caregivers.

Pros Of Inflatable Lifting Chairs

  • Encourages independent living
  • Ample lifting capacity – it can lift a maximum load of about 320 kg from the floor
  • Suitable for use indoors and outdoors
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Reduces the strain on the legs and backs
  • Portable
  • Storage friendly as it uses little storage room

Cons Of Inflatable Lifting Chairs

  • Costly
  • Slow lifting process

Example #1: Mangar Elk Inflatable Emergency Lifting Cushion

Mangar Elk Inflatable Emergency Lifting Cushion

This series of inflatable cushions are battery-powered and slowly lift a fallen elderly person off of the floor. Can be operated by the senior or a caregiver.

Example #2: Mangar Camel Lift Inflatable Patient Lifter

Mangar Camel Lift Inflatable Patient Lifter

This portable, battery-powered lifting device can be used anywhere by caregivers or independently. Features an inflatable back for maximum support.


5. Transfer Vest Fall Recovery

The transfer vest fall recovery device is designed to help caregivers lift the elderly more safely and comfortably. Vests, such as the Smart Lift and Lift Vest provide grab-points where the caregiver can lift the elderly safely.

Pros Of Transfer Vests

  • Reduces injury risks, mostly hand, arm, and shoulder injuries
  • Cost-effective assistive device
  • Aside from lifting seniors off the floor, these assistive devices are also used to transfer to the bed, chairs, toilet, and bathtub.

Cons Of Transfer Vest

  • Only usable in instances when caregivers are available. Its use necessitates the assistance of at least one caregiver or ideally, two.

6. Pull Up Hand Lifting Assists Standing Aid

The pull-up lifting standing aid is a handle-bar designed to help caregivers lift the elderly under their care safely without pulling or tugging their hands. This assistive device has molded hand grips on opposite ends. As such, the caregiver grabs one end of the device while the other elderly grabs the other end device, thereby allowing the caregiver to lifts the elderly gradually and comfortably.

When lifting the elderly from a fall using this system, it eliminates painful and undignified pulling and tugging, uncomfortable underarm lifting, or tugging the shoulders or the arm. Crucially, the caregiver provides the assistance needed without positioning the back of their elderly loved into an awkward position. Examples of the hand lifting assistive device include Lift Assists Standing Bar with No-Slip Grip Handles

Example #1: Lift Assists Standing Aid-Handicap Bar

This portable lift device eliminates painful pulling and tugging on the arms and shoulders which can pull a caregiver off balance and cause injury to the senior. Use this device to safely exit chairs, recliners, sofas and cars and to provide additional assistance in bathroom settings.

With an intricate design, the Lift Assists Standing Aid-Handicap Bar provides caregivers and the elderly a comfortable, easy to use, and hygienic means of offering lifting aid. It comes with 4.3 inches non-slip ergonomic handles. The lifting aid is manufactured using composite materials, giving it lightweight properties while retaining sturdiness and longevity. Crucially, it eliminates uncomfortable and painful tugging and pulling.

Pros

  • Can use in a wide range of environments
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ergonomic and comfortable
  • Non-slip grip reduces chances of slippage

Cons

  • Seniors cannot use the device unassisted
  • The elderly need ample strength to use the device

Pull ME UP 2 Hands Lifting Device

The Pull ME UP has a simple oval shape with two non-slip grips on opposite ends for the elderly and the caregiver to use. It has a simple design, and lightweight construction makes the device highly portable. The senior holds one end and the caregiver the other end. With the caregiver as the leverage, the elderly individual pulls themselves up.

The Pull ME UP has a simple oval shape with two non-slip grips on opposite ends for the elderly and the caregiver to use. It has a simple design, and lightweight construction makes the device highly portable. The senior holds one end and the caregiver the other end. With the caregiver as the leverage, the elderly individual pulls themselves up.

Pros

  • Eliminates the squeezing and pulling of the arm or shoulder grasping
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Hygienic

Cons

  • The elderly must use their upper and lower body strength
  • Seniors in need of help cannot use this assistive device on their own

In Conclusion

Assisting the elderly get on their feet after a fall should not involve tugging and pulling. There is a myriad of lifting systems and methods that can aid the caregiver and the elder rise to the feet. Of course, the best thing to do is have a fall prevention program in place to reduce the chance of a fall.

Your choice of the assistive device and method will depend on your needs and circumstances. It is common for injuries (especially shoulder and back) to arise when caregivers lift the elderly without assistive devices.

Caregivers need to invest in an assistive device that helps lift an elderly from the floor without risking other injuries to negate such injuries.

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10 thoughts on “11 Helpful Devices to Lift the Elderly Off the Floor After a Fall”

  1. I don’t know just how much that can help my mom especially when she’s home by herself , she’s falling a lot lately it’s got us all worried, and it’s expensive we don’t know which one is the best choice.

    • Hi Phil – thanks for your comment. The intention of this article is to provide help for caregivers who need to lift a fallen senior. The ladder devices can be used by a senior home alone as long as there is no serious injury that would keep them from accessing it. It’s tough to provide a product to help a senior who is alone when they fall because the equipment would need to be near them at all times. Since the bathroom is the most common place for falls, you may want to install handrails in the bathroom in multiple locations?!?

  2. $2000 is NOT affordable for someone on a fixed income!

    • Hi Andy – I understand – and share – your frustration with costs of some medical equipment. The best course of action of course is to prevent falls in the first place so that devices like these aren’t needed. But, if a senior falls and the caregiver doesn’t have the strength to lift them off the floor. These devices could be a life saver. – Scott

  3. The costs of some of these devices are out of the range that most elderly can afford. Both the raizer and the inflatable lift are about $1,600 each. It’s hard to believe that similar devices couldn’t be manufactured at a fraction of that price. I don’t agree with the conclusion that there are a myriad of lifting systems available.

    • Hi Carolyn – Sorry for your disappointment. I, too, am disappointed that these devices cost as much as they do. But this is what I had to work with. You also should understand that due to the nature of these devices, there is some liability for the manufacturers so I am sure some of the cost is due to testing and development to make sure they are safe. The unfortunate reality is that anything considered a medical device is going to be more expensive than a non-medical equivalent.

  4. I bought a second hand bath lift chair and my mum can get herself up off the floor all by herself.

  5. Good article. Hopefully someday someone comes up with an affordable idea for getting off the floor independently.

  6. There are so many different fall situations. Seniors can greatly help themselves by developing upper body strength while they can and to the extent possible by focused physical training. I am 70 and I am currently exercising daily…something I never had much time to do while working, but now am motivated. I have fallen in different places, once in my rose garden, on some stairs in my yard and in the house. Exercising my core and my arms greatly helped me to get back up. I was completely alone when I experienced these falls. I know that I will never NOT exercise because it’s so important to my independence. It’s never too late to start. And weight-bearing exercises helps bone density too. Just do it!

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