Several people have asked me about our track lift system. Because we have two children who use wheelchairs and who also have very different needs, our system is quite elaborate and probably more than most people with disabilities would need. We have a “Surehands” system and it is a huge help. Actually, more of a necessity now as the boys are 15, over 100 lbs each, and still growing.
Here is a view of the track in the kitchen. This track covers most of the first floor and runs from the kitchen all the way through the living room. The track to the right goes into the bathroom over the toilet. The round thing in the center is a switch, sort of like a railway train switch to a second track off to the right.
Here is a view from the living room into the kitchen.
The box on the rail is the motor. There are a couple of different kinds of motors and several different models. They have portable motors that can be moved from one track to another. We opted for permanent motors. This motor rides along the track as well as up and down via the controller in Eric’s lap. Some models have wireless controls, which would be better since the wire tends to get tangled. But the wireless motors are more expensive. In this photo, Eric is using the SureHands “body support”, which mimics a strong pair of hands.
Anthony can’t use the body support, because he has very little trunk or head control. We use this sling for Anthony. Eric can use either the body support or the sling.
We have a platform lift to take the boys up to the second floor. I’ll have to post some photos of that soon. On the second floor we have two separate tracks in the bedrooms. In the master bedroom we have a track that runs from the bedroom into the bathtub. This is an older model motor. Some of our system is second-hand in order to save a few dollars. Eric is in a water proof bath sling. Anthony can not use this sling, but we also have a roll-in shower chair for him.
The motor runs by a rechargeable battery and the control works by forced air rather than electricity. So, no worries about dropping the controller into the tub.
Here is the track in Eric’s room. This motor only goes up and down and slides manually along the track. Not as nice or as sturdy as the motor downstairs that moves long the track, but again, less expensive.
This is a hoyer lift on our back patio to lift Eric in and out of his hot tub. He also uses the same bath sling in the hot tub.
Our system cost around $30,000 (not counting the outside hoyer lift). Our private insurance covered 80% of the cost, which is super. Many insurance policies will not cover lift systems. Medicaid will pay for simple lifts, but usually not something as extensive as ours.
The company who installed the system is called “Lift and Care Systems” in Lakeville, MA, (508) 947-3304. They were very nice to work with and did a super job. The instillation was a lot of work, because the doorways had to be modified and the ceilings had to be cut open and reinforced in order to handle the weight of the system. The lift will support over 400 lbs. With the help of this system, I should be able to care for the boys for many years to come.