Sit to Stand Lift: Safe and Easy Patient Transfer

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Sit to stand lift

Wife transfers husband using a sit to stand lift.

Lifting devices, like a sit to stand lift, are a great solution for people with mobility problems. They are designed to make the act of sitting, standing, and moving easier for people that can’t walk on their own – making these the perfect lifting device for elderly patients that can bear weight, but have trouble walking. They’re also great for people with disabilities or those who’ve had surgery.

People with have back problems, arthritis, injuries or other mobility problems can use lifts to make transferring easier.

These machines are great for transferring your loved one from a wheelchair to the toilet or anywhere else they may need to go, including the car.

Our favorite sit to stand lift is the Hoyer Journey. It’s more on the expensive side, but has all the bells and whistles you could ever want in a sit to stand. This lift won’t be appropriate for everyone, so we’ve included other incredible options below. Keep reading!

The Story About the Sara Lift

The Sara lift by Arjohuntleigh is the most popular sit to stand lift by far. It’s even gotten to the point where sit to stand lifts are called Sara lifts in many nursing homes (I was even taught to call it a Sara in school), kinda like how we call cotton swabs Q-tips or tissues Kleenex.

It’s definitely the gold standard when it comes to lifts, but the price is so high it normally puts it out of reach for people who would like to use them at home.

The good news is, there are plenty of other high quality brands to choose from.

Best Patient Lift Brands

When it comes to patient lifts for home use, there are only a handful of names to choose from. Hoyer, Invacare, ArjoHuntleigh, and Lumex are the top players. At our nursing home we use ArjoHuntleigh lifts called the Sara 3000 (commonly misspelled Sarah lift or Sera lift). Update: We have started using the Sara Flex lift as well.

These lifts are great, but more commonly found in nursing homes because of the higher price tag. They seem to be a little more heavy duty because we have to use them on several residents.

If you’re looking for a lift at home for one individual I would recommend getting a less expensive model. You can buy a brand new Invacare sit to stand for the same price as a used Sara 3000.

Brand Features
Lumex Easy Lift

Heavy-gauge steel construction holds up to 400lbs.

24V DC motor allows quiet, smooth operation.

Quick release removable foot platform and knee pad unit.

Invacare Get-U-Up™ Hydraulic Stand-Up Lift

Innovative adjustment features adapt to a wide variety of body sizes and shapes.

Comfort at any height, width and weight range up to 350lbs.

Lumex Stand Assist Patient Transport

Fits easily through narrow doorways.

Affordable alternative to electric sit-to-stand lifts.

ArjoHuntleigh Sara 3000

Safe working load 440 lbs.

Dual controls for easy operation.

Emergency stop and system failure override.

Who Can Use a Sit to Stand Lift?

Elderly Patients That Can Weight Bare
A sit stand lift is ideal for people who can bear weight but are unable to walk on their own…making these great lifting devices for elderly. As we age, our mobility decreases and many diseases begin to creep up in our body which reduces physical strength and limits our body’s ability to move from one place to another.

If your loved one is having trouble with their mobility you can definitely benefit from using one of these machines. With the help of a stand up lift you can not only offer your parent or spouse a safe and easy way of moving, but you can also save the cost of hiring a care facility and keep them in the comfort of your own home.

Patients Recovering From Surgery
Another group of people who can benefit from these types of patient lifts is those who have undergone surgery. After a surgery you may feel like it’s better to rest, but at some point you need to get your body back into its natural rhythm. By using a lift, you can work on your range of motion without hurting yourself.

Sit and Stand Transfer Instructions

To operate these patient lifts properly there are certain steps that need to be followed by the patient and the caregiver. Following the sit to stand lift instructions correctly will prevent possible injury.

  1. Start with the patient in a seated position.
  2. Patient first places their feet on the foot plate (if necessary, position the adjustable knee pad to suit)
  3. Place their hands on the comfortable hand grips for stability
  4. Slide the sling around and behind the back of the patient
  5. Hook the sling to the lift properly. If there are other belts, attach those to secure the patient. Some stand assist lifts will come with a leg strap.
  6. If using a manual lift have the patient pull themselves up or, if using a powered lift, press the button to raise them. Make sure to let the the patient know you are about to do any movement.
  7. Transfer them to the desired location and do the steps in reverse

After following these steps, the patient can be moved from one place to another quite easily. Please refer to the owner’s manual for complete sit to stand instructions.

4 Types of Stand Assist Lifts

Manual Lift:

A manual sit to stand lift is the most simple and most in-expensive type of standup lift. This machine can be properly used by patients or elderly people who have the required arm strength to pull themselves up without needing help. This machine is perfect for using at home to help with transfers.

If you’re on a budget and the person using the lift can pull themselves up, we recommend the Stand Assist Patient Transport by Lumex. It’s a great alternative to Sara Stedy lifts, at a fraction of the cost.

Hydraulic Lift:

The next most cost effective lifting device is a hydraulic assist lift which works quite same as electric lifts and offers similar performance as them. But, the hydraulic lift uses hydraulic pump to lift the patients instead of battery…which means the caregiver has to manually pump the patient up. Pumping the hydraulic lift is fairly easy for a healthy caregiver, but it can be cumbersome for an elderly user, as the pumping needs force and it is need to be done more than one times a day.

Powered Lifts:

Many people consider buying an electric powered lift because of the ease of the use. All you have to do is push a button to raise or lower the patient. These stand assist lifts do the majority of the leg work. Electric sit to stand lifts can offer your love ones more safety and simplicity in moving. Electric lifts come with a battery attached to it which helps to lift the patients easily.

We recommend the Standing Power Body Lift for those that need a powered lift, but are on a budget. This entry powered lift has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon and has some solid reviews.

If you have some extra money to throw around the Hoyer Journey is top of the line. It even has more bells and whistles than the Sara 3000 by Arjohuntleigh, like the ability to fold it down for easy transporting. It’s a great option if you need something portable.

Bariatric Lifts:

Most patient lifts have different size slings (ranging from small to extra large) making them practical for most people, but if you or your loved one requires something larger, you can find bariatric sit to stand lifts for sale. Before you go out and buy one, remember that regular patient lifts have a maximum weight capacity of up to 400lbs, so you may not need to spend the extra money on a bariatric model.

Sit to Stand Lift Reviews

Lumex Stand Assist Patient Lift Review

Lumex stand assist sit to stand lift


Update: If you’re interested in this lift, we recently wrote a full review on the Lumex Stand Assist.

In many situations, a electric sit to stand lift isn’t needed to provide easy and safe transfers. You can get away with using a manual device. This will help save you money as these lifts are a fraction of the cost of a powered lift.

The stand assist patient lift by lumex is one the cheaper transfer lifts on the market. It will provide the same outcome as more expensive lifts, but it will require some more effort by the user and caregiver.

Don’t let the lower price tag fool you. The stand assist is solid with a stable foundation and casters that lock into position. It supports a weight capacity up to 400lbs.

You’ll also transfer comfortably due to the padded knee and leg support, and seat cushions.

You won’t have a problem fitting through doorways as the slim design accommodates for this being only 25 inches wide. The compact size also allows for easy storage when not in use.

It’s important to note that the user of this machine must have the arm strength to pull themselves up in order to fold down the seat pads. They also need to be of sound mind and able to follow directions.

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Orsini Stand Assist Transport Lift Review

Orsini Stand Assist Lift

Update: The manufacturer is no longer producing this stand assist lift. We recommend the Lumex Stand Assist Patient Lift.

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a powered standing lift, Orsini stand assist lifts are a great option. It will take you from point A to point B safely at more than half the cost of an electric lift.

This type of lift helps to provide more independence and engages the user through the transferring process. The user will require adequate strength to pull themselves up to standing position.

Unlike electric lifts, a manual sit to stand relies more on the user’s effort than the caregiver. The patient needs to reach forward, grab the center bar, and with their own strength, pull themselves up into a standing position. At this time the split seat can be folded down. Once the patient is seated on the padded cushions, the caregiver can transport them to their desired location.

The reviews for this machine are great. It’s been said that the ride from one point to another is comfortable. This is possible due to the padded knee supports and cushioned seat pad.

With a maximum width of 25 inches, the Orsini stand assist lift can fit through most door openings. It’s also easy to maneuver on most types of flooring, including carpet.

The stand assist is designed for patients between 5’1″ and 6’6″ in height and can accommodate up to 400lbs. It can be unsafe to transfer people outside of those measures. Keep this in mind when ordering.

These lifts comes with a 3 year warranty which says something about the quality of this machine.

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Get-U-Up Hydraulic Lift Review

invacare get u up sit to stand lift

If you have a patient or loved one that needs help with transferring from one place to another, the Get-U-Up standing lift is ideal for you.

This lift is great for elderly patients, the disabled, or post op patients that require a safe, comfortable, and stable means of transportation. It’s also great for the caregiver.

Please read the following. The patient using this lift has to be able to bear weight. Meaning if their legs buckle under their weight, this is not the correct lift for you unless you buy the correct sling.

This machine will work for most individuals as it can adapt to several body shapes and sizes up to a 350lb weight capacity. It also has an adjustable knee pad support cushion to suit many different patients. Make sure you buy the correct sling for the patient you’ll be using it for.

For this lift you will see 2 types of sling. There are stand assist slings for patients that can bear weight or transport slings for those who can’t bear weight.

The Invacare R-130 standing sling is ideal for getting the person up and transferring to a toilet or toilet chair.

The Invacare R134 transport sling is good for transporting only. It covers the lower body and doesn’t work for toileting.

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Lumex Easy Lift Sit to Stand Review

Lumex easy lift sit to stand

The Lumex easy lift is a good starter lift for those who want to spend less, but require an electric powered lift.

An electric lift is designed to quickly and safely assist patients that have difficulty ambulating to transfer from one object or location to another. The difference between using manual or powered lifts relies on the ability of the patient. If the patient doesn’t have the necessary arm strength to lift themselves up, they will need an electric lift.

These lifts were designed to be comfortable with an adjustable pad to support the patient’s knees. It also has easy grip handles that make maneuvering simple.

Constructed with heavy gauge steel, the easy lift can support 300lbs-400lbs. The foot base is low to the ground maximizing stability.

It’s also worth mentioning that this lift comes with a battery and battery charger. For added protection, I would recommend buying a second battery to use as a backup while charging the other one, unless you take care to charge it at night. One customer mentioned they only have to charge the battery once a week. It just depends how often it’s used.

Important! Although it’s in the picture, this machine does not include a sling. You will need to purchase an appropriate sized sling separately.

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Sit to Stand Lift Rental

If you only need a lift for a short time, there are medical supply companies that rent them on 2 week or monthly terms. However, if you plan on using the lift for awhile we recommend buying one, rather than getting a sit to stand lift rental. If you have a limited budget, looking into a used sit to stand lift may be the way to go. Ebay has a good selection of good pre-owned sit to stand lifts.

Final Thoughts

We exclusively use powered lifts in our nursing home. They make the job of transferring residents safe and efficient. It will save your back when transferring your loved one and it will be more safe for both of you. It also gives the patient increased independence and a better quality of life.

4 Responses to Sit to Stand Lift: Safe and Easy Patient Transfer

  1. Lois merkel says:

    Looking to rent a sit to stand lift and sling powerd can you give me any advice ? He is 83 weights 245 pounds and is 6 foot tall . Can bear weight right knee has been replaced or repaired 3 times I less than a year . I need to buy a used one fast or rent one just for bed to wheel chair to bed ..Thank you any help is appreciated Thank you Mrs Lois Merkel

    • Cody says:

      Hi Lois 🙂 If he can weight bear even with the knee issues and is able to follow instructions, he should be able to use a sit to stand lift just fine for now. I found a used Invacare Get-U-Up sit to stand on, but after shipping costs ($100) you’re further ahead to buy a new one from…that way you’ll get a warranty. There are more expensive used sit to stand lifts on eBay, but not sure of your budget. You could also try Craigslist. I don’t recommend renting unless you can find a reasonably priced, local company because the monthly rates I’ve seen are high and in less than a year will cost more than a brand new machine. Hope this helps! PS. Don’t forget to buy a compatible sling.

  2. Shelia Vick says:

    My husband has a tumor in his spine and is unable to stand, walk or move his legs. He has stage 4 erminal cancer and his condition will decline and I am looking to rent a sit to stand lift. Any recommendaions on who rents them?

    • Cody says:

      Hi Shelia, sorry to hear about your situation. You can see if has sit to stand lifts available for rent in your area.

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