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Ceiling Lifts Types

Home ceiling lifts feature a lifting unit, a sling for the patient to travel in, and a track which is secured to the ceiling (permanent) or to free-standing posts (portable). The sling hooks onto the lift with secure clips.

The needs of the patient and their home situation will determine which options will work the best for them. Patient lifts do not require track but are considered to be a lifting unit that requires a sling.

Lifting Units


  • May be removed from one track for use in another in a different location.
    • Must be plugged to electrical outlet to charge battery.
    • Unit is lightweight but can still lift up to 440 lb (depending on model).
    • The patient is transferred up and down using a motor, caregiver is required to manually move the patient along the overhead rail system.
  • Portable lifts are often the best choice for home use due to their flexibility and ease of use.


  • Cannot remove from the track system.
  • May feature a second motor for moving the patient along the track.
  • Lifts are generally battery powered with built-in charging systems. With most models, simply park the lifting unit in the charging station on the track.

Patient Lifts

  • Patient lifts are floor standing lifts with wheels, making it easier for the caregiver to move the patient. It consists of a base, vertical pole/mast with large handle for steering and boom arm that move up and down to lift and lower the patient.
  • Manual patient lifts are operated with hydraulics (hand pump to raise and lower patient) and require strength to operate. May require 2 people to operate this lift.
  • Motorized patient lifts use a motor to lift and lower a patient, removing any physical strain for the caregiver.
  • Patient lifts are very simple to operate and can be wheeled into position over a bed or chair.
  • There are other specialty patient lifts available that are suitable for transferring a person in and out of a vehicle.


Universal Sling

  • Most slings come in different sizes and weight capacities. It is important to consult an experienced healthcare professional to help select the correct one for the patient.
  • Important to make sure the sling is compatible with the lift that is purchased.
  • Possible to put it on and take it off while the patient is sitting in a wheelchair.
  • Some patients may be able to use the sling themselves without the aid of a caregiver.
  • Often comes with head support that may or may not be adjustable.

Hygienic Sling

  • Provides minimal support but useful when patient requires bathing or toileting.
  • Supports the patient, allowing the caregiver to easily remove clothing.
  • Should be fast drying and washable.


Fixed/Installed Track

  • Installed in the home to move a person within a room, or to another room—often from bedroom to bathroom.
  • A professional installer ensures that the track is safely mounted to carry the required capacity of the lift.
  • Fixed track systems are for longer-term use, and the track is conveniently out of the way to enable occupants to move easily around the room.
  • May use permanent or portable lifting units.

Portable Track

  • Best for short-term use or if fixed tracking is not an option.
  • The portable track is freestanding, consists of a section of track and 2 supporting posts, and is easy to set up.
  • Intended for shorter distances (typically to transfer from bed to wheelchair or commode), not multi-room access.
  • May be moved around the home as needed by the home owner.
  • Only portable lifting units are typically used on these track systems.