For both the patients and staff of Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care, it’s going to be a real boost.
Thanks to a $20,000 Pinnacol Assurance Safety Grant, the hospice has acquired four state-of-the-art Raizer lift chairs. Crafted by the Danish company Liftup, the $5,000 battery-operated mobile devices are designed to help a fallen person up to a nearly standing position in less than a minute.
On Wednesday, Dawn Jones, director of nursing, and Amy Rose, director of clinical services and education, demonstrated the assembly and use of the Raizer, which is capable of lifting a person weighing up to 330 pounds.
“This will make things safer for our patients and our staff,” Rose said. “In this population, where patients are fairly fragile and fall often, we just lift them up ourselves, which can be very strenous. And if it isn’t safe to do that, we call the fire department to get the patient off the floor.
“But with these devices, it will keep us from having to do that.”
After attaching several pieces to the motor, which is placed under a patient’s knees, Jones used a remote control to lift Rose off the floor in under a minute.
“The fire department is going to love us,” noted one hospice staffer as Rose was moved to an upright position.
“So will our patients, who won’t be on the floor very long,” added another.
Trystan Garcia, a spokesman for the hospice, said patients facing a life-limiting illness are “often slow to accept their diagnosis and don’t realize how frail they’ve become. Patient falls are the root cause of safety hazards, and the limited methods to recover from a fall often result in injury or discomfort for patients.”
“It’s very difficult,” he said. “First you have to check the patient to make sure they don’t have injuries, any kind of head trauma. The biggest thing is that you want to get them back up, to a chair or the bed, without hurting them and without hurting yourself. That’s the big thing. If you hurt yourself during a lift, you’re useless to the patient.
“And this will be a big help. The Raizer will allow one person to get a patient up, as long as they don’t have any injuries, without having to call the fire department.”
Tarrah Lowry, president and CEO of the hospice, said staff learned about the Raizer lift chairs through a Facebook posting.
“And we said, ‘Wow, wouldn’t that be wonderful to have something like this?’ But they’re very expensive and we couldn’t afford one. And then a grant opportunity came along through Pinnacol. We wrote the grant and were awarded it.”
The local hospice was one of six organizations nationwide to receive the Pinnacol grant. The Raizer units will be used at hospice locations in Pueblo, Canon City, Trinidad and La Junta.