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How to Lift an Obese Person Off the Floor

how to lift an obese person off floor

How to Lift an Obese Person Off the Floor: A Comprehensive Guide

When faced with the task of lifting an obese person off the floor, it is important to approach the situation with caution and proper technique to ensure the safety and well-being of both the individual being lifted and the person providing assistance. This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of lifting an obese person off the floor, highlighting important considerations and techniques to minimize the risk of injury.

Understanding the Challenges

Lifting an obese person off the floor presents unique challenges due to the individual’s weight and size. It is essential to acknowledge these challenges and plan accordingly to prevent accidents and strain. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

Assess the Situation: Before attempting to lift an obese person, assess the environment for potential hazards and remove any obstacles that could obstruct the lifting process. This includes ensuring that the floor is clear of any tripping hazards, such as loose objects or slippery surfaces. Additionally, check for any furniture or other items that may impede the lifting process. Clearing the area will provide a safe and spacious environment for the lift to take place.

Seek Assistance: Lifting an obese person requires more than one person in most cases. Never attempt to lift someone alone if you are unsure about your own strength or capabilities. Reach out for help from others to ensure a safe lifting experience. Having multiple lifters not only distributes the weight but also allows for better control and coordination during the lifting process. Ideally, at least two or more people should be present to assist with the lift.

Proper Lifting Techniques

To ensure the safety of both the lifter and the person being lifted, it is crucial to follow proper lifting techniques. Here is a step-by-step guide to lifting an obese person off the floor:

1. Communicate: Talk to the person being lifted and explain the lifting process to alleviate any anxiety or fear. It is important to establish clear communication and signals to indicate readiness for lifting. Ensure that the person understands what is about to happen and that they are comfortable with the plan.

2. Positioning: Proper positioning is key to a successful lift. Position yourself and the other lifters properly before attempting the lift. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining a stable base of support. This wider stance provides a solid foundation and helps distribute the weight more evenly. Make sure the person being lifted is also in a safe and comfortable position. They should be lying flat on their back with their arms and legs close to their body. Check for any discomfort or pain before proceeding.

3. Bend Your Knees: When preparing to lift, it is important to bend your knees rather than your back. This helps distribute the weight more evenly and reduces the risk of back injuries. Squat down by bending your knees while keeping your back straight. This position allows you to generate power from your leg muscles, which are much stronger than your back muscles.

4. Use Leg Muscles: Engage your leg muscles to generate the lifting force. Push through your legs and keep your back straight as you begin to lift the person off the floor. Avoid using your back muscles alone, as they are more prone to strain and injury. By utilizing the power of your leg muscles, you distribute the load more evenly and reduce the risk of overexertion.

5. Lift Gradually: Lift the person gradually and smoothly, avoiding sudden or jerky movements. Rushing the lift can lead to instability and potential injury. Maintain a steady pace and communicate with the other lifters to ensure coordination. Lift in unison, applying equal force to avoid any imbalances or discomfort for the person being lifted.

6. Maintain a Neutral Spine: Throughout the lifting process, make sure to maintain a neutral spine position. Avoid twisting or bending your

back excessively, as this can lead to injuries. Keep your back straight and your core engaged. This position helps distribute the weight evenly along your spine, reducing strain and potential injuries.

7. Support the Person’s Body: Provide adequate support to the person’s body while lifting. This can be achieved by placing one arm around their back and the other arm under their knees or thighs. The goal is to cradle their body securely, ensuring that their weight is evenly distributed and their head and neck are properly supported. Be mindful of any medical conditions or injuries the person may have and adjust your support accordingly.

8. Lift with Your Legs: As you continue to lift, focus on using your leg muscles rather than straining your back. Push through your legs, keeping your back straight, and avoid excessive bending or twisting motions. Your leg muscles are larger and more powerful, making them better suited for carrying the load. By using your legs as the primary source of lifting power, you minimize the risk of back strain or injury.

9. Move Slowly and Carefully: Once the person is off the floor, it is important to move slowly and carefully. Avoid any sudden movements that could cause imbalance or strain. Take small steps and maintain stability throughout the transfer process. Ensure that the person being lifted feels secure and supported throughout the movement.

Generally, lifting an obese person off the floor requires proper technique, coordination, and assistance from others. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure a safe lifting experience for both the person being lifted and the individuals providing assistance. Remember to prioritize communication, maintain a stable base of support, and engage your leg muscles throughout the lifting process. With these considerations in mind, you can successfully lift an obese person off the floor while minimizing the risk of injury.

More Tips: Using Assistive Lifting Devices and Equipment

If you are a caregiver or a family member of an obese person who has fallen on the floor, you may be wondering how to lift them up safely and comfortably. Lifting an obese person off the floor can be challenging and risky, both for the person and for you. You may injure your back, neck, or knees if you try to lift them without proper equipment or technique. The person may also suffer from pain, pressure sores, or skin tears if they are not lifted carefully and gently.

Fortunately, there are some devices and methods that can help you lift an obese person off the floor with ease and dignity. In this article, we will discuss some of the best options for lifting an obese person off the floor, as well as some tips and precautions to keep in mind.


What Devices or Equipment Can You Use to Lift an Obese Person Off the Floor?

There are different types of devices that can help you lift an obese person off the floor, depending on their level of mobility, strength, and cooperation. Some of the most common devices are:

– **Sit-to-stand lifts**: These are devices that help people who cannot stand on their own to get up from a seated position. They have a base that slides under the person’s feet, a sling that goes around their torso and under their arms, and a handle that they can hold onto. The device then lifts them up to a standing position with the push of a button. You can then transfer them to a wheelchair, a bed, or another surface. Sit-to-stand lifts are ideal for people who have some upper body strength and can bend their knees and hips.

– **Lifting cushions**: These are inflatable devices that can be placed under the person’s buttocks or back and then inflated with air to raise them up to a sitting or standing position. They are usually battery-powered and come with a remote control. Lifting cushions are suitable for people who have some upper body strength and can lean forward and support themselves with their arms.

– **Lifting chairs**: These are devices that look like regular chairs but have an inflatable backrest that can lift the person up to a standing position. They are usually battery-powered and come with a remote control. Lifting chairs are good for people who have some upper body strength and can sit upright and support themselves with their arms.
– **Lifting belts**: These are devices that go around the person’s waist and legs and then lift them up with straps or handles. They can be manual or electric, depending on the model. Lifting belts are useful for people who have some lower body strength and can assist with pushing themselves up with their legs.


Fallen Person Lifting Devices and Equipment (Our Top Choices)

Mangar ELK Emergency Lifting Cushion

The Mangar ELK emergency lifting cushion is an inflatable lifting device designed to help Caregivers lift someone from the floor after a fall. Lightweight and portable, the ELK inflatable emergency lifting cushion can lift up to 1,000 lbs and is particularly good for lift assists in confined spaces such as bathrooms and hallways. It is a great device to lift fallen person. The Airflo Compressor is battery powered meaning it can be used anywhere, inside or out, and does not need to be near a mains point for power, making it perfect for a home environment or on days out. Read More…


The Mangar Camel Inflatable Lifting Chair

If you are caring for a loved one who falls regularly, the Mangar Camel lifting chair provides a safe, stable and dignified lift while protecting you from injury. It is used by Caregivers in the USA, Canada, UK and across the world to lift fallen people from the floor into a seated position. It is also great for lifting a fallen person with one handler or none at all. Powered by a portable Airflo compressor, the emergency lifting cushion is positioned underneath the fallen person before being inflated. The Mangar Camel includes a supportive backrest, which when inflated raises the person to an upright position. Read More…


Mangar Raiser Lifting Cushion

Designed to help raise a person from a seated position, the Mangar Raiser Lifting Cushion (not Raizer or Raizer II) is the ideal lifting aid for those living at home who may struggle to move from their chair to standing. Considered a great alternative to a riser recliner chair, the Raiser is designed to easily fit the shape of any standard household armchair.

At the touch of a button the two inflatable compartments rise individually, slowly lifting you to a position that will allow them to stand in a dignified manner. The process takes just a couple of minutes, meaning users can be on their feet quickly and safely. Read More…

Invacare Lightweight Hydraulic Patient Lift

This lift is used along with a sling, which is listed as “Full Body Patient Lift Sling With Commode Cutout Option No/Large” offered by What A Deals. (There is no commode cutout).

The patient doesn’t have to participate or hang on to it. The sling has loops which are placed onto the lift. If the patient has fallen, he is turned on his side and rolled onto the sling and then lifted. Read more…


Lumex Stand Assist Patient Transport Unit, LF1600

The Lumex Stand Assist is designed for users who have the strength and stability to lift and support themselves.

Users grasp the middle bar and use their own strength to pull themselves up into position. We suggest an electric sit to stand lift for persons with limited strength and stability. Read more…


ResQUp Patient Lift and Mobility Aid (Midnight)

The ResQUp is an ergonomically integrated system comprised of three progressive 4½ inch horizontal levels (4½, 9, and 13½ inches from floor level) that fold into one another for easy portability and setup. The ResQUp is made out of durable LDPE, is not heavy (weighing in at 15 lbs) and can support up to 300 lbs. The ResQUp claims to be 100% made in the USA. Read More…


How to Use These Devices to Lift an Obese Person Off the Floor?

Before you use any of these devices to lift an obese person off the floor, you should follow these steps:

– Check if the person is injured or in pain. If they are, call 911 or seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to move them unless it is absolutely necessary.
– Assess the situation and choose the best device for the person’s condition and location. Make sure you have enough space and clearance to use the device safely and effectively.
– Read the instructions and follow them carefully. Make sure you understand how to operate the device correctly and securely.
– Communicate with the person and explain what you are going to do. Ask for their consent and cooperation. Reassure them that you will be gentle and careful.
– Position the device under or around the person according to the instructions. Make sure it is properly aligned and adjusted for their size and weight.
– Activate the device and lift the person slowly and steadily. Do not jerk or rush the movement. Watch for any signs of discomfort or distress from the person.
– Transfer the person to a stable surface such as a wheelchair, a bed, or another chair. Make sure they are comfortable and supported.

What Tips and Precautions Should You Keep in Mind When Lifting an Obese Person Off the Floor?

When lifting an obese person off the floor, you should also keep in mind these tips and precautions:

– Do not try to lift an obese person by yourself without any equipment or assistance. You may hurt yourself or them in the process.
– Do not use any device that is not designed for lifting obese people or that is not compatible with their size and weight. You may damage the device or cause injury to yourself or them.
– Do not use any device that is broken, faulty, or missing parts. You may compromise its safety and functionality.
– Do not use any device without proper training or supervision. You may misuse it or cause harm to yourself or them.
– Do not lift an obese person more than necessary or more than they can tolerate. You may cause them pain, fatigue, or injury.
– Do not leave an obese person on the floor for too long. You may increase their risk of complications such as pressure sores, infections, blood clots, or respiratory problems.


Lifting an obese person off the floor can be a daunting and difficult task, but it can be done safely and comfortably with the right devices and methods. By following the steps, tips, and precautions outlined in this article, you can help an obese person get up from the floor with ease and dignity.

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