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Pool Lift Guide 2024 & Alternative Solution

Posted on by Eric Rubel

pool lift guide and alternative solution

To escape the summer heat, nothing can be more relaxing than a dip in the pool. Or when it’s cool, a dip in the hot tub can be just as rewarding. For people with a disability, or anyone bound to a wheelchair, and even older adults that have lost some coordination, balance and overall mobility, taking a dip can become challenging and sometimes dangerous. The risks are falling and drowning.

Pool lifts exist to help people that are struggling with mobility to get in and out of the water safely, and sometimes, independently.

Types of Pool Lifts

There are 3 types of pool lifts that exist:

  • Battery powered pool lifts
  • Manual hydraulic pool lifts
  • Water powered poll lifts.
caregiver assists girl into pool using overhead pool lift

The type of pool, whether it be residential or commercial, can affect the type of pool lift required. There are also ADA regulations when it comes to public pools that certified lift technicians must abide by. Pool lifts can also be fixed or mobile.

Fixed pool lifts are typically bolted into a deck made of concrete or metal. Mobile pool lifts can be on wheels, allowing a caregiver to roll it into place, or they can also be inserted into a dedicated hole or opening on the deck next to the pool’s edge. The intent of this design is for them to remain out of the way, until they are needed.

Regardless of the type of pool lift, the job it performs remains the same. It lifts and transfers a person that most often sits on a chair, from the deck or even a wheelchair into and out of a pool or hot tub.

Let’s take a look at a battery powered pool lift installation.

Powered Pool Lift Installation by Lifeway Mobility

Steve bought a new home and the pool was an added touch. He had Lifeway Mobility install a powered pool lift to benefit a disabled family member who has young children of her own. The pool lift allows the family to get together without anyone feeling left out of the fun. Everyone, especially the kiddos, can enjoy the hot tub and pool alike with mom as a result of the pool lift installation. Mom can transfer herself from her wheelchair into the pool or hot tub, which are at different heights, in one lift and transfer.

man in pool lift to safely transfer into the pool

Steve in CO sits in new pool lift installed by Lifeway Mobility for all to enjoy family time in the summer.

Aqua Creek Scout Pool Lift

The type of pool lift installed for Steve's family was an Aqua Creek scout pool lift, which is self motorize and is ideal for raised pools and hot tubs.

 A person can slide in and out of the pool lift chair from a wheelchair, and with the push of a few buttons on a pendant cord remote, he/she can transfer in and out of the pool or spa completely on their own. The lift is easy to use, is whisper quiet, and it rotates a full 360 degrees in either direction. It can lift and transfer up to 26 inches high. The particular model that Steve chose has a 350 lbs weight carry limit. Other pool lift models exist that can handle lifting and transferring more weight.

Alternative Solution to Traditional Pool Lifts

With some creativity and craftsmanship, other types of body lifts can be adapted to perform the same work as traditional pool lifts. One such piece of equipment is a ceiling lift that is typically installed inside of a home or business.

Let’s look at a ceiling lift that has been customized to work over an exercise/therapy pool that sits above ground. These types of pools are becoming very popular.

Ceiling Pool Lift Installation by Lifeway Mobility

Lifeway Mobility helped Dawn Adapt a Ceiling Lift for her Pool to remain active. Dawn is paralyzed from the waist down, but that doesn’t get her down. She is a very independent and active woman. She wanted to retain her independence in her cabin and regular home, and enjoy moving about more freely to spend quality time with her husband. Ceiling lifts have allowed her to transfer from her wheelchair and back.

man transfers himself into exercise pool in CO

Dawn's husband transfers himself safely into their exercise pool

Having already bought a ceiling lift track system for her cabin, Dawn wanted to add one over the exercise pool in the backyard of her home. Since she was already familiar with how to operate the equipment, it seemed a natural solution.

She loves to swim for fun and exercise in her swim spa. She escapes the heat during the summer months. The temperature of the water can also be warmed up so that she can use it during cooler months. She didn’t want to feel trapped, and the ceiling lift allowed her to appease her outdoorsy nature.

Adapted Pool Lift: Surehands Freedom Bridge

caregiver assists girl into pool using ceiling lift freedom bridge

The actual type of ceiling lift that has been adapted to perform as a pool lift for Dawn and her family is the SureHands Freedom Bridge. It was customized by certified technicians to be taller so it can lift higher. The bridge is a two post system along with a powered motor glides on a track. The lift is able to reach from one side to the other side of the spa pool.

The motor itself is not waterproof, and that was okay in this case. It can be removed and hooked on as needed. It is stored away when not in use to avoid weather damage. Because it does need to be hooked on before use, this pool lift solution does require a helping hand from a caregiver to operate. Dawn’s husband definitely has her back there.

This goes to show that with a little ingenuity, alternatives to a pool lift do exist. Dawn is certainly enjoying staying more active.

Pool Lifts - Where to Start?

ceiling lift used as pool lift from Lifeway Mobility

Get started by understanding the needs:

  • Can the pool lift be operated independently or will assistance be needed?
  • Look at the pool and determine if there is room along the edges or on the deck for a fixed pool lift or do you have a storage shed in which a mobile floor pool lift can be stored?
  • Take into account the weight requirement as well because going with an inadequate lift can have serious health consequences if it can’t lift and transfer the weight required.

The cost of a pool lift varies, and it’s important to find a solution that will work for you, and at a price you can afford. Looking online can be overwhelming, so don’t get discouraged.

You can contact us directly to set up a free consultation and one of our certified pool lift specialists will be happy to help and provide a free quote!

Improve your mobility. Request a quote today!

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