FA & I: Celebrating 25 years together
My diagnosis
My scoliosis
Muscle Spasm
Using a wheelchair
My powerchair
My Speech
NHS Wheelchair Services
Foot surgery
Using a catheter
My diabetes
As FA progresses
Living with depression
Ataxia UK Coventry and Warwickshire Support Group
Independent Living
Getting the care I need
Using a hoist
My Hive
Taking CoQ10
Using my computer
Using public transport
The Open University
Working life
Travels in the UK
Walt Disney World

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Last updated: October 2018

Using a hoist

When I lived at home (before I moved into my own flat) an OT came to see me and asked me, mum and dad to show her how I transferred. She was horrified at what she saw and to cut a long story short, after about 6 months I signed for my own flat. When being assessed for what care I needed my OT told me straight the carers would not be able to take my weight to help me transfer and therefore she was arranging for a hoist to be delivered. I hated the idea of using a hoist but I knew I couldn’t argue with her.

At first I was given a manual hoist but this has been replaced by two ceiling track hoists – one in my bathroom and one in my bedroom. Because Social Services had specified that I needed two people to operate my manual hoist I was not insured if one PA/carer was to operate it. However a track hoist only needs one person to operate it and it is a lot easier to find one PA than two who work together. I sit in the sling in a much better position - see pictures on the Independent Living page.

I have made sure I have maintained the power in my legs by exercising as I am no longer transferring. I have to say how much easier and safer using a hoist is – I used to have so many falls and injuries when I used to transfer. I am not encouraging anyone to use a hoist - by all means stay as independent for as long as you can. It’s not an eventuality either - a couple of years ago I met a lovely lady who has just turned 60 and was diagnosed with FA in her early 20’s. She lives alone and independently, and regularly enjoys trips abroad with her family. All I’m saying is, if you should ever need one, using a hoist isn’t necessarily the end of the world.


This website has been around sinse 1998, and although it's changed a lot over the years it's always been about me and my disability. Over the years I have used many different hosts and website design packages. For the past ten years or so I have used 1&1 as my host and I have always been very happy with it. I have always wanted to learn how to build a website from scratch using Adobe Dreamweaver, so about three years ago I got in touch with Polar Solutions and arranged for a trainer to come out to my home to teach me at my own pace. So I now design this website using Adobe Dreamweaver and the skills I learned on that course.