There are two or three types of push-button controlled mechanical Leg lifter but they can all create the problem of pressure sores which are sometimes due to the sheer forces caused when the full weight of the body is turning and moving about on the bed. Shearing forces will only exist if pressure, usually caused by the persons own body weight has a resistance to movement, when a part of the body tries to move but the surface of the skin remains fixed, these friction forces can have an abrasive action.
The simplest and least expensive mechanical type is just an upward moving flap with an electrical motorised actuator attached to side of the bed. Another popular type with the same action is controlled by an air pump to inflate a balloon for raising the flap. Their price makes them the favourite choice for Community Loan stores who make bulk purchases. The biggest problem with most of these inflatable models is that they have the same action of a rising flap - which does not actually put legs onto the bed!
Inflatable Leg Lifters
A noisy electric pump blows the pillows up to raise the leg pad and then good leg function is needed to move them off the pad. A good grip is also needed when the legs are turning.
Powered Leg Lifter
The other electrically operated types such as the Powered Leg-lifter will actually put the legs onto the top edge of the mattress but with this sliding plate model shown above, the user must then be able to move their legs off the leg plate into the centre of the bed before sending the leg plate back to it's original position - off the bed. This is probably the best of the motorised types but is more expensive. However, a free no-obligation trial is offered by the company selling these and this should ensure suitability before purchase. It was originally designed for use on a flat divan bed but the Mark 3L model is now available with universal brackets for use on most electrically operated adjustable beds having a profiling and variable height facility. A longer version is also available for use with bariatric patients. It has a wider leg plate to accommodate heavier Oedematous legs but many people with this condition find moving legs off the plate impossible because of the extra weight.
Powered Leg Hoist
A rope and pulley contraption which hoists the legs whilst being suspended in a sling is also available. It is known as a "Caricare" leglifter and marketed by a mobility company based in Essex who have associated depots around the UK. A lot of people can find this type quite awkward to use if they do not have good upper body strength but both this, and the sliding plate type of powered leg lifters will assist carers when attempting to get legs into bed because lifting is eliminated and they only need to reposition the patients legs when they are resting on the mattress. As with the manual leg lifters, none of these motorised products are 100% successful with all users for a variety of reasons but some people should find a trial useful if only to establish whether a more expensive product would be necessary.