On The Right Track (Ziplines and Ceiling Lifts)

(This blog post is a contribution from Kindra French, owner of 101 Mobility® in San Diego.)

Kindra French

Kindra French

A few years ago, we took the kids on a family adventure to the Costa Rican rainforest. Days spent exploring the sights and sounds of the jungle underneath a verdant canopy were amazing. From tiny cobalt blue and cranberry red and electric green tree frogs to mossy backed sloths to yellow-beaked toucans, we were constantly mesmerized by the abundant wildlife that surrounded us. During our short time in Costa Rica, our family hiked at the base of an active volcano, kayaked in crocodile-infested waters, and swam in warm mineral springs. Our time in Central America was truly unforgettable!



If you ask the kids, I’m pretty sure they’d agree that one of our most memorable experiences happened several stories above the rainforest floor, each of us belted in a sling, latched to a network of cables threaded among the tallest trees. The zip line allowed us to virtually fly over green carpeted canyons, at times in the company of a group of howler monkeys. I’m not sure which band of primates screamed louder, us or them.

Either way, there aren’t really words to describe the exhilarating freedom we felt, zipping from treetop to treetop, while doing nothing more that resting into the support of our harnessing slings and letting go.

By now, hopefully, you are more than a little curious about what prompted me to share these excepts from my family’s vacation of a lifetime, and more importantly what any of it has to do with resources for people with disabilities or mobility challenges.

Actually, it was while watching Gary and Andrew working together to install an overhead lift that these vivid memories spilled into my mind like a tropical waterfall. No, I wasn’t just daydreaming. It suddenly dawned on me that the track system they were installing was not unlike the zip line that carried my family and me above the trees.

Overhead Ceiling Lift

Overhead Ceiling Lift

An overhead lift system works in a similar way to transport people safely and comfortably, in a sling, using a track system mounted above. A caregiver can safely guide the user to desired places within a single room, or from room to room throughout the home. For someone who’s been confined in bed due to lack of mobility, the freedom to glide from room to room can make a person cheer louder than a howler monkey.

Okay, back to Costa Rica…really, I want to go back to Costa Rica. Someday. But back to our zip line adventure… The experience was astounding, breathtaking, incredible. However, when I stepped up on that first platform, that swayed a little under my weight, there was a moment of hesitation, questioning, concern. Okay, it was abject fear. Before I could glide across the canopy, I had to come to terms with the fact that I had to trust this system of cables and clips, and the people who’d installed it, to carry me safely to the other side. Trust. The. System. I did, and you already know how that turned out.

The overhead lifts we offer at 101 Mobility®have been expertly engineered to meet, and in many cases exceed the highest quality standards.

Bed-to-Bathroom Track System

Bed-to-Bathroom Track System

Overhead patient lifts mount to the ceiling joists of a home. The tracks are mounted in a customized pattern that will allow the user to safely glide anywhere along the track. A sling is positioned under the user and carefully clipped to the motorized lift; the patient is then smoothly raised to a comfortable position and can be glided along the track with ease. Inside a bedroom, a user can be easily transported from the bed to a dresser, closet, chair, or anywhere around the room. A retractable belt system allows a caregiver to gently transfer the sling across doorways for complete home access.

The user can freely glide along the track into a restroom, to the shower, sink, or toilet; the overheard patient lift can be configured to offer the user access to living areas, kitchen, or home office. The entire system is strong, safe, and durable. After an overhead patient lift is installed, the unit is tested at 1.5 times its weight capacity, so both the user and caregiver can have complete confidence in the support of the lift.

In contrast to the thrilling, but risky, zipline adventure, overhead patient lifts offer safe, gentle, easy transport for people with severe mobility limitations, and tremendously reduce the risk of injury to caregivers by eliminating the strenuous lifting required to physically transfer a patient from bed to chair.

It may not be carrying someone across a jungle canyon, but overhead patient lifts can provide just the right solution to carry them safely around the home.


101 Mobility® is here for all your mobility and accessibility needs. We offer an extensive line of ceiling lifts for those in need.

If you’d like to reach us to speak about our selection, call (888) 258-0652, send us an email at the Contact Us page, or leave us a comment below.