This one's for Alesha (and anyone else who might be interested!)
Here's one of our overhead hoists:I much prefer it to any kind of mobile hoist. With the mobile hoist, you have to use your own strength to push the hoist from one place to the next. With the ceiling track, you simply press a button then pull gently. It takes up no floorspace at all which also helps!
We have four separate tracks - one in each girls' bedroom, one in the bathroom, and one in the playroom. That works alright for us, but I know other people who have a slightly more efficient layout whereby one long piece of ceiling track (sometimes curved) will go all the way through from bedroom to bathroom. This definitely makes it easier to move a child from bed to bath and back again, but it can also lead to very wet floors on the way back! The girls' hospice has H track hoists so the child can be lifted from anywhere in the room to anywhere in the room. With ours you can only go from the bed to the middle of the room and that's it.
Our bathroom not only has the ceiling track hoist but also a flip down shower stretcher:
This is phenomenally useful. It sits over the bath tub, and gets used as a changing bench and a shower bench. Then it folds up against the wall so we can use the bath too. Mog either has a shower on the bench, or is stripped off on the bench then hoisted up into the air. The bench is then folded away and she can be dunked into the bathtub. A nice bath, then she is hoisted back out, the bench is folded down again and we can dry her off. No drips in the bedroom, no needing to cover the bed up with waterproof towels, and with the bathroom door closed, no chance of her getting too cold either.
We have two slings - one which is a normal every day sling (actually we have two of those so that one may be washed), and one which is a "wet" sling. The dry sling is made of parachute silk, and is designed so that she can sit on it in her wheelchair all day long without getting sore. It's very lightweight. We simply roll her over in the morning to slide it underneath her, then hoist her into her chair with it. The disadvantage of this design is that the child does have to sit on the sling all day long; there's no way of taking it out from under the child unless you lift the child up (which sort of defeats the object of using the sling). Goldie had some divided leg slings which could be slid underneath her in her chair, but I prefer this design myself.
The wet one is the same design but made of a heavier fabric which lets the water through. After the bath we leave it to drip and it's dry by morning. Both slings go in the washing machine when necessary and come out nearly dry.
I hope that's helpful.