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Caregivers

3 Ways an Adjustable Bed Can Help a Home Caregiver

Millions of people care for family members, spouses, and patients with conditions that make it hard to move, to get into and out of bed safely, and even to stay in bed without developing bedsores and other maladies. An ordinary bed offers little help, and—depending on the occupant and how long they spend in bed—can worsen their condition.

An adjustable home hospital bed reduces the work and physical exertion needed to care for someone who is bed-bound or who needs care in bed while providing a safer and more comfortable environment for people who spend a long time in bed.

A Home Hospital Bed Helps Patients to Help Themselves

People who are not caregivers struggle to understand how exhausting it is to care for someone with mobility limitations and bodily weakness. The carer may have to move the patient many times a day, helping to adjust their position, sit them up, lie them down, rearrange their bedclothes.

The powered adjustments on a home hospital bed make life easier for carers and patients. With an adjustable bed, carers raise and lower the head and foot of the bed without physical exertion. Patients lie or sit in the position that is most comfortable and that is best for their condition.

Just as important, a powered adjustable bed allows patients to adapt their environment without prevailing on their caregiver. Many patients are frustrated and embarrassed to call on their caregiver when they need to move. Some suffer in silence to avoid burdening caregivers. With an adjustable bed equipped with a remote control, the patient can operate the adjustments without help, allowing them to take back some of the control lost to their condition.

Get Into and Out of Bed Safely

Bed-related falls and injuries happen most often when patients are getting into or out of bed—especially when they transfer to or from a wheelchair. This is also one of the most challenging tasks for caregivers, who are often injured when helping patients to stand up.

The height adjustment and other features on a home hospital bed like the Supernal 5 assist caregivers and patients during transfers and when helping someone to stand up. When transferring to a wheelchair, the bed must be at the same height as the wheelchair. A gradient increases the effort it takes to transfer and reduces the usefulness of transfer boards.

When helping a patient to stand up, the deck of the bed should be at a comfortable height for the patient. Too high, and they may have to jump to the ground or stand up on their tiptoes, both of which are dangerous. Too low, and the effort required can exceed the patient’s ability, forcing the carer to “haul” them up. Both the carer and the patient can lose their balance in this scenario.

The Supernal 5’s powered height adjustment can raise and lower the deck from 12 inches to 24 inches with a remote control, heights which are ideal for almost all wheelchair transfers and caregiver-assisted maneuvers.

Home hospital beds from Transfer Master also offer bed rails and stiffened mattress edges, which offer even better safety and support when helping patients into and out of bed.

Manage Bedsores and Promote Healing

Patients who spend long periods in bed are at risk of bedsores. A bedsore forms when the skin and underlying tissue are put under pressure, shear forces, and friction. The consequences range from discomfort to substantial pain to limb-threatening injury and infection.

Caregivers who care for bed-bound patients fight the formation of bedsores and treat existing bedsores, but both are challenging without the help of an adjustable bed with a suitable mattress.

To avoid bedsores, patients must be frequently repositioned and spend as little time as possible in bed. An adjustable bed makes position changes straightforward, and, as we discussed in the last section, make it easier to help patients out of bed.

Mattresses designed for home hospital beds such as our Supernal Sleep System are engineered to distribute pressure intelligently and can help to reduce the risk of bedsore formation. For patients with bedsores, we offer a range of pressure-relief mattresses.

Traditionally, a caregiver would have to regularly reposition their patient, using wedges and other devices to ensure that bedsores can heal. Pressure relief mattresses use air cells to adjust the forces acting on the body dynamically. Advanced pressure-relief mattresses like the PressureGuard® APM2 offer lateral rotation that gently rotates the patient in a predetermined cycle, promoting the healing of bedsores without constant intervention from the caregiver.

Contact an adjustable bed consultant today to learn more about how adjustable home hospital beds and hospital bed mattresses can help you to take care of your loved ones.

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About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Twenty-five years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.