For some people, an adjustable home hospital bed is a must-have piece of medical equipment. But is an adjustable bed suitable for your elderly or disabled loved one? It’s a question many family caregivers struggle with. They don’t want to invest in a home hospital bed that isn’t needed. On the other hand, they don’t want loved ones to experience inconvenience, discomfort, or injuries a home hospital bed could prevent.
In this post, we look at six signs your loved one needs a home hospital bed and talk about how an adjustable bed can help.
6 Signs Your Loved One Needs an Adjustable Bed
1. They Face Mobility Challenges
Does your loved one struggle to move around their home unaided? Perhaps they find it challenging to sit down and stand back up again. They may tire quickly after physical exertion like getting out of bed. There are many possible causes of limited mobility: muscle wastage, damaged muscles and ligaments, chronic pain, back and leg injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and arthritis, among others.
Home hospital beds include features to help people with mobility issues. Height-adjustable beds make it easier to get into and out of bed without excessive exertion, reducing the risk of falls. The bed’s head adjustment helps the occupant to sit up and lie down. Bed rails and the border edge protection on hospital bed mattresses provide support while moving around the bed.
2. They Have Cognitive Impairments
Age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia reduce people’s ability to remember and understand. Strokes and other brain injuries can do the same. People with cognitive impairments may be less able to look after themselves and more accident prone.
For example, cognitively impaired adults are more likely to roll out of bed. In fact, almost a third of severe falls affecting cognitively impaired people result from falling out of bed. Additionally, dementia often disrupts sleep cycles. Your loved one may get up many times in the night—often a cause of trips and other injuries.
Home hospital beds have features that improve the safety and comfort of people with cognitive impairments:
- Hospital bed mattresses with stiffened edges help to keep the bed’s occupant in the middle of the mattress.
- Hospital beds can be fitted with padded rails to stop the occupant from falling out and give them support when they get up or move around.
- The bed’s height adjustment can be lowered to make falls less dangerous.
- The height adjustment also makes getting in and out of bed safer.
3. They Use a Wheelchair
Getting into and out of bed is a challenge for wheelchair users, especially if their upper body strength or balance are reduced. Transferring from a wheelchair to a bed at a different height is no easy feat. As explained in our wheelchair transfer guide, a home hospital bed makes transferring much easier.
The height adjustment allows a wheelchair user or a caregiver to position the bed at the same height as the wheelchair’s seat. Having both surfaces at the same height makes pivoting across straightforward and reduces the physical burden on the wheelchair user and their caregivers.
4. They Suffer From Lung or Heart Ailments
Medical practitioners often recommend that people suffering from heart, circulatory, or lung-related illnesses avoid sleeping in a supine position—flat on their back. Instead, they recommend sleeping with the head or the feet slightly elevated or lowered, depending on the condition.
For example, people with heart failure often experience shortness of breath when lying on their back. Raising the head can reduce the effect. People with circulatory problems may find their legs swell (edema) when they sleep flat; elevating the feet lets fluid circulate more efficiently and reduces swelling.
A modern home hospital bed—like the Supernal 5—has motorized head and foot adjustments that help the bed’s occupant to sleep in a medically recommended position. A four-function or five-function home hospital bed—including many Transfer Master beds—can also adopt the cardiac chair position, which provides relief for the lungs and circulatory system.
5. They Need On-Bed Treatment or Assistance
Does your loved one require bathing, physiotherapy, or medical treatment in bed? If so, a home hospital bed simplifies matters for the caregiver and the person they are looking after. If you’re the sole caregiver for your loved one, you can’t afford to be out of action. Unfortunately, the biggest causes of caregiver injury are reaching, stretching, and bending while providing care—a home hospital bed will help you avoid these stresses and strains.
- With an adjustable bed, you can raise the occupant to a comfortable working height and change their position to make access easier.
- The height adjustment is also a big help with caregiver-supported transfers in and out of bed. Moving someone to the floor or a wheelchair requires much less effort when the bed is set to an appropriate height.
- There will be no more bending down, lifting your loved one, and tucking extra pillows behind them. Instead, you can use the bed’s powered adjustment to help them into a sitting position.
6. They Are Bedridden
If your loved one is bedridden, a home hospital bed can help them out in many ways, but we will focus on just one—pressure sores. Pressure sores form when people stay in one position for too long, a constant risk for bedridden people. They start as local skin irritation but quickly progress to deep and painful open wounds, often becoming infected. Pressure sores can lead to amputation or even death if left untreated.
An adjustable bed with a home hospital bed mattress can make all the difference. The bed’s adjustments allow its surface to be positioned to minimize the skin pressure and shear that cause pressure sores. A home hospital bed mattress is designed to distribute pressure evenly so that areas prone to sores don’t take all the weight.
What Is the Best Bed for Bedridden Patients?
For bedridden people at significant risk of pressure sores or existing sores, we recommend using a pressure relief mattress with a five-function adjustable bed like Transfer Master’s Supernal 5 or New Valiant. Pressure relief mattresses include independently adjustable air bladders that automatically redistribute pressure across the occupant’s body.
Is Your Loved One Ready for a Home Hospital Bed?
Home hospital beds are multi-function medical devices with many benefits for users and their caregivers. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand whether your loved one needs a home hospital bed. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to phone or email our friendly home hospital bed experts for more information.