Medical Beds

How Having a Hospital Bed at Home Improves Your Independence

Loss of independence is one of the biggest challenges of incapacity due to aging, illness, and injury. Few of us want to relinquish control over how we spend our days. We find it depressing and frustrating to rely on the support of others for once-trivial daily tasks such as getting into bed. For some, the thought of exchanging the comfort and familiarity of their home for a care facility or hospital is unbearable.

For the elderly, what psychologists call “aging in place” has many physical, psychological, and social benefits. It improves cognition, extends our ability to carry out daily activities, and reduces depression. For younger and more active people with injuries and illnesses that could lead to long-term hospitalization, the impact can be even more serious. Long hospital stays give rise to “many negative feelings that have detrimental effects on psychological well-being and coping.”

A home hospital bed helps people to maintain their independence. Hospital beds provide the support people need to manage daily tasks their health or disability might otherwise make impossible. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways a modern hospital bed empowers people to live an independent life in their own homes.

Getting Into and Out of Bed

Getting into and out of bed is physically demanding. People with mobility limitations, coordination issues, and bodily weakness often struggle to get into bed and find a comfortable, safe position to rest. Getting out of bed in the morning or to go to the bathroom frequently occasions slips and falls, especially in the elderly.

Hospital beds incorporate features that make it easier and safer to get into and out of bed.

Height-adjustable beds—also known as Hi-Low beds—can be raised and lowered to the ideal height. Accidents tend to happen when a bed is too high or too low. Beds that are too high are hard to climb into and dangerous to get out of. People struggle to stand from a bed that is too low and to lower themselves gently when lying down. An adjustable bed can be set at just the right height for trouble-free transitions to and from the bed.

Lying down and sitting up also present significant challenges. We need considerable muscle power to sit up from a prone position and vice versa. Home hospital beds with motorized head adjustment solve this problem, allowing the bed’s occupant to gently raise and lower themselves at will.

Staying in Bed

People recovering from surgery and people with dementia are a high risk for falling out of bed. The likelihood is increased by certain medications, recent changes in mobility and strength, incontinence, impaired vision, and more.

Hospital beds are designed to limit the risk of falling. Bed rails ensure that the bed’s occupant can’t roll beyond the edge. Mattresses such as our Supernal Sleep System feature border-edge protection stiffened edges that provide support for safe movement and that help the bed’s occupant to maintain a central position.

Treatment at Home

Patients often need to stay in a hospital or care facility because their home environment isn’t suitable for aftercare or ongoing treatment. Home hospital beds include a range of features that make it easier, safer, and more convenient to receive treatment at home.

For example, medical professionals often advise people with cardiac, pulmonary, and circulatory conditions not to lie down for extended periods. It exacerbates edema (swelling) and puts stress on the heart and lungs. Modern home hospital beds such as our flagship, the Supernal 5, are equipped with head and foot adjustments that reconfigure the bed to act as a cardiac chair.

A home hospital bed’s height adjustment is also extremely useful when a patient requires treatment at home. The bed can be raised to enable caregivers to complete routine hygiene and treatment tasks in a safe position, and then repositioned to the preferred height of the bed’s occupant.

Flexible Positions

Modern home hospital beds are controlled via wired or wireless remote controls designed for easy use by seniors and people who have trouble with complex interfaces. The bed’s occupant can manage its configuration while in bed. Depending on the bed, that might include its height, head and foot position, and tilt in beds with Trendelenburg or Reverse Trendelenburg support.

Dual King hospital beds are even more flexible. They incorporate two independent sets of adjustments, each with remote controls that allow couples to configure their side to their preferred position.

Improved Hygiene

Standard consumer beds and mattresses are not designed to cope with the hygiene challenges of long-term bed rest, incontinence, and injury. Hospital beds and mattresses are, in contrast, built from easy-clean materials that don’t soak up fluids or harbor microbe-friendly environments.

Safe and Easy Wheelchair Transfers

Transferring to and from the bed is a major challenge for seniors and newly disabled people who use a wheelchair. Falls while transferring are common, and an inability to safely transfer may be the factor that determines whether a patient lives in a care facility or their home.

We have already explored some of the ways that our beds support wheelchair users, including height-adjustable beds, border-edge protection on mattresses, and bed rails. These features grant wheelchair users a degree of independence and freedom that is not possible with standard consumer beds.

Bedsore Prevention and Treatment

Bedsores are a danger for anyone who spends long periods in bed, but they are particularly prevalent among seniors with dementia and other conditions that impact awareness and mobility. Bedsore avoidance and management are key responsibilities for caregivers in hospitals and care facilities, and home hospital beds make it much easier to avoid and treat bedsores at home.

We’ve written extensively about what bedsores are and how to prevent them, but to summarise, bedsores occur when tissue is subject to excess pressure and shear forces for an extended period. They start with minor skin and tissue damage but quickly progress into life-threatening ulcers that reach as deep as the bone.

It is essential to avoid bedsores and to treat incipient ulcers. Otherwise, an extended hospital stay and a loss of independence are inevitable. A home hospital bed’s motorized adjustments, support structures such as bed rails, and mattresses designed to intelligently distribute pressure all play a role in combating bedsores. High-risk patients and those who already have bedsores benefit from pressure-relief mattresses, which automatically reposition patients and manage pressure distribution.

Few of us look forward to the day we are asked to relinquish our independence and our homes. A home hospital bed may help you to postpone that day and ensure that you maintain your independence in safety and comfort.

Learn More About Our Beds

You can find the right adjustable bed for your home to improve comfort and make caretaking easier.

Supernal Hi-Low Adjustable Bed   Supernal 5 Adjustable Bed   Night Rider Lightweight Bed   New Valiant Hospital Bed   The Companion Fixed-Heigh Hospital Bed

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Transfer Master

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.