As more and more families are choosing to recover at home, hospital beds, despite its name, are becoming more frequently used in the comfort of a patient’s own home. What makes them so desirable are their features that can alleviate pain, promote recovery, and make caregiving much easier. If you’re caregiving for a loved one at home, it may be time for you to consider investing in a hospital bed. We spoke with experienced caregivers & nurses with over 30+ years of experience at Allo Health to find out how you can find the best one for you. Here are their top tips on what to consider:
- Adjustable components: These features allow the patient to be repositioned easily, depending on their needs. The most common adjustable features include:
- Raising/lowering the upper half of the bed. This is useful for having meals, taking medication, and helping caregivers assist the patient out of bed.
- Raising/lowering the lower half of the bed. This is helpful for patients with certain conditions & also offers more options for repositioning the patient. Frequent repositioning is important to prevent bedsores.
- Raising/lowering height of the hospital bed. This can be handy to the caregiver. For example, when transporting the patient in or out of bed, giving treatments, bed bathing, or changing diapers.
- Electric vs manual operation: On the high end, one can find electric beds that need to be plugged in and whose position can be easily readjusted with a push of a button. This is a great option to allow for maximum patient independence. However, these beds tend to require more maintenance. What is more common in homes are the more affordable option – manually adjusted beds. These beds are generally more preferred as they are cheaper and require less maintenance. However, the trade-off to consider is that the caregiver should ensure they have enough strength to adjust the bed using the cranks.
- Side rails: These are especially useful for patients with mobility issues. They can be used to provide balance when getting in and out of bed, and decrease the likelihood of falls. They also serve a safety function to ensure the patient remains in the bed throughout the night.
- Quality & durability: It is important to purchase equipment that’s been tested & is durable enough to support patient care. This is especially important since patients tend to spend long hours on their bed. Always check with your supplier.
- Other condition-specific requirements. Some electric beds have heating and massaging options which could help patients with chronic back pain. However, for most types of home care, a bed with the main features described above are what many have found to be most important.
When considering a hospital bed, you may find it helpful to discuss it with your doctor. Also, consider your budget when deciding on which model to buy. If you are still unsure, keep an eye out to see if your loved one at home is starting to have increased difficulty getting in and out of bed, or is having persisting pain that could be due to their regular bed.
If you need some guidance on where to start, have a look at the hospital beds offered at Allo Health, as part of their packages. All their equipment has been vetted by their team of experienced nurses & caregivers, based on their decades of experience. Allo Health strives to make it a stress-free experience for all their customers. Not only do their packages include the complete essentials for home care, but they will also take care of all the logistics – ensuring everything is properly installed, and making sure you are well guided with caregiving tips and how to use each product through their app. Contact them to find out more.