Hospital beds and when you need them.
Updated: Oct 10
So, we begin this blog with the hospital bed. An adjustable bed with usually an innerspring or foam mattress, and side rails for the users safety. Hospital beds are commonly used after surgery(hip, knee, or back) while recovering. Being able to adjust the positioning of the bed can be imperative for pain management and comfort. Also useful in a two story home and the specific surgery prevents the patient from ascending or descending stairs safely to access the bedroom. Another common reason for using a hospital bed is for caring for a loved one. Adjusting the height of the bed can make addressing incontinence issues, like changing a bed pad or diaper, easier for you and the patient. Adjusting the position of the bed is also important for long term usage to prevent body aches and pressure sores. The side rails make sleeping safer for people who are fall risks, along with lowering the bed so if one does fall out, injury is minimized as much as possible.
There are two types of common hospital beds for home use. The first is whats known as a semi-electric bed. The head angle and the feet angle are adjustable with a hand control button and the height of the bed is adjusted with a hand crank at the base. The semi-electrics are perfectly fine if the user is not being cared for in the bed. Just set the height for the user to get in and out and leave it there. The other is known as a full-electric bed. The head angle, foot angle, and the height of the bed, is controlled with a hand control button. This is the better way to go for people being cared for long term in the bed. Adjusting the height of the bed will make caring for the user much easier and safer.
Dimensions for your basic hospital bed is about 84" x 36". The mattress will usually be 80" x 36". It is considered a twin extra long bed. Sheets should be twin extra long but twin sheets will usually stretch over because the width of the mattress will be smaller than a normal one.
At Range Medical Homecare Supplies, we rent the full electric bed for $175 per month with free delivery, set up, and pick up.
There are common accessories you may need along with the hospital bed. The most useful would be an overbed table. An adjustable table on wheels to be used over the bed so the user can eat or read in the bed. Other accessories are a little more dependent on the users situation. A trapeze bar over the bed will allow the user to get up or in bed on there own by giving them a bar to grab to assist them. Useful while recovering after surgery. The next accessories are for pressure sore or bed sore prevention and healing. The more basic overlay is call an alternating pressure pad, or APP system. A small overlay with a series of bladders which are filled alternately by a small air pump machine. This will gently move the user as they lay, lifting different parts of their body at different times. This allows blood and fluid circulation to areas prone to skin breakdown after time. Great for sore prevention or healing of stage 1 or 2 sores. The other overlay is known as an air loss or flotation mattress. Similar to the APP is function, but on a larger scale. The air loss will usually replace the existing mattress, and create a large pillow of air out of large, horizontal bladders. This allows for more extreme body manipulation as bladders deflate and inflate, taking pressure off of larger parts of the body. These are used with people who are quite prone to bed sores or spending large amount of time in bed. Pressure sores are very painful, and very hard to get rid of. Being proactive is very important. Bedside commode, urinal, bed pan would also be useful if the user has no or little mobility. If the user has no mobility, then incontinence products, such as adult diapers and bed pads would be necessary.
These are the basics if you are in need of a hospital bed. Purchasing one will cost between $800 - $1300. At Range Medical Homecare Supplies, we sell our full electric model for $1050. Rental will cost you between $175 - $300 per month. Check with the vendor if they charge for delivery as well. Whether you need one for long term or short term is dependent on the patients situation. Sometimes, long term and short term expectations are known upfront. Sometimes the timeline is not known. See if renting to own might be an option with the vendor you are working with. It might be the better way to go.