Most people who rent or buy a hospital bed for home use do so because they’re caring for someone with a temporary physical condition that makes the bed necessary, or they’re caring for someone with dementia, says Cay Ambrose, a registered nurse with Bayada, a global home health care agency.
“Our patients who’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury first go to a rehabilitation facility when they get out of the hospital,” she says. “They don’t go home from rehab until after all the equipment they need has been ordered. So, in most cases, if someone is considering a hospital bed for home, it’s because the person is dealing with something other than a catastrophic illness or acute injury.”
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Ambrose suggests a caregiver who’s considering a hospital bed for home use ask the following:
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then it’s worth looking into a hospital bed that provides mechanical lift assistance.
A hospital bed at home isn’t just useful for the person who sleeps in it—it can also save caregivers from musculoskeletal injuries. “Safety for the patient and for the caregiver is the number one concern,” says Ambrose.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, people working in health care occupations are more likely to sustain musculoskeletal injuries than workers in almost any other industry.
Annie Dodd, a licensed occupational therapist and the president and executive director of All Blessings Flow, a nonprofit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia that collects, refurbishes and redistributes used medical equipment, agrees.
“When someone becomes so debilitated that they are bed-bound, caregivers are bending over beds to assist with bathing, changing briefs and changing bed pads and sheets,” she says. “Hospital beds relieve strain for caregivers by raising the entire bed to a height that enables appropriate care of the patient.”
“As an occupational therapist, I’ve worked with patients, caregivers and families, and I know that hospital beds can truly prevent injuries,” says Dodd. Beyond physical comfort, a hospital bed that can be controlled by the patient can also improve quality of life and support a sense of independence.
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