How to Choose a Hospital Bed
- Assess your needs to find the right hospital bed. Do you need a bed that can be lowered every day to help you get up in the morning? Or does the bed need to be raised for the caregiver to tend to you easier? What does the bed need to do for you or your loved one to be comfortable? Make a list of features that you would like to see in your hospital bed and bring it to your local provider. They would take into consideration your list of wants and needs, and help you find a bed that also fits in your budget.
- How long do you and your loved one need a bed for? If you are your loved one requires a long-term hospital bed, an extended-use (long-term care) bed may be beneficial. They are built to last, operate quietly and often come in more colors and styles to match the décor of your home. For more temporary use, such as to recover from illness or surgery, a more standard hospital bed will do. Medical-surgical beds are available for people that require long term, intensive, around-the-clock care.
- What is the weight capacity that is required? The specifications for the bed may indicate a weight capacity for the patient as well as one for the bed itself. When determining weight capacity, be sure to factor in the weight of the mattress, bed linens, user and anything else that would sit on top of the bed. For the weight capacity of the mattress, you may want to choose one that can handle at least 20 to 25 per cent of your actual weight.
- How many hours in a day will be spent in bed? If you, or your loved one, spend more than 15 hours a day in bed, you may want to choose a full electric bed. Manual and semi-electric beds are built for short-term use and tend to be less durable than full electric beds. This is also important when selecting mattresses. The longer you spend in bed, they more likely you are to develop bed sores; selecting a mattress that can prevent bed sores is key. Full electric beds allow you to change positions regularly to help alleviate pressure points on the body.
- How mobile are you or your loved one? Are you able to get in and out of bed by yourself? Do you need a bed that lowers to help you get out of bed? Are you able to sit upright on your own? Are you completely immobile? All these questions and more need to be answered in order for your local expert to help you select the right hospital bed for you.