When you’re preparing to care for a loved one at home, a nursing home bed is a practical option for providing comfort and excellent care. Nursing home beds tend to be compact, allowing them to fit into homes where space is tight. They are also highly affordable, since many of them are semi-electric.
Nursing home beds can often be adjusted to provide the patient with increased comfort. The head and leg areas can be raised to put the patient in a more comfortable position. By changing the patient’s position, you can reduce the occurrence of bed sores and relieve pressure that has built up on the patient’s body. A change of position can also help to relieve sore or cramped muscles, and improves circulation.
You will find that many nursing home beds are semi-electric. The positional changes can be made by use of a hand control, and are electrically powered by two motors. Generally the bed’s height must be manually adjusted, sometimes by use of a hand crank.
When you buy a nursing home bed, you will sometimes have the option of upgrading the bed package to include items like a mattress and bed rails. Upgrading your bed purchase can take some of the headache out of setting up your homecare system, since you will have the peace of mind of knowing that the bed is arriving with all of the components that you will need.
Many nursing home beds have a minimalistic, reserved appearance, allowing them to blend into your home décor quite seamlessly. Nursing home beds are an excellent choice if you will be providing care to a loved one who will be on bed rest or who needs the increased comfort of a multi-position bed.
When buying a nursing home bed, you should be familiar with the following options:
Wheels enable easy movement of the bed, either within parts of the facility in which they are located, or within the room. Sometimes movement of the bed a few inches to a few feet may be necessary in patient care. Wheels are lockable. For safety, wheels can be locked when transferring the patient in or out of the bed
Beds can be raised and lowered at the head, feet, and their entire height. While on older beds this is done with cranks usually found at the foot of the bed, on modern beds this feature is electronic. Today, while a fully electric bed has many features that are electronic, a semi-electric bed has two motors, one to raise the head, and the other to raise the foot. Raising the head (known as a Fowler's position) can provide some benefits to the patient, the staff, or both. The Fowler's position is used for sitting the patient upright for feeding or certain other activities, or in some patients, can ease breathing, or may be beneficial to the patient for other reasons. Raising the feet can help ease movement of the patient toward the headboard and may also be necessary for certain conditions. Raising and lowering the height of the bed can help bring the bed to a comfortable level for the patient to get in and out of bed, or for caregivers to work with the patient.
Beds have side rails that can be raised or lowered. These rails, which serve as protection for the patient and sometimes can make the patient feel more secure, can also include the buttons used for their operation by staff and patients to move the bed, call the nurse, or even control the television. There are a variety of different types of side rails to serve different purposes. While some are simply to prevent patient falls, others have equipment that can aid the patient him/herself without physically confining the patient to beds. Side rails, if not built properly, can be of risk for patient entrapment. In the United States, more than 300 deaths were reported as a result of this between 1985 and 2004. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration has set guidelines regarding the safety of side rails.
Practice Good Safety
Good safety measures are so important when caring for a loved one in your home. When your nursing home bed arrives, carefully read and follow the directions for its assembly and use. You will want to make sure that the bed’s weight capacity can accommodate the patient.
When the bed is in position, make sure that all of the wheels are locked. Only unlock the wheels when you are prepared to move the bed.
Familiarize yourself with the bed’s operation and features. Do not try to learn how the bed functions for the first time with a patient in the bed.
Make sure that you use safety accessories, like bed rails, to help keep the patient safe. Both full and partial guard rails are important in reducing the chance of the patient falling out of bed.