Choosing the right hospital bed is essential in providing the best long-term care for a loved one at home. Clearly, a hospital bed is a lot better than a regular bed as it is customized and designed to meet the needs of a hospital environment. It is fully adjustable, provides ample support to the patient, and adds ease in performing procedures with the patient in bed. Not only will your loved one be more comfortable, you will also find more ease in providing care.
There are several options available on the market today and each type of hospital bed presents its own advantages. Which bed helps you best? It should be the one that addresses the unique medical conditions of your patient. Get to know the general types of beds below and decide which one fits your needs the most.
Manual, Semi-electric, or full electric?
Manual is the best budget option. A manual hospital bed is typically controlled using a hand crank positioned at the foot of the bed. However, because the bed’s functions are all manual the caregiver is needed every time the patient wants to change position. Also, the range of positions available to a manual hospital bed is limited. This makes a manual hospital bed an ideal option for patients who do not require frequent changes in position.
Meanwhile, a semi-electric bed has both manual and electric functions. It is also an economical option, particularly if the patient is unable to operate a manual bed. The head and foot adjustments are electric and are controlled by a hand pendant. However, adjusting the height of the bed is still done manually through a hand crank. If your patient needs frequent repositioning of the head and legs, this is the one that you should get for your home.
A full electric bed is the most convenient option if the patient’s position needs to be changed every few minutes or so. It is the most expensive of these 3 kinds of hospital beds, but it offers the most support and convenience. Everything is motorized and manipulated by a remote, meaning there is no need for manual labor here. With the push of a button, the patient or the caregiver can easily adjust the head and feet sections as well as the height of the bed.
This type of bed allows the patient to get in and out of bed more comfortably and lets the caregiver change the linens with ease. The range of positions it offers can be much more varied and may include Trendelenburg, reverse Trendelenburg, and cardiac chair positions. What happens if the power is out? Many full electric beds have a backup battery that can be used as a power source for emergencies.
Other Available Options
Hospital beds that look like normal beds exist, too. These are called adjustable hospital beds. These beds put top priority to aesthetics over functionality, as they are designed to be a permanent feature in a home or facility. However, as the name suggests, this type of bed also has adjustable parts and sections.
Another fully electric kind is the specialty hospital bed, the most common type of bed used in hospitals. This specialty bed is designed for commercial use and it can be very expensive. However, it offers more options compared to the standard hospital bed found in homes and residences.
There’s also the hi-low bed which, as its name suggests, has a very adjustable height. It can be set up to have a height of 7 inches, making it a great choice for restless patients who have a high risk of falling out of bed. For best results, this bed can be combined with a safety floor mat and a half or full-length bed rail.
There is no shortage of options for hospital beds. The challenge is finding a one that will perfectly meet the needs of the patient who will use it. Before shopping, make sure that you review the features that you need in a bed. This way, you can narrow down your options to types and models that will be of most use to the patient and the caregiver.
Author: Monica Mendoza