Hospital beds - Helping You Decide If You Need One In Your Health Physical Therapy Plan.

Hospital Beds - do you really need one?

Hospital beds can be overrated and are almost always uncomfortable. Do you really need this necessary (or unnecessary evil)? It's often more the convenience of having one in your home more than it's comfort. You may be in for a big surprise when you sleep on a one delivered to your home - they aren't near the comfort or expense of the one you experienced in the hospital!

Why People Want A Hospital Bed:
  • easy body positioning (not always true)
  • comfortable (not always)
  • side rail safety
  • accommodating special air mattresses that decrease the incidence of bed wounds
  • just plain convenience

Why They Don't Work

While these beds sound like the answer to all your sleeping difficulties, sleeping on an old, thin plastic mattress with nothing more than a spring under that and no box spring for support may have you thinking twice.

Unless your needs require a specialized wound care mattress, a regular hospital bed is likely not your answer. Specialized wound care beds look more comfortable and some may be, however, the body needs a degree of support while sleeping - and this support often goes undelivered. These beds need to be ligth weight and easy to deliver to your door and set up. The mattresses, though are covered with crinkly plastic and offer little support depending on how old they are!

While their purpose looks good on paper and in theory, I've seen some very miserable patients just trying to get a good nights' rest on one of these beds thinking that it would do the trick in allowing them a restful, peaceful night. After a couple nights of no sleep or tossing and turning at best, they are ready to be convinced that their bed will likely provide them what they need. After convincing some to sleep in their own bed, I became their best friend!

Pros And Cons

Pros Cons
Side Rails No Box Spring
Adjustable Lightweight Mattress
Trapeze Bar Unsupportive
Movable Expensive
Easy to Clean Uncomfortable

Do-It-Yourself Without A Hospital Bed

Patients resort to these beds for a variety of reasons including the two tops reasons - the side rails provide safety and make bed mobility easier, and positioning allows for an elevated head or legs or both at just about any angle you can want or imagine. My advice to anyone needing to use one of these beds is to make short term use out of it. Set your goals with your physical therapist to become independent with your bed mobility so you can migrate back to the comforts of your bed sweet bed!

If you need the bed for the side rails, their are simple ones side rails you can purchase. If you need it for elevation of your head or feet, you can build either end of your own mattress up to a comfortable height and simulate what you need. It keeps you in your own bed and on the mattress that your body is already accustomed to. A few tweaks here and there will be much easier on your body than trying to introduce it to a different sleeping surface.

We're hoping that we can demystify the needs and explain the features of these pieces of medical equipment, equipping you with the knowledge you need to make a wise choice. You need your sleep to continue to heal. Most home hospital beds don't offer much to rave about.


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Back to from Hospital Beds

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