If you’re like most people, you’ve likely been bedridden with an illness for an extended period at some point in your life. At first, your bed might have seemed like a cozy place to rest and recuperate, but after a few days, your body likely got stiff and sore, and that once comfortable bed started feeling like a sheet of rock!
Now imagine being confined to a bed for several months or even years at a time. That’s the uncomfortable reality for thousands of Americans who suffer from an illness or physical disability. Keeping them as comfortable as possible is crucial to their health, happiness, and overall well-being – and it likely means a traditional bed just won’t cut it.
That’s where a home hospital bed – customized for comfort – can make all the difference in the world. Whether you already own a home hospital bed or are looking to buy one, ensure the person who uses it – whether it’s you, a family member, or a friend – is supported, comfortable, and relaxed. They’ll thank you for it!
Keep reading to learn about some easy tips to improve the comfort of your at-home hospital bed.
Buy a Specialty Mattress
A bed is only as good as its mattress, right? And we all know that not all mattresses are created equal. Look for a specialty-made mattress that offers increased levels of support to prevent bedsores. Foam mattresses are great at adhering to a person’s body weight and shape. Some foam mattresses actively mold to your body shape and return to the original shape when body pressure is removed, according to Mattress Firm. Mattress Firm also states that foam mattresses can relieve body aches, soreness, and other pain.
According to RehabMart, it’s important to consider the patient’s individual needs when shopping for a hospital bed mattress. For example, an alternating pressure mattress with low air loss is a good option for preventing bedsores, while medium-support foam mattresses are ideal for relieving lower back pain.
Also, look for a mattress that is manufactured to evaporate moisture and handle bacteria and odors to keep the environment safe and clean.
Invest in the Proper Bed Accessories
Now that the mattress is taken care of, ensure the bed is equipped with all of the available accessories – within your budget, of course – especially if you or a family member are spending an extended amount of time in a home hospital bed. Every extra convenience can add up to a better, more comfortable experience in bed. The user should be relaxed in bed during the day and have a comfortable night’s sleep at night!
According to hospital bed manufacturer, Transfer Master, accessories can be used to extend hospital beds and offer more functionality. Home hospital beds can also be customized to serve people who are taller or heavier than the average person.
Some of the other accessories to keep an eye out for include:
- Mattress pads or mattress toppers. They offer an additional level of comfort. Mattress toppers can improve blood circulation, reduce body pain and enhance a good night’s sleep. According to The Better Sleep Council, mattress pads can also prolong the life of your mattress and protect it from dirt, dust, stains, and more.
- Bed tables. A table is a necessity for every at-home hospital bed. It allows the user to eat, drink and read from their bed. The patient can also place various items such as cell phones, other electronic devices, and reading glasses on the table during the day. Ensure the height of the table can be adjusted to fit the patient’s needs.
- Bed rails. Bed rails prevent the patient from falling out of bed and allow them to move more freely. Consider installing bed rail pads, also called bumper pads, for extra comfort and safety. Bumper pads can protect the patient from injuring themselves on the metal rails and can also prevent them from getting tangled in the bed rails’ gaps or openings.
Bed caddies are a great way to keep personal items – including books, notebooks, and reading glasses – within arm’s reach of the patient for easy access. Bed caddies are simple to install and can hang on the rail of the hospital bed. If you want something more permanent, hospital bed frames can also be retrofitted to include inbuilt drawers for additional storage.
Using only high-quality bed linens can ensure the bed is comfortable, the sheets are fitted properly, and they are easy to clean, according to BEK Medical, a home medical supply company. Sheets that are too small can constantly pop off the bed, leading to comfort issues, while sheets that are too big can bunch up and lead to bedsores and body aches.
Consider using only cotton or cotton blend sheets, and avoid using nylon and acrylic sheets because they are less durable and more likely to deteriorate during washing cycles, according to Transfer Master. Transfer Master also recommends using sheets with a thread count of over 180.
Keep Cool with a Fan
One of the simplest ways to keep comfortable in a home hospital bed is to install a small fan on the bed, according to TopperSpotter, a website devoted to educating people about mattress toppers. If the patient needs a little relief on a warm and stuffy day, simply click on the fan for additional, low-cost cooling!
Take more control over your bed’s comfort with remote-controlled adjustments. Oftentimes, bedridden people have limited mobility, and it can be difficult for them to move around easily. A remote control can help them raise and lower the height of the bed with a touch of a button. This can also help the user get in and out of bed more easily.
Built-In Massage System
Who doesn’t like a nice massage? If you’re looking to take the comfort of your home hospital bed to another level, buy a mattress with a built-in massage system. According to Adjustable Bed Factory, the user can use a remote to control the intensity of the massage and choose whether to receive a full-body or concentrated massage. Isn’t technology great!
Create a Comfortable Home Hospital Bed in No Time
We hope our tips to create a more comfortable home hospital bed were helpful! Whether you incorporate all of these tips, or just a few, you’ll go a long way in helping to improve the happiness and health of someone who is confined to a hospital bed.