We spend about one-third of our life either sleeping or attempting to do so. Now, imagine having a condition that renders you bedridden. A bed is going to get uncomfortable quickly. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to improve the comfort of your hospital mattresses at home so that you or the loved one you're caring for can feel supported and relaxed.
Why Hospital Beds Are Essential
If a patient or loved one has decreased mobility or is permanently bedridden, hospital beds are the perfect addition to their care routine. Hospital beds support those who need to move from sitting or lying down, as most hospital beds raise and recline. Hospital beds can also adjust to create a comfortable sleeping space for patients who have difficulty sleeping on flat mattresses, as some need to elevate their legs and feet for health reasons.
Suppose a loved one has recently had an operation or is experiencing the natural effects of aging. In that case, they can feel weaker than usual on some days, which makes them more prone to falls in these situations. Some medications can cause dizziness, lack of coordination, sleep troubles, and physical pain, particularly during sleep.
One of the best features of modern home hospital beds is an adjustment feature that allows seniors to raise or lower their bed height. This helps reduce muscle and coordination requirements for getting into and out of bed and diminishes falling risk.
Hospital beds fitted with bed rails and stiff-edged mattresses, what's often called border-edge protection, provide a safe place for elderly patients to sleep. The stiffened edges keep seniors from rolling off or falling out while sleeping and give more support when moving around in bed or standing up.
Helps with Bedsores
For some seniors, staying in bed for long periods is inevitable. A standard consumer bed does not provide adequate support to the weight-bearing areas and can lead to bedsores or pressure sores if a patient remains still for too long. In some cases, bedsores can become a severe health risk.
Bedridden patients need customized furniture that supports their body while they are resting so as not to cause any skin problems from prolonged contact with sheets on unsupportive surfaces.
A home hospital bed is designed to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers and support the healing process. The head and foot adjustments allow seniors to change positions in their beds, limiting pressure on any one area.
Some hospital beds come with air bladders, which can change a patient's position and allow them to rest in comfort, providing relief from specific parts of the body that may be more sensitive or painful than others.
Easier to Move Patients
Hospital beds have been designed to provide better care techniques for both caregivers and patients. Caregivers can control the height and positioning of hospital bed rails, enabling them to offer support in back healthy positions rather than bending or stooping over a loved one while assisting with lifting or repositioning.
Hospital beds are relatively versatile and can be customized to the wants and needs of your loved one. Not only do they come with a myriad of features, such as adjustable backrests and height adjustment, but hospital bed accessories can be easily incorporated into their care routine. Additional products include:
- Safety rails
- Specialized air mattresses
- Support slings
- Overbed tables
- Sheet or blanket supports
- Mattress toppers
Beneficial for Caregivers
Hospital beds are a godsend for the caregivers of elderly patients. Instead of having to bend over and help those in need, they can assist from an ergonomic position that doesn't put added strain on their own body.
Utilizing MIP Cares products such as the Swift Patient Positioner and the UltraSlide Fitted Bottom Sheet will save caregivers time and decrease the risk of injury while improving the quality of patient care.
Why You Might Experience Discomfort in a Hospital Bed
Hospital beds are designed better to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, not patients. Their small size allows for space-saving and easy transport, which can be helpful in hallways or elevators. Narrower hospital beds allow side-by-side arrangements without taking up too much room on a ward while still allowing enough walking space for medical staff members. However, this can be uncomfortable for taller or larger patients.
The hospital beds are necessary for all recovering patients, but they can cause some discomfort if not adequately prepared. Hospital beds are a breeding ground for bacteria and must be sanitized between use. The sheets often slide around on the bed frame because these mattresses are often covered with PVC or other waterproof materials. This can cause patients to shift downwards as they sit up or recline their mattresses.
Tips for Making a Hospital Bed More Comfortable
Something as simple as a patient's comfort can enormously affect their mental health. Making long-term bed rest more bearable can be achieved with the right equipment, accessories, and support.
Ensure You're Using an Adequate Mattress
A hospital bed mattress uses advanced laminated foams or memory foam for pressure-distributing support throughout the body and can mitigate shear and pressure that often causes bed sores.
Consumer-grade foam mattresses or mattress pads are not designed for home hospital beds. The adjustments of a home hospital bed work best with mattresses no more than seven inches thick. Still, thicker mattresses that might appear more comfortable often aren't because they prevent the adjustments from properly shaping the bed's surface so your loved one can get a good night's sleep.
Add Accessories Where Needed
If your loved one or patient spends a lot of time in bed, incorporating ergonomic accessories with various functions can make a significant difference in their health. This can include:
- Bed rails
- Hospital bed tables
- Accessible storage (bedside organizers and hanging caddy's)
- Reachers and grabbers
Clean it Often
Routine cleaning of linens ensures your patient or loved one feels comfortable in crisp, cool sheets. Soiled sheets are also the perfect vehicle for infection-causing microbes, transferring them from one spot to another and from one person to another.
Invest in Comfortable Pillows
Comfortable pillows can make all the difference when you are bedridden. MIP Cares' TruBliss® Lofty Pillow features a lofty profile designed to provide your patient or loved one with a high level of comfort and support as they sleep. Investing in high-quality hospital pillows can help with:
- Improved shoulder, hip, and spine alignment
- Alleviation of excess pressure from knees and lower back
- Muscle relaxation
- Improvement of blood circulation
- Better total body support
- Enhanced weight distribution
- Support for side sleeping
- Prevents fluid buildup in the lungs
- Provide relief from chest congestion
Use High-Quality Linens
Ill-fitting sheets are not only uncomfortable, but they can lead to bedsores. They bunch up when there's movement in bed, reducing comfort and can lead to falls if the patient is unsupervised. Inferior quality materials tear easily and hold moisture that makes them hotter than other fabric types because there's less insulation. Equip your hospital bed with high-quality hospital textiles from MIP Cares. Our bedding is designed to fit hospital beds, and uses fabric technology to offer reliability around the clock, with additional benefits for skin health, soil release, and comfort.