Home Care Hospital Bed Buying Process
Top Considerations When Purchasing a Hospital Bed for Home
As most know – life can change in a matter of moments. Often times loved ones and family members find themselves hospitalized after a sudden illness, unforeseen condition, and or a catastrophic injury (Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury). During these challenging times family members rely on clinicians and physicians who are experts in their field of hospital, rehab care, and skilled nursing care to help their loved ones recover and return home as quickly as possible. These experts are typically familiar with equipment used in their own work settings but often not aware of solutions designed for the home. Upon discharge from the hospital individuals typically seek medical equipment (hospital beds, walkers, commodes, wheelchairs) to allow their family member the opportunity to heal in their own home. With limited knowledge and resources, most are not certain on how to identify appropriate solutions to help keep their loved ones happy and safe in their own home environment.
At Med-Mizer we have a strong focus on innovating medical beds to help keep individuals safe and comfortable in their own home setting. Here are some key items to consider before purchasing a hospital bed for home:
- Should I consider a Fully Electric or Semi-Electric Hospital Bed? We only manufacture fully electric medical beds at Med-Mizer. The comfort and safety of an electrical bed for both the end user and caregiver is superior to manual beds. Having the ability to adjust the head, knee, and height of the bed is ideal. We have several models that also offer advanced positioning like our ActiveCare which has full chair, Trendelenburg, and reverse Trendelenburg. Manual beds can be adjustable but typically require a hand crank to adjust the height (high and low) of the bed. Often times caregivers complain about the strain (bending over to crank) the bed to a working height.
- Should I consider a bed like the one I was on in the Hospital?
An average hospital stay is 4.5 days (according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) and an individual may decide the bed they were on was comfortable for the short period they experienced the equipment. There are many great hospital bed manufacturers (Hillrom, Stryker, Linet) who have spent years of R&D to develop equipment for Acute Hospital stays (please note, many of these beds were not designed for home use). Trying to obtain a “hospital bed” designed for the hospital in the home can be problematic for several reasons:
– Most “acute” hospital beds ship in 1 piece and are unable to be disassembled to move into a home setting
– Mattresses for these “acute” beds were often times designed for shorter stays (4.5 days) and not for long term home type comfort
– “Acute” hospital bed manufacturers do not have much focus on design or product innovation when considering an individuals home care needs
– Service and warranty work can become problematic as “acute” focused manufacturers would rather service 100’s of beds in a hospital then a one off individual in the home
– “Acute” hospital bed manufacturers charge “Acute” hospital type pricing to consumers in the home
– Given “Acute” hospital bed manufacturers did not design their “acute” hospital bed to have an intended “home” use, they require a physicians order to actually obtain the equipment, thus creating a more difficult step to actually purchase said equipment.
3. Does it matter where the equipment was manufactured?
Individuals may find cheaper hospital beds that are imported and made overseas. One should question whether this equipment has been put through a stringent quality test (to ensure it will actually work when its delivered) and the types of components used to make the bed (often times inferior). Before making the purchase you should also understand what the warranty is and where you can obtain parts and service. One other key deciding factor that needs to be examined before buying are lead times for receiving your bed from the time of order. If an imported bed or part is on back-order, we have heard lead times extending out to 60 days and beyond.
At Med-Mizer, we are an FDA registered medical device manufacturer that is American made (Batesville, Indiana). We back our quality product with a terrific warranty (parts only) and free technical support. We have a rigorous quality inspection program which every bed gets tested before leaving our plant. Given we make all of our beds (and parts) in the US, we also stock all of our parts in case a need arises. We also offer short lead times on our equipment (new equipment orders typically ship out within two business days) and parts (same or next day).
With all of these factors, you should be questioning whether you want to spend your time providing care for your loved one, or do you want to spend your time providing care for the equipment when it breaks?
4. What is the appropriate width I should consider?
Individuals traditionally spend their entire lives sleeping on a queen or king mattress and are use to sleeping on a wider mattress. Most hospital and home care beds come standard in a fixed 36″ sleep surface. We typically hear from individuals (whom are used to wider surfaces) they find narrower beds uncomfortable and difficult to roll over/turn. Sometimes a lack of width may also cause an unintended consequence like a bed fall given the end user may accidentally roll out/off the bed. We offer beds that can expand (using our Comfort Wide) sleep deck out to 42″ and even 48″ as needed. Other factors for additional width which need to be considered are the individuals preference, body size and weight, as well as considerations for caregiver needs and protocols.
5. What bed length should be considered?
Bed length factors will vary by individual height as well as the room size in your residence. Med-Mizer offers beds in various lengths (80″ and 84″) and we also offer bed extensions to make the bed extend out to 88″ if an individual requires a longer bed. As an added bonus, if you have a smaller bedroom, our RetractaBed has a wall saving feature and when the head is raised it reduces its footprint in the room by 12″.
6. What weight capacity do I need?
Med-Mizer beds have a starting minimum weight capacity of 500 lbs. We also have models that support up to 600 lbs and 800 lbs respectively to accommodate various individuals needs (larger weight capacities also have expanding width options). We can also offer scales to weigh individuals on our higher weight capacity beds like the AllCare and EX8 Bariatric Bed.
7. What is the appropriate low and high bed height?
The common industry trend is for beds to go lower to the floor (7-10″) to help reduce the impact associated with falls. Combining a wider width bed that is lower to the ground provides a formidable opponent to help curtail falls. We launched our AllCare floor level bed (3.6″) to go a step further to combat bed falls and to turn an impact into a roll. Low bed heights are subject to personal preference and each unique care situation (condition or illness). All Med-Mizer beds have a low height of 9″ (except the AllCare which is 3.6″) and have high heights up to 25″ (without a mattress) and our AllCare will even go up to 30″ (without a mattress).
8. What accessories are available for the bed?
Our beds have a wide variety of accessories available for almost every model. We have a variety the following accessories:
-Head and Foot board color offerings (and styles)
-Multiple siderail options (1/4 length Up/Down rails, Pivoting Assist Bars, Fixed Assist Bars, Mobility Bars) available for upper and lower sections (or both)
– Trapeze to help with repositioning
-Bed length extenders
-Battery Back up
9. How can I see the bed?
We offer several ways for our potential customers to see and view our product solutions. We have a Patient Advocate who is willing to schedule live (free) webinar where you and other family members can join and view a live demonstration. Our team will review specific condition/injury situations that may be unique to your specific situation and demonstrate proper product usage. They are also available to answer any specific product questions and show all features of the product solution. Furthermore, we are open to having visitors tour our factory (by appointment only) and experience a hands on demonstration in-person.
Contact a Med-Mizer patient advocate today through phone or email. Our team will spend time understanding your condition and product needs. We have extensive product experience with elders looking to age in place, special needs, pediatrics, chronic conditions, and catastrophic injuries. We are here to support you and are willing to supply you with a variety of material and even conduct a live demonstration (web) to help you support your product selection.
Call us today to learn more at 877.867.7365