A New Bed for Lauren

October 28, 2010

Last June when Lauren was in the hospital, I was surprised to realize what a convenience the flexibility of a hospital bed was when caring for Lauren. She has always slept in a daybed-type twin bed. This style of bed allowed us to add a fourth "side” (which we made ourselves) at night to make sure that she could not roll out. But it did not offer any positioning options and when necessary, we did what we needed to do by adding pillows in order to raise her head or support her in some way. This wasn’t always the easiest or most successful solution.

Truthfully, I hadn’t even thought of getting her a hospital bed. Last June was the first time she had been in a hospital bed since she had grown into an adult. It was obvious that, although we didn’t need to offer her more positioning options every day, when we did need options, a hospital bed was the easiest and most flexible way to go. A hospital bed would also make it easier for her other caregivers to meet, not only her care needs, but her positioning needs. This will be important when she moves into her own home.

I knew that a home model would not be the fancy, shmancy, totally electric model that we had used in the hospital. It would be a bare bones basic model – how ugly was this going to be? Lauren’s bed is pretty. It is yellow with  flowers and ribbons painted on it. Of course, how it would look wasn’t the only issue. The mattresses offered for the home model were either horrible, thin and not supportive, or simply not appropriate. Lauren would need good support, especially with her scoliosis and kyphosis. And, what about the bed rails? Would they be sufficient for her to be safe?

Needless to say, you can tell it’s taken me awhile to work this all out since it is now four days before the first of November. I had the durable medical supplier deliver a bed today – just the frame with the rails. I’m putting Lauren’s existing twin size mattress on the hospital bed frame. I wasn’t sure it would work – but it does. The mattress is too short but will do until we purchase an extra-long twin mattress – it was time to replace hers anyway. Both the headboard and the rails are rather low. I can visualize a solution to the low headboard – adding an extension, but I’m not sure what to do about the rails. They’re not terrible. They just don’t inspire confidence – do you know what I mean? I have to think about it some more. Maybe get some suggestions from her caregivers and her therapist. By the time I added her bedding and some pretty pillows it wasn’t too terribly ugly…..maybe I could paint some flowers on it.
The "pretty" bed

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