I bet you thought you’d heard the end of the hospital bed saga. So did I! When they dragged it out of here in pieces, I was just glad to be done with the ridiculousness of it all. Who would imagine that a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplier wouldn’t be able to supply an appropriate bed and worst of all, would simply not care about it? Anyway, the other day, in one of the numerous email newsletters that arrive in my inbox, I found the perfect bed!
Beds by George is a company started by an Amish father of a child with disabilities. The site includes a wonderful letter by business owner, Aaron Clow, (I have no idea who George is) about his realization that not only his daughter but other children and adults could benefit from a well-made, functional, safe bed that looked normal – not institutional. He says, “.... I believe that families whose special need son or daughter just needs a little extra security in a bed should be able to be safe AND to get themselves into and out of a bed that looks like it belongs in a home, not an institution.” The site includes rational points about safety, quality, and aesthetics. You can select the wood, color of stain, design, and type of bed (plain, manual, electric). You can even have a saying or name carved in the headboard. Lovely.
The very same day I sent all the necessary information in for a quote. Within twenty-four hours I had a quote back on the bed. I had selected a basic bed without any special bells or whistles, carving or special finishes, and just a manual frame (head can be raised). Now bear in mind another line from Mr. Clow’s wonderful letter, “As with you, I’m sure, when you have a special needs child you end up not being able to find (or afford) all the adaptive products you need or would like to have.” Want to know how much Mr. Clow wants for the bed? $7,000! Yes, there are three zeros there.
After a little diatribe during which I remember using the words criminal, insane, and sad, I called a friend who makes beautiful, custom made furniture. So as not to influence him, I asked that he go on the site, look at the product, and tell me how much a bed like that was worth. He called me back the next day. He said the beds looked nice and that he figured the cost would probably be between $1,500 and $2,000 dollars. He was totally flabbergasted when I told him the price. He said that the wood in the bed probably cost about $400 dollars. I’m all for entrepreneurship and fair market value, but even if the materials in the bed cost $1,000, the labor and design (they’re a bit unrefined) would not be worth $6,000. Then there’s the incomprehensibility of a parent of a child with disabilities, or anyone come to think of it, actually thinking there are very many families that could afford to pay that much.
Beds by George, not an answer, simply depressing.