There are five key steps to consider when you looking to buy a hospital bed and mattress for your own home. However, before reading this guide it may be helpful to familiarise yourself with the functions and types of hospital beds available. View our: ‘Hospital Beds ‘All You Need to Know’ Guide.
1. Buying yourself or provided/funded by authorities?
Whether you are being discharged from hospital or your care needs have progressed whilst still at home, there are two main routes to getting a hospital bed for home.
The first route most people pursue is getting a bed provided by their local council. To see whether you would be eligible, speak to your contact at the hospital, your district nurse, or your occupational therapist. Proving eligibility can take time and you will likely receive a home assessment by the council. Once eligibility is confirmed, there can be a delay in actually getting the bed installed in your home. this will be problematic if you need a bed quickly.
The other option is to purchase a bed yourself. If you have the budget, this is by far the better option as you will be able to choose a bed that best fits your needs and is specifically designed to fit into the home setting. There are care bed suppliers who can deliver and install equipment within 1-3 days, search Google for ‘hospital beds for home’ to see the options.
Related guide: 7 Ways to Get a Hospital Bed for your Home
2. Finding the right bed and supplier
You can find bed suppliers on the internet or by visiting local mobility shops. When specifying a hospital bed, you need to ensure it has a profiling base, is height adjustable, has side rails (if applicable), and has electric controls. When selecting a supplier, ensure they are a reputable brand by reading reviews of their product and service. Ask them plenty of questions and make sure they are willing to help you and give advice that directly relates to you/your loved one’s needs. If they have a local showroom or mobility store, go and visit them and check you are confident with their service. The best suppliers will be able to offer you multiple options of bed and will be able to come and install the bed in your home within a week.
3. Choosing a mattress
Again, mattresses can either be purchased by you or provided by your local authority. Sometimes, your council will provide you with a mattress but not a bed and vice versa. If you need to purchase a mattress yourself, make sure you speak to your doctor, nurse, or therapist about the type of mattress you need.
You will more than likely be specified a pressure relief mattress, however there are a number of different types based on how susceptible you are to pressure ulcers (bed sores) which is often determined by how long you will be spending in bed. Ideally, you should buy your mattress from the same supplier as the bed to ensure compatibility.
4. Having the bed fitted in your home
Once you have chosen a bed, you need to ensure the supplier will come and fit the bed in your home and show you how to use it. Your council will have a team who do this and most suppliers offer a fitting service for an additional fee.
5. Ongoing support and considerations
Having support after the hospital bed has been fitted in the home is a very important consideration and something you should be assured of before committing to buy. Firstly you need to be confident of the bed’s quality and the warranty terms the supplier is offering. When the bed is in your home and you are using it, you need a contact who can answer questions you may have and the supplier needs to have a break-down/maintenance team that services your location in the event of malfunction.