Question about Hospital Beds

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st123

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The VA is delivering a hospital bed tomorrow for my Dad. We think it will be easier for him since he has such a hard time breathing while laying down. I haven't seen it yet, but I wonder about the overall comfort. While the adjustable part of it will be good, any suggestions as to what we can do to make the bed itself comfortable for him? He spends a lot of time in bed.
 

momap53

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I suspect that the quality of the bed you receive from the VA will be exceptional, including the matresses. I doubt it will be the standard semi-electric that Medicare would provide.
 

st123

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Thanks, Deb. Now my umpteenth dump question of the day. What is 'semi-electric'?
 

st123

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LOL, *dumb question
 

momap53

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Semi-electric: The head and foot are powered by a hand held controller. If you want to change the height of the bed there is a hand crank at the foot of the bed. These are not optimal for someone with an ALS diagnosis.
Your Dad's will probably be fully electric. Some practically sit the patient up as in a chair. There are even some out there that literally bring the patient to a standing position. He'll probably get a specialized mattress as well that will help prevent decubiti (bed sores)
 

Georgia Peach

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Lots of pillows that come on and off the bed. We bought a body pillow to put on one side to keep my husband centered in the bed since his muscles on that side have atrophied. I also stuff a small pillow in the power chair to keep him upright.

Just today Brooksea brought him the electric inflatable mattress topper like the ROHO cushion in his power chair that has the cells that are filled with air. So thankful for such wonderful friends like CJ. My husband said that he could feel the movement underneath him - prevents pressure sores!

More than likely all the equipment will be from Invacare - electric bed came with a regular mattress, we later requested the mattress with air cells. Invacare battery powered lift that is our life saver. Invacare Pronto power chair.

GOOD LUCK - keep on them because you're still dealing with a bureaucracy and nothing moves fast except ALS. You can always call Prosthetics and talk to the purchasing agent to find out what has been ordered and when it should be received. Squeaky wheel...
 

SueG

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We were given a hospital bed , not using yet, and the thin mattress looks really uncomfortable. Ideas for what to put on top?
Thanks
Sue
 

momap53

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One of those memory foam toppers may help. Medicare paid for an electric powered alternating pressure air overlay for my mom when she showed signs of skin breakdown. You might ask the Doc to write a Rx for one or check with ALSA loan closet.
 

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Sue, you can also buy a sheep skin mattress cover. They are expensive, but you can buy a sheepskin rug, it's the same thing (cheaper)! That's what we did and my husband loved it.
 

st123

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Thanks for all of the advice. I forgot to ask about sheets. Are they regular twin size?
 

HelenL

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As usual, thanks for the info, I'm taking notes for when I'll need this info!
 

st123

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Oh my gosh, so more and more and more I don't know.

My sister arranged for this bed and it's a loaner from the local VFW group - not from the VA. It's better for him than the flat bed he was on, but it is 'semi-electric' (thanks to Momap I know what that means). So I called his doctor's nurse at the VA hospital, who is aware of his diagnosis and asked how we get a bed and mattress (I asked about one with air cells, thanks Georgia Peach!) through the VA. She thinks the doctor will just write a prescription for them, considering his diagnosis. She's checking and will get back with me.

Another delivery will be tough (he cried the whole time they were here setting this one up today), but I think it's the right thing to do if they'll provide it.

Thanks to everyone for the info :)
 

Georgia Peach

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Twin XL sheets and find the chucks with the handles that help you to move your dad. Trapeze bar to help him reposition himself as long as he has upper body strength.
 

retiredmus2010

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Georgia Peach.... Please explain: what pray tell are chucks? Is this a Southern thingy? is your trapeze bar suspended from the ceiling. May i have more info, please?
g
 

momap53

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Chucks= linen savers. usually a large quilted pad used to protect the linens, also helpful for repositioning the patient in the bed. Disposable ones can be purchased at W a l m a r t, but are not useful for moving the patient.

The trapeze can be attached to the hospital bed.
 
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