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Hospital bed?
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2021 11:38 PM
Joined: 8/24/2020
Posts: 157

My mom is back in the hospital. We're moving her to memory care this week. She's having a hard time sitting up, standing up. 

We need to move her current bed to memory care. I'm wondering whether it's time to consider getting her a hospital bed that can be adjusted. 

What are your thoughts on this? In another thread someone with CNA training noted that a bed with sides was not something suitable for a dementia-sufferer because of entrapment. 

But I was thinking of her comfort and convenience. She seems to need someone to activate the hospital bed to help her sit up. It's easier to use the hospital bed to sit her up and help her shift positions than it is for I and an aid to move her. 

Is a hospital bed something Medicare will pay for? She has a Medicare Advantage plan so assume I'll need to call the plan and ask. 

Have any of you purchased hospital beds for your LO? 


Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021 4:37 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3026

It's my understanding that Medicare will pay for a hospital bed purchase or rental if medically necessary and prescribed by a physician. Medicare will pay if your mom is on hospice.

That said, I would check with the MCF if she is accepted for residency there. They may have one on hand she could use. Often when people have aged in place, families donate equipment they own outright to the facility. When my grandmother was in a SNF because of advanced Parkinson's, my dad and his brother were getting ready to pull the trigger on a seat-lift chair for their mom. I mentioned this to the social worker who was able to produce one from their storage unit. The OT or PT had a choice and made sure it was the appropriate size for her.

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021 7:37 AM
Joined: 2/29/2020
Posts: 818

Call her plan to find out what the criteria are to approve a hospital bed, many plans will pay for one with a MD prescription and a medical need. You can also rent one monthly if insurance won't pay. I have no idea what the CNA is talking about when she mentions entrapment. Hospital beds can have no rail, half rails or full rails. The rails are often helpful for avoiding falls, but aren't required. A hospital bed has the advantage of letting her sit up in bed, makes care easier for the caregivers, the height can be adjusted to help her stand, and a special mattress can be included to help avoid skin breakdowns. As mentioned above, if she were to go on hospice, they would supply all needed equipment at no cost to you. Most people adjust pretty well to a hospital bed, it may be worth a try.
King Boo
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021 8:13 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3520

Hi BassetHoundAnn,

I am jumping on here because I note that in the other thread you mentioned your Mom has severe vertigo. 

Has she been through comprehensive evaluation for this?  There are a shocking number of physicians who blow off dizziness.  As in, once it is determined it is not caused by a stroke, they do nothing else.   

Some forms of vertigo are easily treated and diagnosed - Mom's time in the hospital may be the time to have extra testing to look into this.

Specifically - ask if anyone of the Physical Therapists has expertise with vestibular patients.

There are a few easily done tests to make sure it is not an easily treated positional vertigo (which can be devastating to daily function).  It simply involves lying down and doing a head turn to the right, left and modified positions.

The statistics are grim - a balance patient sees an average of 6-7 doctors before they obtain help.

Of course, some elderly have neurological changes which contribute - but......

chronic vertigo puts your Mom at a huge increase in fall risk.

Just tossing this out there while she is receiving PT in the hospital.

Regarding the bed - we found positioning and comfort much easier with a hospital bed.  I cannot remember the point at which it was provided without issue, but I know by the time we had hospice he had one (in a facility).

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021 10:48 AM
Joined: 6/23/2021
Posts: 234

At what point in time does the rails- up, entrapment/legal issue trump the patient safety issue against falls/head injury?

  That is mystifying at best, but I suppose protecting against lawsuits ranks over protection of the vulnerable patient. Good grief. Lawyers run the world.

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021 1:46 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 226

As long as the bed rail is not used as a restraint and there is informed consent I see they may be used. Entrapment is a risk.

Hope this helps. 

Also, if you get hospice involved they may provide a hospital bed for you.