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Accommodating a resident by bringing in her own bed

November 28, 2011
by Kathleen Mears
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My adjustable home care bed was put in storage 15 years ago, when I first moved into a nursing home. I then had to sleep in one of the facility’s manual crank beds. It was comfortable enough, but after a year I decided I wanted my original bed, which at the time had a gel foam mattress.

That bed was eventually pulled out of storage. I was more comfortable and even had more function in my left arm, and the aides also liked pushing buttons to raise and lower the bed.

When I moved again to this facility over a year ago, my bed was once more put into storage. This time I slept in the facility’s fully automatic bed. The mattress was comfortable but kind of like a marshmallow and the aides had a rough time rolling me on it. The bed also seemed narrower and I was concerned that I might fall out of it when sleeping.

A couple of months ago I asked if I could bring my home care bed to this facility. The administrator allowed it, but only if I replaced the cracked pendant controller and bought four locking wheels for safety.

When I thought about bringing my now 25-year-old bed, I wondered if a few repairs would allow it to pass muster. But since the bed is a name brand, and I could buy parts online, I had it repaired anyways.

It finally arrived last week. I was surprised to find the other facility’s mattress still on it, as that was supposed to be thrown out. That mattress is only three years old, so I decided to keep it. It’s also a gel foam type of material and is therefore much firmer than the super soft facility mattress I had been sleeping on. I told the aides how much easier it would be to roll me on my “new” mattress and they were pleased to find that was indeed true.

My bed seems to be a bit wider and it is easier to prop me up with pillows so I can watch TV and use the remote or my cellphone. It elevates my legs higher and the swelling in them has gone down. And because I am more comfortable and secure, I am sleeping better as well.

The bed looks less institutional with a wood grained headboard and footboard. Unfortunately, being 25 years old, the footboard has nicks from being moved and some signs of wear. But with a few parts replaced, I can use this bed for many more years to come.

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Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...