My mother spent years suffering after the back surgery and I had to find ways to make her to avoid pain. Choosing a right medical/hospital bed for my senior mother was something that took us a long time. In this post I will try show you things you need to know before buying a medical/hospital bed for seniors.
The medical/hospital bed is also known as an adjustable, zero gravity, or electric bed is a bed that comes with multi hinges that allows it to be reclined at different angles. Once used mainly in hospitals, the electric bed is now commonplace in many homes.
The surface of the bed can typically be controlled by either a manual or electric crank to lift the lower body, the upper body or both to create a zero-gravity effect. Additionally, there are three types of medical/hospital beds that you can choose from and these are the full electric, the semi-electric or the manual bed.
Why you need a medical/hospital bed for a senior
- An electrical bed is no longer the classical hospital bed that looks sterile and uncomfortable. If your current bed does not feel so comfortable and you are having issues getting in and out of it, you may just need an electrical bed.
- Most of the medical/hospital beds are adjusted by electrical and mechanical means which makes them easy and convenient to use. They allow you to recline, elevate, lower and raise the bed in all manner of configurations for better health outcomes and comfort.
- If you are having issues with mobility and balance, the hospital bed can be raised or lowered whenever you need to get in and out of the bed. This makes it easier to get into wheelchairs and walkers without too much pain and discomfort. You may also need an electric bed if you are having issues sleeping on flat mattresses.
- Medical/hospital beds are great if you are a caregiver as you can control the position of the bed and not have to work in unhealthy back positions. As a caregiver, you do not have to stop and bend to provide assistance, which makes provision of care easier.
- Electrical beds are mobile and small such that it is easy to provide care to your loved ones as compared to if you were using a bigger hospital bed. Electrical beds come with wheels making it easier to move the loved one from room to room.
- Adjustable beds are easily customized so that you can add conveniences such as bed rails, table surfaces, and even conveniences such as USB to make caring for the loved one easier.
What are the benefits of a medical/hospital bed
1. Pain Relief
Adjustable beds are great for persons suffering from arthritic pain neck issues, cramps, and shoulder problems. Since they can be adjusted to any position, you can find the best position to alleviate spinal pain osteoarthritis and any other degenerative pain disorders and conditions. You can also get pain relief from pressure and swelling in the legs by elevating the legs.
2. More Comfortable than Normal Beds
With the capability of reclining in all manner of positions, you can recline, lower, raise the lower and upper part of the bed or both to make it comfortable for whatever you need to use it for. All this can be done without having to get out of the bed as most electric beds come with remotes or buttons to crank the motor.
With an electric bed, you can sit up in bed and incline it in any angle that you find comfortable. This makes it easy to have your breakfast in bed, breastfeed the child, type on your laptop, read a book, play video games, watch TV, and get out of bed easier than you would in a normal bed.
4. Promotes Intimacy
It is easier to be more intimate with your partner as conversations are easier with a bed that reclines. You can also try out different positions without needing to resort to pillows and such. This makes your bedroom life more interesting and could strengthen your relationship.
Most electric beds come with independent control of each half of the bed. The beds will typically be split so that you can lower or raise one side without disturbing the other person beside you. One person may love sleeping at 12 degrees while their partner prefers 20 degrees. With an electric bed, you can choose any recline angle you like for your side of the bed.
6. Low Maintenance
Unlike other therapeutic beds, you do not need to grease, change water or pump air. You can easily assemble the bed and using a remote control choose the configuration you like and then sleep, read or just relax in comfort.
Modern electric beds come with capacity for accessories such as USB chargers for tablets and phones. These can be great if you intend to work from the bed or even just watch a movie on the iPad or on your smartphone. They also are great for seniors who may need their phone near them to get important notifications such as when to take medication or their water.
8. Eliminate Snoring
Most snoring is caused by the windpipe closing due to the weight of the neck on it when you are asleep. With an electric bed, much of the weight is off the windpipe so that you can breathe easier and not disturb your partner with snoring.
Does the insurance cover the cost, what if it’s used?
Most health insurance companies will cover the cost of an electric bed as long as it meets certain criteria. The main criteria you have to meet to be eligible for medical equipment cover for your loved ones is that it has to be durable medical equipment or home medical equipment that is necessary for alleviating or treating a health condition.
Most patients with conditions such as arthritis, cramps, neck and shoulder pain or any other pain condition should meet this criterion and be eligible for insurance coverage. Nonetheless, different insurance companies have different policies and you need to check with your insurance company to determine if the cost of an electric bed is included.
Medicare will typically pay for semi-electric beds if you get a prescription from a doctor but will not pay for commercially available beds. Nonetheless, the bed still needs to meet the device criteria. It has to have two motors that elevate the foot and head sections and a hand crank for raising the height of the frame. Under the durable medical equipment coverage, Medicare will pay up to 80% of the cost of the electrical bed. Nonetheless, given that Medicare varies by state, it is important to check just what is covered by your state’s Medicare program.
What if it is used?
Most insurance companies will not cover the cost of buying used electrical beds. However, it still depends on the insurance company and you can always check to determine if you can recoup some medical costs of acquiring the electrical bed.
Is it worth it to buy a Used Medical/Hospital bed?
Electric beds come with a lot of benefits that it may seem worthwhile to get one-second hand if you do not have the money to buy new. However, there are several considerations to take into account before you buy a used medical/hospital bed. These include:
1. Compromise on Quality
Used adjustable beds tend not to be in the best condition since they may have been damaged after years of use. They may thus be susceptible to breakdowns and faults particularly if you buy a fully electric bed. Buying a new bed guarantees that you get it when it is in top condition and a warranty.
2. Limited availability
It is hard to find a used medical/hospital bed that you like given that the beds tend to be put to long term use and there are not that many floating around. As such, you will have very little choice in the type and quality of bed that you can get.
3. Repair and Maintenance Costs
Used medical/hospital beds tend not to be in good condition and you will likely be spending a lot of money on unforeseen repair costs and maintenance costs.
4. Hygiene Concerns
If you have safety, health or hygiene concerns then you cannot go with used electric beds. This is because you do not know who was using the bed before you and what infectious disease they may have had. As such it may be better to just buy new.
5. Less Choice in Customization
It is hard to customize a used bed since it may have some part missing or it may have outdated features that are hard to modernize. This is as compared to a new bed which may allow you to add modern conveniences such as waterproof mattresses, and folding technologies.
Where to buy a medical/hospital bed and get a good deal?
There are tons of marketplaces online where you can get all manner of used medical equipment including new and used electrical beds for sale. Most of the electrical and hospital beds will typically be refurbished beds that you can also touch up to bring them up to date with modern conveniences and features. Some of the more prominent sellers include:
- Amazon marketplace – Sells new and used hospital beds.
- American International Medical – Sells new and used medical devices and equipment
- Hospital Direct Medical Equipment – Seller of used medical equipment
- DotMed – an online marketplace for buying and selling medical equipment
- LabX – an online marketplace for medical, science and laboratory products
Is it Worth to Buy vs Rent Hospital Bed with a Used Mattress?
While it can be cheaper, it is never recommended buying an electrical bed with a used mattress. Mattresses, unlike the frame, tend to be more likely to have more bacteria and pathogens when bought used. Mattresses are also more likely to be degraded after years of use. Used mattresses will thus not be as flexible or as comfortable if you were to buy new. As such, it does not make sense to buy used mattresses even if you are buying the frame used. Always get a new mattress that will be clean and hygienic and will provide all the benefits of flexibility and high performance.
Buyers Guide: 12 things to know before buying a medical/hospital bed
1. Lifting capacity
You need to determine how much weight you intend to lift with your hospital bed. King and Queen Beds typically have higher lifting capacities as compared to Full size and smaller Twin beds.
2. Remote Control
Since you may be using the hospital bed for an elderly person you may need to have an easy to control bed. Go for a remote control that can be easy to use for the patient which in most instances is a wireless remote control much like the TV remote.
3. Wallhugger Engineering
This is a very important technology to have. What it means is that when you push the button to lift the upper body part of the frame it also reverses and moves the frame close to the wall behind the patient and closer to the bedside table rather than away from it.
4. Adjustable Mattress
If you get a hospital bed that does not come with a mattress ensure that you order an adjustable mattress that fits your bed. The general rule is to avoid mattresses with springs that tend to be less flexible than foam mattresses.
Find a seller that provides good manufacturer warranties. Since these beds can be very mechanical and last for a long time, you will save a lot by getting a bed with a warranty so that you do not spend a lot of money on repair and maintenance.
6. Dual Adjustable Bed/Dual Control/Dual Adjustable Bed
You need to find a bed that can be used for multiple sleepers if you will be using it for two seniors. This will make it easy to configure each side of the bed according to each person’s preferences.
7. Adjustable Beds For Elderly/Seniors
Find easy to use beds that come with remote controls and easy to adjust heights and reclines for seniors with breathing, circulation and mobility problems.
8. Sizes and Dimensions
Hospital beds tend to be larger than conventional beds because of all the features. You need to determine what size and dimension of bed you need so that you can get the appropriate bedding and sheets.
9. Massage Features/Adjustable Massage Beds
The most modern beds come with other extra features such as heat and massagers which can be excellent if you or the senior using the bed have circulation issues or chronic back pain.
10. Multi-Angle and Reclining Bed Functionality
The best beds have reclining capacities and multi-angle functionalities or both. These provide convenience for watching TV or reading a book and are also great for adjusting the position of your legs and upper body.
11. Adjustable Bed Frames (Non-Electronic)
If you have a senior with mobility issues, you need to find manually adjustable beds that are cheaper and require far less maintenance than electric adjustable beds.
12. Extra Features
You need to find an adjustable bed that comes with convenience features that allow you to unwind and relax in your electric bed. Some of these features include heating, massage, built-in speakers, Bluetooth and cooling and adjustable legs to make entry and exit easier.
Semi-Electric vs Full-electric bed
Semi-Electric Hospital Beds
A semi-electric bed comes with an electric motor so that with a push of a button you can adjust the head and feet and easily change positions. Nonetheless, the semi-electric bed still comes with manual height controls. As such, the bed would be fine if the patient does not need too frequent changes in the height of the bed. Since they have a motor they tend to be more expensive than manual beds though they are easier for the caregiver to adjust feet and head positions.
Full Electric Hospital Beds
The electrical bed is one of the most technologically advanced hospital bed. It is typically connected to an electrical outlet and can then be controlled with a remote. The motor makes it easy to change the lower and upper body segments of the bed and the height making it one of the most convenient beds for the caregiver. The electrical bed is thus best if the patient needs the caregiver to lower and raise the bed often so that they can get out and in. While it is pricey, the electric bed the best option of all hospital beds.
Is it worth it to rent a medical/hospital bed?
Renting a hospital bed to use at home is never a good idea because of the following reasons:
1. Compromise on Quality
Rental beds tend to be older and hence are never in their best condition. They break down more and are faulty such that you may experience a lot of downtime and unforeseen repair costs.
2. Limited availability
There are a lot of people looking to rent hospital beds and hence the options may be very limited. This means you will end up with a bed that does not have the features that you want.
3. Hospital bed rental cost
At approximate $300 and $400, a month renting a hospital bed can be very expensive. Since you are likely to need the bed for a few months to a year, the costs can really rack up fast. On the other hand, the most sophisticated beds go for no more than $2500 on Amazon which could save you a lot and recoup your investment when you sell it on.
4. Regulations and Rules
You will need to adhere to the regulations and rules of the lessor as opposed to when you own the bed outright. With rules and regulations in place, it is almost impossible to customize the bed and make it as comfortable as you want it to.
5. Hygiene concerns
Hospital bed rentals are not the cleanest and to make it worse have been used by tons of other people that have rented the bed before you did. This could expose you or your loved one to a lot of bacteria and pathogens.
The Average Cost of Renting an Electric Bed
Most medical equipment companies will rent the bed for between $300 and $400 a month which works out to an average of between $3600 and $4800 a year.
Is a Medical/Hospital Bed Tax-Deductible
A medical/hospital bed falls under the durable medical equipment schedule which makes it tax-deductible when incurred by you a dependent or a spouse. However, it is important to note that you can only claim tax refunds if you bought or rented the equipment in the given taxation year. You will also not have any right to a refund if the bed was paid for by an insurance company, relative or any other person that is not a spouse or dependent. Lastly, you are only allowed to deduct the cost of the bed if it exceeds 7.5% of your yearly Adjusted Gross Income.
The Latest Medical/Hospital Bed Model You Can Buy
This Full-Electric Bed offers the greatest convenience for both the patient and caregiver. The easy-to-use pendant control provides motorized positioning of the upper body and knees, and also adjusts bed frame height for efficient use of accessories and for safe and easy transfer. And what’s best: it has a quiet motor, you don’t really hear it.
Besides, this hospital bed allows effortless motorized positioning of the head and knee section, with motorized bed height adjustment.
This hospital bed features a reinforced steel bed frame with adjustable height and a weight capacity 350 lbs.
Very easy to instal, no tools required.
Check price on Amazon.
The Best Adjustable Beds Available Right Now (For those who don’t really need a Hospital Bed)
This adjustable bed features an independent head incline (0-60 degrees), foot incline (0-45 degrees) and a reliable premium motor, quiet and responsive.
It comes with a wireless remote with flashlight and programmable memory option for your favorite position. Moreover, it has a dual USB charging stations on both sides of bed base feature a fast charge and regular charge port.
The first-ever folding hinge makes assembly effortless. Takes less than 5 minutes from box to bed: no expert assembly needed.
Check price on Amazon.
The electrical bed has undergone some vast improvements and now comes with dual massage, wall-hugger engineering for individual recline options, two wireless remotes, quiet motor, dual massage, and under-bed lighting. With such features, it is one of the best electric bed models that you can buy.
You can get a good deal at Amazon.
One of the most advanced electric beds in its category. It features wireless remotes, customizable massage options, and Bluetooth enabled motors and accessories so that you can change your recline and angles whenever you feel like. You can meditate, sit, or rest in any position that you find comfortable. What is better, it provides relief from muscle pain, reduces sleep apnea symptoms and corrects sleep posture.
Check price on Amazon.
The high-quality design of the bed is evident in how smooth it lifts the bed to allow you to get into the most comfortable foot and head positions. It comes with a wireless LCD remote that you can use to control massage options, and configure memory positions. It is also a wall-hugger design that you can control from an app on your OS or Android device on a tablet or smartphone.
Check price on Amazon.
Items You Also Might Need when You Buy a Hospital Bed
This walnut wood-grained laminated top with flush-mounted T-molded edge design is a very useful item to purchase along with your hospital bed. It can be use not only for meals or a coffee, but also for supporting a laptop or a book.
Check price on Amazon.
This item differs from similar ones because of its anti-skid rubber platform. Besides it is easy-to-carry, lightweight, while being sturdy at the same time.
Check price on Amazon.
The Medline’s 36 x 36 inch (50 per package) disposable underpads feature a super absorbent core to provide incontinence protection for beds. This disposable item absorbs fluid and quickly locks away odor. With these good features, you should think that this product wouldn’t be comfortable too use, but it is: it is made with a soft diamond quilted top sheet which is very gentle on sensitive skin.
Check price on Amazon.
The Bottom Line
A comfortable bed is one of the most important tools to promote health and well-being not only for yourself but also for seniors. Once designed for the hospital, electric beds are now a common accessory that has helped many people sleep better and become healthier.
There are many hospital beds for seniors out there that you can buy or rent to take advantage of the many benefits of these beds. However, it is important that you are careful in your selection of an electric bed. The best bed is not necessarily the one with all the bells and whistles but one that takes care of all your needs. Considering the price of a hospital bed for the elderly choosing the right one is an important process. By following this guide you should be able to find a suitable bed that will provide comfort, healthy outcomes and convenience to you or the senior using it.
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