Healthcare bed: which model to choose?

In theory, if your parent has been hospitalized, the occupational therapist at the hospital center will be able to go to his home (or yours) to check that he can return to live there in good conditions, or whether arrangements need to be made ( stairs, doors, bathroom…). He is also the one who will choose a medical bed.

Except… This is not always the case: there is not always a specialist available. “It has happened to me to have patients sent home without a visit, without a medical bed, without fitting the shower”, explains Lise Galtat-Couturieux, a liberal occupational therapist specializing in home furnishings.

How to choose a nursing home bed?

It is not a luxury and it is essential to take care of it, especially as most models are reimbursed by Social Security! “Very often, caregivers forget their own well-being and their safety and only see the complexity of technical aids,” points out Lise Galtat-Couturieux, while without a medical bed, and sometimes without a patient lift, the risks are increased. : not only the fall of the elderly but also the back problems for the one who helps him to get up every day!

In addition, think of the hoist!

In general, nursing beds cannot be bought, they are rented from a reseller of medical equipment (reimbursement is not complete for the purchase). The basic model is adjustable in height, allows the backrest and also the foot of the bed to be raised, at the level of the bend of the knee.

In addition, a patient lift is often required for people with motor disabilities or severe pathologies. “Those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease often find it difficult to get started in the morning, to wake up their body,” adds Lise Galtat-Couturieux.

If you go through a home help service (SSIAD) , they will take care of booking the bed, the carers being trained in their use.

If you do not have the means – or are on a waiting list to obtain the services of a SSIAD approved by Social Security -, “rather go see a seller of specialized medical equipment than the pharmacist in your neighborhood.” », Advises the occupational therapist. The latter risks having only an incomplete offer and not being trained.

The choice of the mattress for the medical bed

You also need a special mattress that you can buy. Most of them are also reimbursed, in particular the basic model of class 1, in viscoelastic material, with slight shape memory, “which limits the points of support of the body and therefore the bedsores”, explains Lise Galtat-Couturieux.

Depending on the pathologies, the improved version (class 2) of the air mattress, which regularly varies the pressure on the different parts of the mattress, may also be reimbursed. Because of the risk of punctures, “waterbeds are hardly used anymore,” adds Lise Galtat-Couturieux.

An occupational therapy diagnosis at home

“Some dealers are not very scrupulous. As the medical beds are rented, they try to make them run to the maximum and do not necessarily check the condition of the engine or the fixing of the safety bars ”, warns Lise Galtat-Couturieux. 

Hence the interest in bringing in an occupational therapist used to working with resellers. An occupational therapy diagnosis at home, which includes the visit, a report, and the establishment, if necessary, of plans for major developments, “costs around 250 euros”. It is not reimbursed by Social Security but can be reimbursed by certain mutuals.

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