My husband was recently in the hospital for a fractured hip and underwent a hip replacement. Rehab was not easy for him and getting in and out of bed was challenging to say the least. But the partial upper side rails on the hospital bed really did help; they provided a stable support for him to hold onto when transferring. As we were getting ready for discharge, I spoke to a rep from the durable medical equipment (DME) company about renting a hospital bed for home use. We went over the controls (semi–automatic) and he recommended a gel mattress overlay pad to reduce the chances of pressure sores. However, in my heightened state of stress, I never thought to ask about the bed rails. After all, the DME office was in the hospital and I had just assumed that we would get a bed imilar to the one in my husband’s hospital room. After all, he had been getting instruction from the physical therapist on how to get in and out of the bed using the upper bed rails. You can imagine my shock then when the hospital bed was delivered with full bed rails. Full bed rails? The last thing I needed during this time was another problem to sort out.
Didn’t the DME representative check in with my husband’s doctor to see what type of bed to order? Full rails were not appropriate for my husband and they can actually increase fall risk and agitation. And with full rails, there is no side rail to hold onto when getting in and out of bed. When I questioned the DME rep, all he said was: “Well, what kind of rails were you expecting?” I never got a satisfactory answer on why a bed with full rails was ordered.
So, the rep put in an swap order and in a couple of days the partial rails were delivered. But in the meantime, caregiving was so much harder as I then had to provide more physical help so my husband could safely get in and out of bed.
Oh by the way, that wasn’t the only problem. The DME company didn’t ship the gel mattress overlay pad. I was the one who noticed that it was listed on the delivery receipt but not delivered! Again, my stress level rose as I knew that a regular hospital bed mattress would be hard and uncomfortable for my husband to use, (which it was) especially after surgery.
So my advice to you is to go over in detail the type of hospital bed the DME rep or the doctor is planning on ordering, including the type of bedrails and any overlays. And of course, check carefully when you get your delivery to make sure you have received it all.
Have you had similar problems when ordering a home hospital bed? How did it turn out for you? Let’s share.