Are you or a loved one due to come out of hospital soon? You’ve probably been given a list of assistive equipment by your care team, including a hospital bed or electric bed, which needs to be installed in your home before they’re able to discharge you.
The prospect of purchasing the equipment and installing it can be daunting at first, so we've created this handy guide to help you through the process.
And if you need any more advice, our helpful team are on hand to help - Contact us today to find our more!
This article will take you through the following:
1. How to get a hospital bed at home
2. Top considerations before buying a hospital bed
Firstly, there are two ways to get a medical bed at home...
The first thing to research before going forward is how to get a medical bed, as you want to ensure that you're getting the best option for your loved one. You have two main options - we understand that every situation is different, largely dependent on the patient's needs and the cost involved.
1. Apply for a bed from the hospital or local council
The NHS, your hospital or local council may be able to provide you with a hospital-style bed or funding for a medical bed. You may want to go down this route if you don't have the funds available to purchase your own bed.
Hospital beds can be hired from private companies on a temporary basis - whilst this can get quite expensive on a long-term basis, temporarily hiring a bed might also be a good idea for short-term care - particularly if the patient only needs the bed for a short period of time.
Hospital beds can be temporarily hired in these situations:
- Temporary Accommodation - If a relative is temporarily staying at someone else's home whilst they recuperate, it might be easier to hire equipment instead of moving it from their home.
- Short-term Illness - If the equipment is only needed for a short period of time, it might be more worthwhile hiring it, instead of making a purchase.
- Holidays - If you're going away on holiday, you may be able to hire bed equipment for temporary use while you're away.
- Hotel Use - Some hotels will have disabled rooms that cater more to people with illness and disabilities, but you can also hire beds for use whilst you're away.
You'll have to work out the cost of hiring the equipment, as well as the installation. Hiring beds can be quite expensive in the long run, so if long-term care is needed or you suspect there might be ongoing circumstances, purchasing a bed for the patient might be more cost-effective.
Beds can also be loaned from NHS Trusts and the local authority for free, as long as they're for short-term use. The installation and fitting of the bed will also be free of charges in these cases. If you'd like to find out more about this, speak to your hospital discharge team or your local council to see how they can help.
If your home needs to be adapted due to disability or old age, you can apply to the local council for further help.
The NHS can also provide other items that might be needed for care, to help with daily activities like using the bathroom, going to the toilet, cooking, eating and getting out of bed.
For further advice, speak with your occupational therapist, district nurse, or GP to find out if you're eligible. If you're eligible, a request will be sent to the hospital or council to arrange for either funding or for a hospital bed to be delivered to your home.
The only issue with this route is that it could involve a lengthy process to secure your bed, and therefore you may have to wait longer to be discharged. Hospital waiting times can be lengthy and hospital beds are in short supply, so if you're looking for a quick discharge, this option may not be viable.
Additionally, the bed provided may be only temporary until you can purchase your own assistive equipment.
2. Purchase a hospital bed
Investing in your own medical bed is a more feasible option for some, and it gives you greater control over delivery times and design. If you think the bed will be needed for long-term use and you're concerned about waiting times, then buying a bed might be a better option for you.
Whilst hospital beds might seem quite expensive at first, we have a range of different options available, with something suitable for every price point.
Beds provided by the council/hospital are very functional and clinical whereas purchasing privately means that you can choose something that fits both your medical needs and home surroundings. You can choose the style, wider width and a more comfortable mattress, allowing you greater choice over your bed. Our beds are designed with both comfortability and attractiveness in mind, making them the perfect choice.
It's also an excellent option for those who want a quick discharge from the hospital, as suppliers like Opera Beds can achieve much fast delivery and installation. We offer a fantastic delivery and installation service, aiming to have everything completed within a week.
Hospital beds vary in price with various features and styling options. Our helpful cost guide will take you through what to expect. If cost is prohibitive to buying a bed, you can explore the possibility of funding. This will take some time but a good place to start is to speak with your hospital discharge team, an occupational therapist or a charity related to your medical condition (e.g. Parkinson's UK, Alzheimer's Society etc)
Video: How Opera can help you get a hospital bed for home
Before buying a hospital bed it’s important to consider the following:
1. What do you need a hospital bed to do for you?
The main thing to consider before buying a hospital bed is what it's needed for, in relation to the illness the patient has. For example, some hospital beds can go up and down to help to get in and out of bed. Hospital beds with extensive height ranges can be raised to the carers waist level, which is a great feature for those who have home-visit carers.
We have three main types of bed available - each one is slightly different and aimed at the individual needs of patients with differing illnesses.
2. How quickly do you need the bed?
Hospital beds bought directly from suppliers are quicker than applying through the NHS or council. Be sure to check the lead times for hospital beds with the supplier before you buy. Most companies provide an installation service that you may wish to purchase, making the process easier for you overall.
Some hospital beds are more complex than others to install, which is something to bear in mind. We provide an installation service with all our hospital beds where our crews can come to your home and aim to install your new bed within 3-5 days from purchase. For more information, head to our delivery and installation page.
3. Make sure you get advice from an expert
Before committing to purchasing a hospital bed it is always worth speaking to your occupational therapist or discharge team. Hospital beds are a big investment and it’s important you choose the most suitable bed for the level of care needed.
At Opera Beds, we have over a decade of experience providing hospital beds, with many being reviewed and approved by therapists themselves. Our dedicated team of expert advisers is available by phone to take you through the whole process of choosing a hospital bed.
See which hospital bed is for you
If you're ready to buy a hospital bed, you've come to the right place! Complete our online bed selector tool and receive hospital bed recommendations based on your needs. Simply answer a few needs-based questions and get your results instantly.
Once you've decided you're ready to take the next steps, you can easily purchase a bed straight from our website. And if you decide you need a little more advice first, our team of friendly advisors are ready and waiting to answer your questions.