5 ways an adjustable mobility bed will help you and/or your elderly loved one

#Tips for Independence at Home
Read Time: 4 minutes

As we age it is a fact that our ability to get around and do daily tasks as easily as we used to reduces. Whilst we may not wholly recognise it, muscles and joints will start to toil after years of being put through their paces.

This change in ability is natural and we expect it. However, whilst reduced capacity may be frustrating, it is essential that it does not affect the wellbeing of ourselves or those we support. It's often said that a happy, healthy life is a long one. As we age, it is all about managing our lifestyle to accommodate health changes and ensure we are functioning to the best of our abilities. The difference it makes to personal and family life cannot be understated.

One of the first places we should change to suit our changing lifestyle is our bed. We spend a large portion of our lives here and rejuvenating sleep is so important to good health. Here are some key issues that we as elders, family and carers come across and how an adjustable bed will be a big help:

1. Encourages independence

As mobility reduces we start to struggle with significant movement and in the majority of cases this will be getting up from a supine position to standing one. This movement relies on core strength as well as individual muscle and joint movements. With an adjustable bed it a whole lot easier. The electric backrest will sit us upright which is the hardest part done. It is then a case of swinging our legs of bed and using the mattress surface to push ourselves up. 

This level of support greatly eases mobility and enables elderly loved ones to get up without the help of a carer or family member. Independence is something none of us want to give up and an adjustable bed can go a long way in ensuring this. Grab rails can be fitted to adjustable beds to further enhance mobility and a variable height bed will make exiting the bed even easier.

Also, whilst relaxing in an adjustable bed, we can make ourselves more comfortable. We can sit up in bed for the likes of watching TV, reading, writing letters, working on a computer/tablet and much more, all contributing to our independence.

Healthy and Happy Adjustable Bed User

2. Improves sleep

Older people get less sleep than younger people (see Sleep Council guidance). We struggle to get to sleep and sometimes we find it hard to remain asleep once we have nodded off. As we age we demand less rest but tend have more broken sleep patterns. It is vital that when we are in bed, the rest that we get is quality. 

Elders are more affected by the side effects of not sleeping well: amnesia, confusion, and cognitive difficulties to name a few.  By making certain that the few hours of sleep we get is comfortable and relaxing, it'll keep minds sharp throughout the day.

3. Boosts circulation

If you’re nоt аblе tо move muсh, рооr сіrсulаtіоn can be a big issue. A lot of elderly people suffer from ulcerated legs and varicose veins, exacerbated by long periods of inactivity. The best remedy is movement and exercise, but this is not always possible with a conventional flat bed.

The best way to boost circulation is to raise your legs above your heart. With an adjustable bed this is very easy as the legrest of the bed can be elevated when needed using the handset control. Elevating your legs аllоwѕ blood to flоw more easily from the lower limbs and limits swollen feet and legs.

Beds for elderly

4. Relieves spinal and joint pain

As we age, the cаrtіlаgе and ligaments thаt hold together оur vertebrae in our spines become thinner and weaker. This can result in back ache and chronic spinal pain. An adjustable bed can be moved to any position to take the stress off of the affected vertebrae. The mattress can be adjusted to ease localised pain which does not often keep reoccurring in the same place but moves across the vertebrae.

5. Reduces swelling/oedema

Swelling (medically known as oedema) is a common problem among older people. It's a buildup of fluid, typically occurring in the ankles, feet, and legs. It's not always painful but it will make walking difficult and might make the legs and feet feel heavy.  Leg oedema can result in skin ulcers, and can interfere with blood flow. For a lot of severe cases, medication is often prescribed, but alternative options are possible. 

By positioning the legs above the heart, fluid will disperse and reduce swelling. Using an adjustable bed is the easiest method to lift the feet and legs conveniently. You legs can be elevated for an extended period with no effort.

Elderly Bed for Single

I will finish with the fact that adjustable beds are not only for the less able. They are a great option for anyone wanting to improve their quality of sleep and lifestyle. They will reduce muscle and joint decline and help you to lead a longer and healthier life.

Regardless of issues with oedema, arthritis, back pain, lack of quality sleep, or difficulty getting in and out, an adjustable bed will make the time you're in bed, both asleep and awake, so much more fulfilling and will set you up for the day ahead.

View Opera's range of adjustable beds

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