Stacey Taylor, marketing manager at wissner bosserhoff, explains why the careful consideration of the application of low floor beds across care facilities is so important
An ultra-low floor bed is being used as a solution by many care facilities across the UK to help minimise the risk of injuries to individuals at risk of falls. This is achieved by allowing the carer to position the bed very near the floor, sometimes with a safety mat also positioned next to the bed with the aim of reducing injury if a roll-out was to occur. However, you should beware of basing your overall purchasing decisions on how to get your care bed to the lowest possible floor height. Lower does not always mean safer! There are other concerns that should not be overlooked, and instead should be very carefully considered for any individual who is being considered for a floor bed.
The overlooked challenges of a floor bed at nursing height
To allow the bed to get as low as possible, many ultra-low floor beds have certain limitations to their design; one very important aspect being that they do not usually have any side rails for additional protection. This means that a resident would need two members of staff on hand to carry out duties such as personal care when the bed is raised to the nursing height position. This is the only way to guarantee safety and minimise the risk of someone being able to roll out of bed on the other side. At a time when care staff resource is more stretched than ever, this is not always going to be a practical solution. The only way to minimise the risk further would be for the bed to be positioned against a wall, but again, this compromise will have implications on administering care and will reduce easy access to the resident from the other side of the bed, which again impacts on staff care duties.
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