Whether lying down or sitting, the heaviest users need heavy-duty, or bariatric, beds and chairs, which are sturdy enough to support them safely, and designed to be as comfortable as possible. Electric profiling in beds and motorised rise and recline in chairs will make it easier to change position.
Bariatric nursing beds for the heaviest patients
An electrically operated three- or four-part profiling bed can be adapted to provide the most comfortable position for sleeping and for giving nursing care.
A bed designed for heavier patients needs a sturdy, reinforced frame, and of course a larger sleeping area. In positioning the bed, it is also important to make sure that there is sufficient room around it to accomplish any nursing tasks or transfers of the patient safely and comfortably. A clearance of 5 feet (1.5 metres) at the sides and foot of the bed allows for positioning of bariatric hoists and wheelchairs and for carers to assist.
For pressure relief and management of respiratory and circulatory problems, often associated with obesity, the profiling frame can be coordinated with a bariatric alternating and lateral rotating mattress, which turns the patient and ensures that pressure is not placed continuously on the same areas, thus freeing the carer from a significant task.
Alternatively, there are complete units available, which combine a heavy duty powered bed frame with alternating pressure mattress.
Bariatric chairs also need stronger and wider frames, with sturdy arms capable of fully supporting the occupant as they raise or lower themselves.
Automatic rise and recline armchairs, which enable a person to recline into a more comfortable position, and assist them to rise into a standing position, are also available in heavy duty versions, for up to 60 or 70 stone.
Some chairs also include built-in massage therapy to assist with poor circulation or aching muscles and joints, or pressure relief features that are particularly helpful for those who must remain seated for long periods.