Archive for Bedbound

Bed Wars

hospitalbedNo one wants one.

No one likes them.

Some have cranks and levers, wobbly wheels, and are cumbersome to move or adjust.

Newer ones are more complex, have silent electric motors, links for computer cables, and (though pricey) lightweight metal alloy frames.

But who wants to lie in a hospital bed of any kind? Not for overnight, and certainly not for the rest of your life.

I view the hospital bed as one of the intimidating symbols of hospice care. Of course, it’s more than a symbol once it arrives at your home.

Whenever the hospice clinical staff discusses current patients, it’s nearly inevitable that at least one patient has balked at shifting to a hospital bed.

Wouldn’t you refuse? Read More →

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Twice a day, on a normal day, I’m bed bound.

For longer than I care to admit, it’s bedtime when ten o’clock rolls around. I rise early in the morning to write and am not a night owl. Even on New Years, I’m a Californian who’d rather celebrate the next day and year based on my wife’s home state:  Wisconsin. Those wonderful Cheeseheads are in Central Time Zone, two hours ahead of Pacific Time!

My pre-dawn rising—usually by 4:00am—prompts a need for a nap. Please, let me grab forty winks for a mid-day siesta. At one church I served, I tucked a folding futon in the office’s corner. Around noon, I’d tell the staff not to disturb me unless there was an emergency. The staff and church members (mostly) understood. Ministers are on-call twenty-four hours a day, schedule meetings in the evening and Sunday (with all due respect to God’s 6-day creation package) is not a day of rest! The healthy, though odd, habits of a lifetime bind me to bed. (I’ll also, in a pinch, claim a floor, futon, sofa or recliner!)

The dreaded hospital bed...

The dreaded hospital bed…

However . . . when a hospice nurse announces the once active Ms. or Mr. Smith is bedbound, the others on the hospice team immediately understand she or he is declining.

Can they remain in their own bed? The answer’s often a Yes. But the bed is no longer for temporary rest; it’s a permanent residence. The answer may also be No. And whether crabby or compliant, patients fear abandoning their comfy king-size for a skinny bed with rails. It doesn’t matter if a hospital bed can be lowered and is safer to get on/off the mattress, or that caregivers can more easily respond to the loved one’s needs. It’s not YOUR bed. And doesn’t it symbolize giving up and giving in? Read More →

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