Roho Insert

Sleep in your own bed with your partner

Problem

You want to sleep in your own bed with your partner, but pressure relieving mattresses are single sizes only.

Solution

Insert a section of Roho into an ordinary kingsize mattress.

Recipe

  1. Lie on your bed with your pillow in place and measure the distance from the top of the bed to the top of your shoulder. This is where to place the cutout for the Roho to follow our design. A Roho section is 86.5cm x 51cm and can be positioned in any orientation, so think about what works for you.

    Designed by Freepik
  2. Draw your plan for the mattress cutout. Here is the one we made, which you are welcome to use.

  3. Call your foam shop and explain your custom order. You might want to link them to this post.

More

Note from 2016

The following text is copied verbatim from an email I sent to someone in NHS England in 2013. The bed worked great for 3 years and could still be used today. Recently, the NHS decided to fund a full size Roho mattress for Stuart, so we switched it out to a bespoke full Roho. We will do a post on the design of that too at some point. Also, it is now (2016) possible to buy foam and Roho sections to be clipped together direct from the manufacturer, which is a new thing since the writing of this email, but it is not as cheap as this solution and that foam is not memory foam. This is not medical advice and I am not a doctor.

2013: cheaper faster more reliable

Without going into the almost four year debate with the NHS on the reasons why we need a double bed and not a hospital bed, let’s just say: we do and the NHS eventually agreed. We devised this solution ourselves after getting nowhere with standard provision, and it works really well and is vastly cheaper than the NHS solution would have been, had it ever materialised. The lowest figure we had for a “bariatric” dynamic mattress was £6,000, not including the service contract. Our solution cost £1,500.

I came up with this idea after reading about pressure care. It’s a simple combination of two commercially available products. I discussed it with Stuart and he modelled and refined the mattress in 3d. Essentially: it is not necessary to provide high risk pressure relief over the whole bed, only over the areas of high risk. So why not get a wheelchair cushion designed for long sitting and plonk it in a normal mattress surround? This way you can have a bed of any size and still have high quality pressure care.

It turns out Roho make mattress sections as well as wheelchair cushions. We bought a Roho mattress section from Sumed and had it sent to the Memory Foam Warehouse, where those excellent people cut out a section of a high spec memory foam mattress and inserted the Roho so it lies flush with the foam. Positioned centrally in the bed, the Roho supports the bony prominences of the hips and shoulders, the areas of concern for Stuart, whether he faces left or right. Another person could position their Roho section differently, according to their need, but the design shown should be suitable for many people.

Unlike on the dynamic (moving) mattresses, Stuart can use his laptop easily on the foam areas, and physio and manual handling are easy to carry out as the mattress is generally static and firm. Only the targeted area is unstable.

The Roho is silent, has no running costs and no service contract is required. If it gets punctured, it can be easily repaired with a bicycle tyre repair kit. If it ever needs to be sent back for serious repair, the MemoryFoamWarehouse made a foam plug so the mattress can be used in the meantime.

Stuart’s hip pressure sores healed immediately, and we moved from sleeping in a maximum of 120-minute blocks to a minimum of 240-minute blocks, which has improved our quality of life and general wellbeing enormously.

If I could find a way to let other people know about this simple and low cost solution, I know it would transform the lives of many people. It has transformed ours.

Adapting further

So, Roho mattress sections are expensive (about £700), but Roho wheelchair cushions are much easier to get hold of because you can get those second hand for about £50 - £100 on ebay. I’ve even seen them on Freecycle; they are just a lot more common than the mattress sizes. Obviously it’s not ideal! But if you think about it, there are loads of ways you could make a pressure relieving surface out of these things. If, for example, you got a piece of tarps and glued down a few cushions in the most important places, you could fill in the rest of the surface with 4” high pieces of cut foam, or a few cheap memory foam toppers glued down around to make a “surface”. Lay that on top of your normal mattress and you don’t even need the foam shop. You could roll that mattress topper up and take it with you on holiday, even. The point is, once you’ve got the idea of just hacking together your own solution, you’ll think of something that works best for you. And you might even get enough sleep that you can fight for the medical grade stuff long term.