Iron Bed

I’ll write in more detail about why we resist The Dreaded Hospital Bed, but for now: we have this iron bed, pictured. You can’t buy it any more, so this isn’t a very good tip! It’s a schoolhouse style. We got ours from Feather and Black, but the one they stock now: Oliver is different. The foot end has the struts pulled up over the end of the mattress, which obviously is a nightmare for pressure risk or if you have kicking spasms. Our bed is more like this one: Edward, where your feet can poke through the large gap. In fact I think ours is exactly like that one. Anyway, the particular model or brand doesn’t matter, the point is: iron beds are really useful!

If you spend a lot of time in bed, it’s basically a control centre. If you get one with iron bedsteads, it’s REALLY easy to attach any number of things to help you: clamps, clip-ons, velcro loops. We have a camelbak hooked on to our bed with a velcro loop, we’ve clamped projectors on there, or tablets, and you can also screw on medical machines that normally go on drip stands and so on. We’ve often had a VAC machine hooked on the foot end.

They are easy to clean and they look cool. If you get one with a foot end as well, you can hang out in bed (sitting against the foot end, facing the person lying down) and actually have a face to face conversation. Top tip.

What to look for

  • Try to get one with a large gap for feet to poke through at the base
  • Get a mix of thick and thin uprights so you can attach different sized clamps
  • Make sure there’s a big enough gap between the bars to clamp stuff on
  • Make sure you have at least one straight, horizontal bar at the head and foot
  • Square edged bars are fine - you can use shelf clips instead of pipe clamps, you just can’t then reuse stuff from your wheelchair is all, but there may be other benefits
  • But make sure your bars are smooth tubes or smooth bars and not filigreed or wrought, as those will be hard to attach things to
  • If you can get brass or copper, do!
  • Obviously avoid four posters if you use hoist transfers.