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My 87 year-old father is 6' and our biggest challenge is getting him comfortable for long periods of time in the hospice bed in our home. We have a wedge provided by hospice, and use 6 additional pillows to keep him in a basic side position that is least painful for him over night. Any insight, trick that we should try?

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Hi trek1459!

Does your hospice provider offer a pressure/air mattress that alternate pressure and air throughout the mattress at different times? Just a suggestion. We commend you for enlisting hospice for comfort for your dad. He is lucky to have you.
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My LO also on hospice and in a regulation hospital bed with side rails. Sadly we don’t qualify for bariatric. I bought our own mattress for the bed to which we will add the air mattress when it becomes necessary. I help him roll over with the use of extra long washable underpass that have handles. I also use these to pull him up higher on the bed when it is mealtime or if he wants to have the head raised. If I do this I also always raise the feet so he doesn’t slide down to the foot of the bed. I use Tena overnight pads in his tabbed underwear so that I can do an extra quick change in between changes without bothering him too much. Turning can be painfull. I use Cuddle Duds fleece blankets under his torso to protect his skin from folds and creases in the underpad or sheets. I use a thin bolster pillow between his legs or under his heels to prevent pressure sores there. Keeping his skin clean and dry but moisturized is a must. I am housebound since I am his full time caregiver and everything I need I have found on Amazon, thank heavens.
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trek1459 Jan 15, 2019
WellsSC - aren't you a welcome fountain of tips and pointers! You've provided some techniques I will definitely put into practice. Thank you for taking the time to share.
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Hi trek1459,
Instead of a hospital or Hospice bed,my Mother wanted to be in her lift chair out in the den.Every night I would box her in with several pillows like you do with your Father.Hospice brought her a RoHo cushion that she sat on.She was on a walker with me behind her and getting her up from the lift chair was probably easier than a bed but I really don't know,but with the lift chair,she could change positions and sit up easily and shift her hips,etc.She loved her heating pad and a fan blowing on her which helped her breathe and felt good to her.She was in alot of pain,so keeping her comfortable was all that mattered.
Your Dad is very lucky to have you and your good care~Take care!
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trek1459 Jan 12, 2019
Thanks for the response. Dad is bed ridden, so a lift chair might not be practical for our situation. But it is something I hadn't considered. Which is exactly why I posted here - I know other people must be facing similar challenges. And thanks for the shout out acknowledging that this giving good care is work.
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My Husband was over 6 foot. For a while we had the Extra Long Twin bed with an alternating pressure mattress. It was alright but later we switched to a Bariatric bed. Much better the length was about the same but there was more width, so much that I was often able to lay down next to him. I have to say it was much easier to move him in the Bariatric bed, I did not have to worry that I was going to roll him off the other side of the bed! There was so much more room to work with when I was changing him or changing the sheets.
It may take a bit but ask your CNA as well as your Nurse if they can recommend a Bariatric bed.
By the way if he is in a wheelchair at all check out a Geri Chair or a Broda Chair Both were good but the regular Geri chair was too narrow and the Bariatric one was too wide but the Broda Chair was the perfect fit for him.
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Hi, I feel your pain. We got a hospital bed, but it was not working because my LO (also 6’ and a bit chunky) couldn’t roll over like he could on the queen mattress. This caused panic attacks and such behavioral problems that we got rid of it and moved his old bed back. He doesn’t qualify for a bariatric hospital bed. So, that’s it. We are stuck with a bed that doesn’t rise or lower and takes up a substantial space in the living room, but there is peace in the house. Oh, and the mattress that came with it was absolutely terribly uncomfortable. As he would say, “I wouldn’t wish this mattress on my worst enemy!”
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trek1459 Jan 12, 2019
Thank you for your perspective. I considered his own bed, and thought about the negatives you had pointed out. Thanks for the heads up on the anxiety attacks.
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I'll check about another mattress option. Tonight someone was here and adjusted some parts of the bed to make it 4 inches longer at the head. So we are blessed to be working with an organization that is listening to our needs AND is offering solutions. And I like to think of it as me being the lucky one. Thanks for the feedback.
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My dad who was 6’1” was in hospice care for 14 months. Hospice provided a bed that could be raised and lowered and it was an air mattress with long tubes. Dad was never a complainer so thatwasn’t an issue I hope. He did lose a lot of weight so I’m hoping it was comfortable especially at the end for him.
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Sad to hear this and even sadder to say but maybe he needs closer management of his meds if he is in so much pain. Even with extra pillows, it's not a good idea for anyone to stay in one position all night. It's bad for circulation and breathing.
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trek1459 Jan 15, 2019
Thanks for pointing out your concern. Hospice works very closely with us on managing Dad's pain. He is cooperative about moving around during the day. At night he wakes me every few hours to move him.
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Hi, Dianne. Thanks for taking a moment of your time. You are the second person to mention a pressure/air mattress, so that is my focus with the nurse and social worker tomorrow. The hospice organization working with us has provided tremendous care, support and information. Poor guy sleeps half sitting, curled on his left side because the pain is on his right, with pillows tucked all around him. I'm on a mission to improve upon that.
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Daddy had hospice on a Tempur-Pedic bed. Hospice supplied us with hospital rails so he wouldn’t fall out. Tempur-Pedic has an electronic he’s and leg lift. Very comfortable mattress!
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trek1459 Jan 15, 2019
Thanks, Trudysdaughter. Another great direction to research.
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