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A 93 yr old relative broke a hip 1 1/2 yrs ago. When she came home from rehab, her bed was too high, so the frame was taken away, and she slept on mattress and box springs only. She has fallen recently, three times in fact, from the bed. She will sit at the end of the bed and try to stand up with her walker too far away. She gets out of bed a couple of times at night to use the bathroom. The EMS said I have to do something about the bed, or look into other living arrangements. They did not like that there was no bed frame. She is her own POA, and wants to remain in her own home. She has caregivers three hours/day, and I fill in some blanks, but she is alone at night.

I bought a low profile box spring and it was delivered today, and the frame was returned.The mattress and springs are still too high and it is difficult for her to get into bed. We again removed the bed frame. The bed is now lower since the box springs are lower, and I'm afraid she will fall trying to get out of the bed.

Our local medical supply store mentioned a high-low bed. I asked her social worker if Medicare pays, and she said that a medical diagnosis with medical documentation is needed. She is no longer post hip fracture, and old age is not a diagnosis. I asked her doctor today, and he doesn't think that falling is a sufficient diagnosis. I'm going to ask the doctor to write a script anyway, and see. She cannot afford to outright buy the bed or to rent it. I will look into getting a thinner mattress, which will, of course, be less comfortable, and put an egg-crate mattress topper, or something on it.

Any other suggestions? She does have a railing to hold on to, to help her get up and a railing on the other side of the bed to keep her from falling out. There is also a railing at the foot of the bed, so she does not try to sit there. The problem is the height of the bed. FYI, the actual bed is only 1 1/2 yrs old. It was actually delivered when she was in the nursing home. She was switching from a double bed to a single bed when she fell and broke her hip, and the bed was to have been delivered the day of her hip surgery. We waited to see if she was going to come home. When we were sure she would be coming home, the bed was delivered, but it was too high.

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I think the problem is solved. One of her caregivers suggested a daybed or 1/2 of a bunk bed. I never thought of these; have to think outside the box sometimes. I went to three furniture stores, two of which a 1 daybed in the showroom. The bed at place # 1, if used with a 6 in mattress (brand-name for comfort. Hospital beds have 6 in mattress which contortion), would be the proper height. Place # 2's bed + mattress would be a couple of inches too high for her. One half of a bunk bed would be way to low. No need for railings on the bottom or side of the daybed, because they have bars/wood on three sides. Her caregiver checked it out and she, too, thinks it will work. And it's even cute, 1/2 off, and the store delivers, sets up and removes the old, which is a requirement for me. Plus they know both of us as they have delivered to both of us before. The only thing is, we would have to put a piece of plywood between the mattress and springs. She has a little rail, to hold on to when she gets out of bed, which slips under the mattress. She knows where to get it.

I did not try to ask her doctor to write a script for a hospital bed. I looked up the Medicare guideliness for a bed, and she wouldn't qualify. She doesn't have any of the conditions which would qualify her.
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When my mom was dying we had hospice bring in an electric bed. It was only a single mattress of course, none of this pillow top stuff, but the plus side was that it did indeed go up and down to the height we wanted it. You might try looking on Craigslist in your area to see if someone is getting rid of one.
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