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My mother is sleeping most of the time now! She did get 1 bed sore once...I didn't know much about that problem. I heard water beds were the best for preventing sores. Where can I buy one...what brand is good? Is there anything I should know about these beds before I purchase one? THANKS!

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thanks again...lots of great responses! will try those foam pads since i've already purchased those...but will certainly try the air mattress if they don't! I really don't care how much I have to pay to prevent my mother from experiencing bed sores!! Anything I spend to keep her safe and comfortable in her dying years is worth it for her and for me as her caregiver.
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We have an alternating air pressure pad on my mother in law's bed. It only cost us about $50 and has been working great. The pad goes on top of the mattress and the pump hangs on the end of the bed. No pressure sores since we got it almost two years ago. I would think a water bed would make hard to get them in and out of the bed and move them around if needed.
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No, you don't necessarily need Medicaid to get help from a doctor. Medicare and/or whatever insurance he has may help.
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joylee...great...Viscas memory foam is what I bought...3" thick...and it's great to hear you had goooood results with it! I've already ordered them...bought two. thanks...
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thanks you guys...sooooo many good answers! Not sure if you need medicaid to get help from doctor...but we don't have it. thanks
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The hospice that takes care of my husband brought in abed with an excellent mattress. Over the years he has had bed sores over his tail bone. We finally bought a queen sized Tempurpedic bed. He has not had had any issues with it or the hospital bed provided by the hospice ordered by his physician. Also remember that the most important other things to do are to provide good nutrition, position changes every two hours (to keep pressure off of bony prominences), and keep the skin very dry &clean
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how old is your mom? I am sure she has an MD. Call him and tell him about the pressure. If she has medicare, he will order a skilled wound nurse to come out to assess and treat the ulcer. She can get an order from the Dr. for a speciality mattress but be aware medicare will only cover the mattress if the ulcer is a certain stage.
Also, does your mom have medicaid? If so, there are programs to allow her to stay in the home and an aide will come and assist her during the day.
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Lifeexperiences: Check to see if her doctor can sign off on the need for the medical air mattress b/c then Medicare may cover its cost.
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A medical air mattress prevents bed sores.
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Life Experiences: I will not say this idea is for everyone, but it has been working for my husband around two years now. He is bed fast, cannot turn over in bed or sit up by self. So far no bed sores, even though he prefers to sleep or rest on his back all of the time. I rise him in bed to different levels throughout the day, and of course he sleeps on back at night for approximately 8 hours. He is turned only twice a day for skin care and cleaning, more of course if needed. Being incontinent in "all" respects with catheter, options are slim for body movement. He does basically feed himself, and move his legs some, watch tv, and sleep even through the day approximately 4 to 5 hours. I credit no bed sores to the 4 inch memory foam mattress that rests over the good firm well padded mattress beneath it. Both mattresses are covered with good water proof zippered casing, so no problem there.
I use ivory soap and water, rinsing well, and applying whatever light skin medication needed at various intervals. Never using talc in powder, that is not always recommended for best skin care these days. Plus the past two months, I have been taking the time twice a day, when freshening his skin to massage the area that looks tender or a bit colored from laying on. It is helping to bring back the natural look to the skin, and I wish I had thought of it sooner. Just ideas that might give a measure of relief to some. joylee
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Carespeaker1 .... Wow, the information you posted on my wall was soooo informative!! I didn't realize there were two steps before Hospice!! To receive Home Health Care...do you have to be on Medicaid? My parents did not qualify for any Medicaid...the were $50 above the SSI limit! Bad luck! lol THANKS!
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Hi Midkid58...yes you're right! I remember when I was younger, I new some people that had those and they were very hard to get out of!! lol It's hard enough getting my mother up from a regular mattress! thanks
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We had a water bed for 4 years--I'd say a hearty NO to using one on an elder. They are horrible for getting into and out of. They were a "fad" back in the 70's and 80's-going thru 2 pregnancies with one...hubby had to roll me out of bed and if I laid down again, I was truly stuck.
When hubby had his liver transplant he was in a hospital "air bed" it routinely moved the pressure spots around his body so he would not get bedsores. He wasn't just lying there all day, he was up and dragging all the drains and tubes with him, but when he laid down--he loved it (as much as you can love something in that situation!) Other than the noise it makes, as it pumps the air into the different chambers, it's not annoying to have. I imagine one for home use would be very expensive, but look into it. Bedsores are horrible and one more thing to contend with. Sounds like you have a lot of options out there, but again, I heartily say no to a waterbed.
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Carespeaker1...when you say, Medicare Home Health Care...is that the same as Hospice? My mother is awake approx 3 to 5 hours a day. I have been turning her from side to side...and she did get one bed sore once...didn't realize that sitting on a lounge chair and laying on her back in bed where the same...agitating a certain area in her lower back above her but. I noticed a little red spot a little higher the other day and that's when I decided to purchase some type of pad...and found the Viscot foam. I also purchased those bandaids with special medication for that spot. Any feedback on that will be apprecaited.
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Lots of great answers....I just got this post after I purchased a Viscot foam mattress pad. Have any of you heard of seniors using this to relieve pressure?
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Pressure mattress. That's what my mom has been using 2 yrs now. They are made to "relieve" pressure sores. Work beautifully. Buy from a place that offers replacement if problems.
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

If your mother is at serous risk of pressure sores, she needs an air bed with a variable pressure mechanism. They cost the earth - see if you can hire one, or take advice from her nursing team.
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This will provide a little background answering your basic question and perhaps solving a few others.

Your post did not indicate your mom's age or total condition.

If your mother qualifies for Medicare-sponsored Home Health, her current Doctor can prescribe an evaluation to determine her needs.The general criteria are called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) If she is unable to feed; dress, bath, walk or transfer (move from bed to wheelchair) herself she will qualify.

Once she qualifies you can begin to interview (or your Doctor may suggest) various Home Health Agency to interview, they must be Medicare-Certified.

At that point, a professional medical team consisting of a new doctor, nurse, CNA, physical and occupational therapists, wound specialists, foot care etc. will take charge and your immediate problems will be solved.They will supply the bed. Ouirk Alert; they will supply an air mattress only after she has developed bed sores .( I swear some Medicare rules are written by a sixth grader)

Whew, now an answer to your water bed question. No water bed. The hospitals and nursing homes have electrically operated heavy duty air mattresses that is firmness regulated and air flow adjustable. They are expensive $1,000 plus.
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ferris1 used the term "turned" to describe the procedure to lessen the risk of bed sores. That is excellent advice....it works. In fact, you should try it before you make any future decisions. Simply stated you use a pillow to prop up you moms side/butt longitudinally (every two hours) to change the weight distribution.

In addition, it is vital to keep her dry and clean to avoid bed sores.
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Look up pressure relief mattresses or pads.
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First let me ask, all the time is how long? My husband sleeps a lot, ten to 12 hours a day. He loves our waterbed because its warm, waveless, and it is easier to roll in.

If she is sleeping 16 to 24 hours a day, then is she eating well? Taking her meds?

A water bed isn't for everyone, and hospice or the mention of can set some people off.

Look at your situation, talk with her doctors about her needs. You know your mom and weather she would like a water bed or hospice care.
I know my mom hated waterbeds, wanted nothing to do with hospice and loved sleeping in her favorite chair. I lost her in 2011.
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There is no scientific evidence to prove a water bed is any better than another. If she is sleeping all the time, she needs to be turned every two hours, and doctor needs to write orders for home health care or hospice.
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I agree with Jeanne Gibbs. Home Health and Hospice will set up briefs, incontinence pads, a person to help wash your mom and teach you how to keep her turned as well as set up special inflating/deflating pads to go on beds. Also a visiting nurse will be appointed to access skin care and heel care.
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If your mother is sleeping most of the time now, have you considered having her evaluated for hospice care? (I'm sorry if this has been discussed in other posts. I can't always keep track of who is in what circumstances.) In addition to a hospital bed Hospice provided egg-crate pads to help prevent bedsores, and also trained me in how to re-position my husband regularly, pad his heels, etc.

If you are not considering Hospice, discuss your mother's needs with her doctor.
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