What is a Profiling Bed?
A profiling bed is a bed that can lie flat but which has an adjustable base with multiple segments that can be raised and tilted - either together or independently of one another.
As a result, a number of different configurations are possible, such as raising the head end to allow the user to sit up comfortably to read, watch television or talk with friends. Other common configurations include having the legs elevated relative to the body, which helps to reduce fluid build-up, and raising the knees, which may be more comfortable for those who have suffered from leg injuries. Since profiling beds can be adjusted to provide pressure relief for different parts of the body, they may also be helpful for people who may have to spend prolonged periods in bed and who may be at risk of developing pressure sores.
Profiling beds are also useful to carers since their height adjustment means that the user can be raised to a comfortable working height.
Typically, profiling beds are fitted with small motors that enable the bed's shape to be changed whilst the user is lying in it. The controls are generally quite simple and the movement should be slow and steady.
Profiling Beds - Important Features
- Simple controls - the handset should have large, easily visible buttons.
- Head and foot boards - these are a useful safety feature if the bed is to be used in a fully tilted (Trendelenburg or Anti-Trendeleburg) position.
- Wheels - most profiling beds are supplied with castor wheels for manoeuvrability. Look for wheels that can be independently locked to keep the bed safely immobile.
- Side rails - protective side rails are not always necessary but they may be a useful safety feature if the user is prone to falls or confusion, or if the bed is routinely raised above its minimum height. However, check that the rails can be lowered to below the level of the mattress so that they do not interfere with transfers.
- Emergency lowering - in the event of a power supply fault, it is important that the mattress can be lowered to a position from which the user can easily get out of bed. Consequently, look out for beds that have a simple manual override facility.
- Height - if the user has a wheelchair, make sure that the bed can be set low enough to enable easy transfers. The user should also be able to lie at a height that enables easy access for the carer.
- Strength - check that the maximum user weight is appropriate for the intended user. Note, too, that bariatric profiling beds are available for larger, heavier users.
- Installation - some beds are sold in self assembly form and others are available with professional assembly and installation included in the price. Many self-assembly beds are easy to put together and require no tools but customers should satisfy themselves that they will be able to make proper use of the bed once it has been purchased.
- Hygiene - look for a bed that has few joints or seams , and that has smooth, easy to clean surfaces that will not tend to trap dirt or moisture.