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Independent transfer from floor

little boy Paul

Simon’s story

Simon is 67 years old; he has a diagnosis of spina bifida and Parkinson’s, and lives with his wife, Sue, who is his main carer. Over time, Simon’s level of function and mobility has deteriorated, and he is no longer able to weight bear and mobilise. Simon is, however, able to bottom shuffle and crawl on all fours, and this is his preferred method of mobilising around his property. Simon uses a wheelchair for all outdoor mobility.

Simon uses a great deal of his own strength and assistance from Sue to pull himself up onto his stair lift and wheelchair from the floor. To transfer off the furniture, Simon carefully lowers himself to the ground. This is a challenging task, which places Simon and Sue at risk of injury. Alternative interventions have been explored, however, Simon has advised that this is his preferred method, and Sue continues to support him.

Bed transfers involve the additional challenge of raising and lowering Simon’s legs on and off the bed. This transfer became too difficult for Simon even with assistance from Sue, and so Simon became dependent on a mobile hoist, which Sue used to transfer him between the floor and the bed for each transfer.

Both Simon and Sue found this restrictive as he and Sue needed to coordinate their morning routines to ensure that Sue was available to assist with hoisting Simon out of bed. Once out of bed, Simon is able to independently access the wet room facility and manage his personal care independently.

Results

A FloorBed™ was put into place for a trial. Prior to transferring into the bed, the bed is lowered to its lowest point of 70 mm from the ground.

Simon immediately demonstrated that he is able to safely and independently transfer between the floor and the bed with great ease, eliminating the need for a hoist or assistance from Sue. With the bed at the lowest point, it is easily accessible for Simon to either bottom shuffle or crawl onto the bed or lower himself onto the ground from the bed.

Simon strives to be as independent as possible with each of his daily tasks and struggles to retain his dignity. The FloorBed™™ enables Simon to be more autonomous and, therefore, increases his level of independence and dignity.

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Young girl drawing v2

Charlotte’s story

Charlotte is 24 year old female who lives with her very supportive family. Charlotte has been diagnosed with epilepsy, mild learning difficulties and cerebral palsy, which results in low muscle tone and spasticity in her lower limbs. As a result, Charlotte is only able to mobilise herself with the support of leg splints and a Kaye Walker frame walking aid. Charlotte is dependent on a wheelchair for long distances.

Results

When at home, Charlotte finds it more comfortable to remove the splints and crawl on the floor.

In recent months, Charlotte’s father contacted the Occupational Therapist (OT) and advised that he was struggling to assist Charlotte with her transfer into bed each evening. Unfortunately, Charlotte did not have the strength to pull herself up from the floor to climb into the bed.
Charlotte would crawl to the edge of her bed, place her forearms on the bed, go onto her knees and then try to raise herself onto the bed. Charlotte was unable to raise the lower part of her body and so her father was bending and lifting her legs to place them on the bed, resulting in him suffering from frequent back pain.
The OT suggested the use of a hoist to reduce the strain; however, the family were adamant they did not want to use a hoist. A hydraulic chair was trialled in the hope that Charlotte would be able to climb onto this and then raise it to the same height of the bed to enable a sliding transfer, however, this did not go down low enough and so Charlotte was unable to transfer onto it.
A FloorBed™ was put into place for a trial. Prior to transferring into the bed, the bed was lowered to its lowest point of 70 mm from the ground. At this point, Charlotte placed her forearms onto the bed and was then able to push her feet against the floor and slide the lower half of her body onto the bed. Once Charlotte was in the bed, she was able to reposition herself and get herself into a comfortable position.
Charlotte no longer required assistance from her father and did not require any additional equipment which would probably have impacted on the available space in the bedroom. Charlotte’s father reported he was no longer straining his back to assist Charlotte into bed and he also highlighted the additional benefit of being able to raise the bed to assist with personal care tasks that were carried out on the bed.
The FloorBed™ enabled Charlotte, a 24 year old female, to go to bed independently for the first time, which gave her a great sense of pride and autonomy.

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JOHN

John’s story

 John is a 65-year-old gentleman who lives in supported accommodation with 24 hour care. John has mild learning difficulties and behavioural difficulties, he has poor risk awareness and impulsive behaviour at times. As a result of Polio, John has always been dependent on Callipers to support his lower limbs when mobilising, however when indoors he tends to crawl and pull himself up using his upper limb strength to transfer on and off furniture independently.

John experienced a stroke which resulted in weakness in his upper limbs, this had a significant impact on his functional levels and he was unable to transfer on and off his furniture independently.The impact on his upper limb function resulted in John becoming dependent on the carers to assist him with all transfers. Due to John’s learning difficulties and impulsive behaviour, he would often transfer off the bed independently and require significant assistance from the carers to assist him off the floor. This placed strain on the carers and they were considering provision of a hoist to manage this, however they were concerned about how John would react to this.

Results

A FloorBed™ was put into place for a trial and set at the lowest point of 70 mm from the ground. The floor level height of the bed meant that John did not require as much upper limb strength to pull himself up onto the bed. As a result, John was once again able to transfer into bed safely and independently as and when he wished, giving him back his dignity and independence.The carers reported that the FloorBed™ has a very positive impact on their role as well; not only did the bed significantly reduce the physical strain, it also reduced the amount of supervision and assistance John required to ensure he remained safe.The provision of the FloorBed™ provided additional benefits for John:It eliminated the need for additional manual handling equipment such as a hoist.The risk of an injury was significantly reduced when transferring out of bed due to the floor level height which reduced the impact when transferring.Once on the bed, the bed could be raised to allow for a sliding transfer onto the wheelchair and mobile shower chair/commode.The bed could be raised to an appropriate height to allow for care to be carried out safely

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Elderly man

Michael’s story

 Due to significant learning difficulties, 58 year old Michael has very poor risk awareness and is dependent on carers to provide full support in ensuring that his daily needs are met in a safe and appropriate way.Michael chooses to spend most of his waking time on the floor, where he is able to crawl and independently access his sensory tent and other safe and appropriate activities. Michael is unable to weight bear and is dependent on a hoist for most transfers between the furniture and the floor. Unfortunately, Michael finds the hoist transfers very distressing.

Unaware of the risks associated with transfers, Michael would attempt to get out of bed when alone, placing him at risk of injury. Consequently bed rails were fitted to reduce this risk, but this caused further falls risk as he was able to climb over the rail. Frequent monitoring was required to ensure that he remained safe.

Results

A FloorBed™, with a mattress platform height of just 7cm from the ground, was put into place for a trial. The low height means that the risk of injury in the event of a bed fall is significantly reduced, thus providing the carers with much needed reassurance.The ultra-low function also means that Michael is able to safely and independently crawl in and out of bed, enabling him to choose when he wishes to access activities such as the sensory tent or go to bed. This significantly reduces the amount of hoist transfers carried out on a daily basis which in turn minimises the amount of distress caused to Michael each day.Not only has the FloorBed™ provided reassurance that Michael remains safe when alone, but it has also given Michael a significant amount of freedom and independence and reduced his levels of anxiety previously caused by the hoist transfers.In addition, the FloorBed™ provides a safe and appropriate working height for the carers when assisting with care tasks.

Testimonial

‘The most important thing for him [Michael] is that he is getting the best out of life as the increase in independence allows him to reach his maximum potential without assistance. The FloorBed™ allows Michael to maintain his privacy in a safe way as there is no risk of entrapment under the bed; the bed allows him to have total free movement.’

Click here to download the full case study.