Getting access to a hospital bed to care for our loved ones at home can be challenging for many of us. Here at Homage, we’ve prepared a handy guide for you to learn about what to consider, the different types of hospital beds available and how to get your hands on one in Singapore.
Caring for our loved ones can be stressful at times, especially if they require long-term home care. Depending on the specific medical situation or needs of your loved one, getting an adjustable hospital bed may even be recommended or necessary to ensure their comfort and care are of adequate quality. This is usually used in addition to other support equipment and mobility aids such as walking sticks or wheelchairs.
Here at Homage, we recognise the importance of such a task but we also understand the difficulty faced in navigating access to hospital beds for our loved ones in Singapore.
We have thus put together a handy little guide for you to understand the various types of hospital beds and how to access them in Singapore.
When is a hospital bed recommended for home care?
A hospital bed is designed with the convenience and comfort of care recipients in mind. These beds typically have special features that include adjustable height and positions for different parts of the body, and side rails that enhance mobility and day-to-day comfort for care recipients. They also make it easier for caregivers to perform caregiving activities like transferring, cleaning, or feeding.
Generally, a hospital bed may be helpful or necessary for home care if your loved ones are experiencing some of the following situations:
- Mobility issues
- Difficulty getting in and out of bed
- Recovery from back or abdominal surgery and injuries
- Long periods of mandatory bed rest
- In need of regular caregiving monitoring or attention
- Conditions with significant fall risk like post-op recovery or cognitive decline
Of course, there could be other medical situations in which your loved ones would require a hospital bed or additional care support to ensure they receive the best possible quality home care.
Before deciding on a home care plan, it may be wise to speak to a medical professional to help assess the level of care your loved one needs and if a hospital bed is required for home care. Our care specialists can conduct an in-person care assessment to help you with your caregiving journey — speak with our Care Advisors at 6100 0055 to find out more.
Types of Hospital Beds
As a rule of thumb, there are three types of hospital beds that you can choose from:
1. Manual Bed
- No electric adjustment capabilities ie. no smart technologies present
- Head or foot positions are adjusted using a manual crank at the foot or head of the bed
- Available at lower prices than electric counterparts
- Great for care recipients who do not require much repositioning
- Less range and precision of adjustment is possible than with electric beds. Often, only head or foot sections can be adjusted. Bed height adjustment is not possible.
- If the care recipient lacks the strength or mobility to operate the crank independently, caregiving assistance may be required.
2. Semi-Electric Bed
- Features both electric and manual adjustment options. Usually, the head or foot section uses electric adjustment while the bed height is adjusted with a manual crank.
- Electric adjustment for head or foot sections allows for easier repositioning
- Great for those with more adjustment needs and repositioning needs.
- Costs less than a full electric bed.
- Care recipients can easily operate the foot or head adjustments without external help.
- Manual adjustment of bed height can be difficult for care recipients if they need it.
- Often costs more than fully manual beds
3. Electric Bed
- Full electrical adjustments are available for bed height, foot and head sections.
- Most commonly used in medical facilities
- Care recipients are able to independently easily adjust their bed to their liking with the press of a button
- Suitable for use in a wide range of care environments and for any healthcare needs.
- Great for care recipients who require frequent bed adjustments and caregivers with less physical strength
- Typically, it costs the most
Again, as caregivers, we should carefully consider the care needs of our loved ones and our caregiving capacity before deciding which type of hospital bed is most suitable.
A manual bed may be most affordable for you, but will your loved one require extra caregiving assistance to operate the bed? Or is their mobility good enough such that an electric bed may not be necessary? These are questions that you should find yourself asking as you embark on your shopping.
Now that we know more about hospital beds, It’s time to start thinking about whether you should buy or rent one in Singapore.
Hospital beds for sale in Singapore
Broadly speaking, you can find hospital beds for sale in Singapore in three different kinds of places:
- Online marketplaces
- Direct suppliers
- Home care equipment shops
1. Online marketplaces
If you intend to purchase a hospital bed from online marketplaces like Carousell, Shopee or Lazada, you will need to take extra precaution. While online marketplaces may offer lower prices, especially from overseas sellers, it is highly recommended that you vet sellers’ credentials and product warranties before committing to a purchase.
If you’re in the market for a fully electric bed that can be costlier, Carousell and Shopee are also where you are most likely to find the cheapest preloved electric beds in Singapore, clearly marked under the Used categories on the sites.
2. Direct suppliers for hospital beds
If you are already fairly certain about the specific model or function that you need, you may wish to consider purchasing a hospital bed straight from a direct retailer. This helps you avoid mark-ups and ensures that your warranties and product are genuine.
Here are some direct hospital bed suppliers that you can check out:
3. Home care equipment shops
The most common places to purchase hospital beds are homecare equipment shops. They stock a variety of hospital beds and are able to provide in-store recommendations on the spot for your specific needs.
Here are some home care equipment shops that you can check out:
Where can I rent a hospital bed in Singapore?
If you are simply nursing a temporary injury or would prefer to test out some models before committing to a purchase, some homecare equipment shops and manufacturers do offer their hospital beds for rental. Rainbow Care, Paramount Bed, and Rehabmart do so with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a thousand depending on the model and features that you choose.
Donated hospital beds in Singapore
If a brand new hospital bed is too pricey or does not make financial sense for you, you may want to consider looking for a preloved, donated hospital bed. There are several charitable organisations and initiatives in Singapore that help provide donated hospital beds to those in need.
Some charities may give away donated hospital beds, or offer free loan services. For instance, HCA Hospice Care (HCA) offers a home care equipment loan service to its patients free of charge with a refundable deposit of $100.
You can also approach a medical social worker for assistance for access to such resources at contact points such as major public hospitals or polyclinics in Singapore.
Subsidies for buying a hospital bed
There are also subsidies available that can help to offset the cost of purchasing a hospital bed for our loved ones.
1. Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
The Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) provides holistic support for seniors to age in place within the community by extending subsidies to Singaporean seniors who require assistive devices or home healthcare items to do so. Under the SMF, hospital beds are eligible to be subsidised as assistive devices.
You are eligible for the SMF if you are :
- a Singaporean senior 60 years old and above
- in need of financial assistance.
A financial assessment and clinical assessment will be required for the application to be processed. Find out more about applying for this fund in our handy guide on SMF. You can also find more information about the different financial schemes available for seniors and caregivers in our financial guide.
We hope that this guide has helped you with making an informed choice with your hospital bed purchase. As with all medical care decisions, speaking to a qualified medical professional before you commit to any long-term care plans or arrangements can help put your mind at ease and ensure that your decision is informed and appropriate.
If you feel that you would like more guidance and advice in creating a personalised long-term home care plan for your loved ones, you can approach our Homage Care Advisors for a free care consultation by filling in the form below. Our trained Care Pros are able to provide home care, nursing care, and therapy services in the comfort of your or your loved one’s home.
- Leahy, Bill (2017, May 19), When Do You Need a Hospital Bed [Webpage]. Retrieved 12 March, from https://independentlyyours.org/product-articles/when-do-you-need-a-hospital-bed/#:~:text=Hospital%20beds%20allow%20the%20caregiver,and%20out%20of%20bed%20painful.