The demand for bariatric care has been increasing year on year and in 2021, a government report found that 28% of the UK population were classified as obese. With ¾ of this percentage aged between 45 and 74, it is no surprise that more and more care homes are being asked for bariatric care.
Not all care homes are equipped to accommodate bariatric care
Taking on residents that require bariatric care is not always as simple as it could be. With specialist equipment required to provide the highest quality of care, not all care homes have the necessary resources needed.
But why is this the case? The specialist equipment essential for providing bariatric care naturally comes in at a higher cost. This is because the systems required to make the equipment efficient and durable costs slightly more than standard equipment which can sometimes put bariatric equipment at the bottom of a care home’s list of priorities.
The time and effort allocated to providing bariatric care can also be more than what would usually be required for other residents. With reduced mobility and other requirements, preparing a care home so that it can facilitate bariatric needs could be perceived as a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be.
Alleviating concerns regarding bariatric care
Adapting care homes to be able to offer bariatric care is potentially an inevitable task. With rising levels of obesity in the UK, more and more residents will need specialist care, and investing in the right equipment can help you to be prepared and stand out from other homes in your area.
Key considerations when it comes to equipment
Selecting the right equipment for bariatric care is crucial. It is vital to look at equipment that is not only comfortable and supportive for the resident, but also easy for care staff to use.
For beds and mattresses, it is important to remember the standard specifications that are constantly sought after – from aluminium side rails for better infection control to fully washable mattress covers. However, to be suitable for bariatric care, the bed and mattress will need to be wider and have a higher weight capacity. Stability systems should be selected to ensure that the bed does not move under the increased weight and strengthening bars can help offer additional support. Check out our Hartwell Bariatric Profile Bed that provides the perfect solution.
Pressure relief is also a key consideration. Opting for a mattress that minimises pressure points and distributes the weight of the resident across the whole of the surface can help to maximise comfort. It can also reduce the risk of pressure sores – an issue that is prevalent in bariatric care. While our Steiss SXM 200 static mattress is perfect for medium to high risk pressure sores, the mattress would not be suitable for bariatric care. Instead, you should look for the bariatric equivalent – our Steiss SXM 230 – which is 1200mm wide.
With regards to hoists, the obvious specification to look for is weight capacity. But looking further than this, a hoist can be designed in a way that makes it as user-friendly for the carer as it is safe and comfortable for the resident. For instance, our Oxford Presence Electric Hoist can lift up to 35 stone and has ergonomic features such as a foot push pad and an oversized push handle.
Access is an essential factor to consider when caring for a bariatric resident. Moving around the care home and not being limited to one room will help to improve quality of life for the resident and appropriate equipment can help to facilitate this. Specialised wheelchairs such as our Transit Wheelchair, are available in wider options and have a higher weight capacity, ensuring that all patients have greater access within the care home.
Blueleaf are here to support you
If you still have reservations about providing bariatric care or have any questions as to how Blueleaf can support you in adapting your care home, please get in touch here.
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