Bed mattress lifter and call switch

Project  / Project number: BK2019/196  /  Status:

mattress lifter

Mattress lifter

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The challenge

This client, who has motor neuron disease, lives with and is cared for by his family. He had been supplied with a mattress elevator to allow him to get out of bed unaided.  Unfortunately he had almost no strength in his hands so had no chance of operating the small buttons on the original remote control supplied.

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The solution

Switches operated by elbow or forehead were considered but, once lying down, the client did not have enough movement to make these an option.  A voice operated system was also considered, but the client wears a breathing mask at night so that was ruled out.  The client’s daughter happened to mention that the client sometimes called for attention by banging his foot against the side of the divan base of the bed.  This was the key to proceeding with a foot operated switch system.

A plate mounted on the side of the divan base held two joystick type switches.  The upper switch controlled the mattress raiser and the lower, a wireless doorbell to summon assistance.  A heel rest was mounted opposite the upper switch to aid location and to prevent inadvertent operation of the doorbell.  For safety reasons and to comply with the manufacturer’s design, the switches were not latching. The client could cease the raising operation at any point just by removing pressure from the switch.

New controllers mounted on bed base

Mounting board

Rear of mounting board

Original remote controller

At the first try, the client was able to raise the mattress and get out of bed unaided, something he had not been able to do up to until then.

The benefit

The client can now get out of bed unaided for the first time, and summon assistance when needed. His family described the device as a “game changer”.

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