Charlotte is a 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.
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 to go to bed independently for the first time, which gave her a great sense of pride and autonomy.