Should you Buy or Rent a Home Hospital Bed?
There are two main ways to obtain a hospital bed. You can buy or rent . There are benefits and disadvantages to both approaches.
At some point in our lives – whether through injury, illness, or age – we will find that a standard consumer bed isn’t enough. Home hospital beds are a home care essential, and are engineered with features that enhance the comfort, safety, and treatment of people with a wide range of medical conditions and disabilities. For some, they are essential to maintaining an acceptable quality of life.
Benefits of Renting a Home Hospital Bed
Built in flexibility
In general, renting allows you flexibility in case of changing needs. When renting, you can upgrade , or downgrade your rental needs without having to pay the full price for potentially redundant equipment.
Renting can be a good option when you don’t expect to use a hospital bed for more than six months. If you or someone you care for needs a home hospital bed while they recover from a broken leg or a condition that is expected to be resolved in a month or two, it may be more economical to rent than to buy.
Try before you buy
A hospital bed is an investment. If you aren’t sure that buying one is the right choice, renting allows you to experiment without making a long-term commitment.
Maintenance and repairs are included
When renting a home hospital bed, make sure you ask about maintenance and repairs. These are usually covered in the rental contract and should not incur additional fees. Your advantage is that if the bed is not repaired on time, you can deduct payments, or switch to another more professional supplier. Rental beds are designed so that the maintenance and repairs can be carried out swiftly, even if the user is unable to vacate the bed.
No storage required
Spread the cost
The most obvious benefit of renting a hospital bed is that you don’t have to pay the full cost upfront. Instead of outright buying an expensive new home hospital bed, you can spread the cost over other things you will need. These include a recommended bed sore prevention sleeping surface, aids to daily living for toilets and bathrooms to prevent falls, as well as installing a stairlift.
Disadvantages of Renting a Home Hospital Bed
Higher long-term costs
Renting a hospital bed for longer than a 6 months is often more expensive than buying a hospital bed. On average, you can expect to pay around $250 each month to rent a mid-range hospital bed. If you only need it for a month or two, then rental is cost-effective. For long-term illnesses or for seniors, who might use the bed for months or years, you will pay far more to rent than if you had bought outright.
Limited choice and quality
Hospital bed rental companies seek to minimize costs and maximize profit. Consequently, they stock a limited range of beds that they buy in bulk. Although responsible businesses ensure that the quality of the bed is adequate, rental beds are rarely of the highest quality, and they often compare poorly to the best hospital beds for comfort, safety, and convenience.
Rental beds are not new
Unless you are particularly lucky, any hospital bed you rent will have been used numerous times by people with many different conditions. They are cleaned and disinfected before delivery, but there is no guarantee that they are entirely free of contamination.
Furthermore, adjustable hospital beds have mechanical parts and motors. Over time, with repeated use, these can wear out. Older well-used hospital beds can be less comfortable, less effective, and more likely to develop faults than a new bed.
It’s not your bed
Rented hospital beds are available in standard configurations that cannot be customized by the renter.
Additionally, rented hospital beds come with a long list of contractual obligations. You can’t modify them, and it is up to you to keep the bed in tip-top condition. If something breaks, the renter may billed for repair costs, if maintenance and repairs costs are not covered in the rental agreement.
If you buy, you are also responsible for repairs not covered by the warranty, but, in that case, it’s your bed you are paying to repair, and not a bed that you have to return after you have paid to repair it.
Benefits of Buying a Home Hospital Bed
Buying is often cheaper than renting
As we discussed in the previous section, long-term rentals often work out more expensive than buying a hospital bed. There’s no denying that hospital beds are more costly than standard beds, but the right hospital bed makes a huge difference to the lifestyle, comfort, and treatment of a patient.
A high-quality hospital bed can transform the lives of people with mobility issues, age-related disabilities, and many other conditions. If the bed will see more than a 6 months of use, buying is the economical choice.
Choose the right bed for your circumstances
When you buy a hospital bed, you are free to choose one with precisely the features you or your loved one needs. You can select the head, foot, and height adjustments to suit the patient, as well as how they are controlled. You can pick out the mattress and mattress covers. In short, when you buy, you are in control.
Get the bed that fits your needs and budget
Buying a hospital bed also gives you access to the most modern medical bed technology and design. Whereas bed rental businesses will offer basic features on a limited range of models, buyers can take advantage of the broadest possible selection, including the best engineered and designed hospital beds on the market.
You own the bed you buy
It’s your bed, and you can do what you want with it. You don’t have to treat it with kid gloves in the knowledge that you’ll have to return it.
It’s important for patients – especially those who use their hospital bed for many hours a day – to feel a sense of ownership. They should feel that the bed is theirs to modify, personalize, or customize. They should not be scared of damaging it or reluctant to use the bed to its full potential in case they damage it or cause wear and tear.
Rented hospital beds are designed for the convenience of the business that rents them: they’re designed to reduce costs, simplify transport, and conform to rental industry standards. When you buy a bed, choose for your convenience and customize to meet your unique requirements.
Disadvantages of Buying a Home Hospital Bed
The biggest challenge of buying a hospital bed is that you have to pay for it upfront. As we have already mentioned, buying is typically less expensive than renting if the bed will be used for more than a couple of months. But some families and individuals may struggle to pay the full cost of a bed. If your financial circumstances make buying a bed difficult, renting may be your only option, although it will be more expensive over the long term.
Once you buy a hospital bed, you rarely have the option to change your mind. Hygiene and health concerns prevent hospital bed manufacturers from accepting returns and issuing refunds, so it is wise to consult a doctor or other medical professional before making a final decision.
Renting vs. Buying: In Conclusion
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing whether to rent or buy a hospital bed. But, ultimately, we would advise the following:
- You should consider rental if you only need a hospital bed for a short time (6 months or less) and have decided that the limitations we outlined above will not negatively affect your or your loved one.
- If you plan to use the bed for more than a 6 months and want the security, convenience, and freedom of ownership, you should buy your hospital bed.
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