Case study - how equipment helped Matthew Hopwood

Matthew Hopwood

A low profiling and height adjustable bed delivers comfort, safety and peace of mind to Hopwood family.

Daily living requirements: Adjustable positioning for comfortable sleeping and height adjustment for daily care routines
Solution: Single low bed

Matthew Hopwood, 14 from Wrea Green in Lancashire, is a vibrant young teenager with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. He lives with his mother Michele and younger brother Will who are supported by two carers so that Matthew's care needs are met 24/7. The family have recently moved into a new house with accessible adaptations and equipment that includes an assistive bed so that Matthew can remain at home comfortably and safely.

The Hopwood family originated from near Carlisle in Cumbria and relocated to their new home in January 2013. Michele practised as a qualified nurse for over 15 years and then worked for a Cerebral Palsy charity until Matthew's condition resulted in the need for extra care. Now that the family have carer support and a range specialist equipment, Michele may return to her career as everyday living is becoming easier.

Matthew's behaviour can be challenging and the need for a range of specialist equipment is paramount for the Hopwood family and carers. Before moving into their new home, Michele discussed the need for a specialist profiling bed with her designated Occupational Therapist, Kristy Blaen. Kristy from A Chance for Life recommended a supplier and suggested that a home demonstration by one of their specialist assessors was required. This subsequent appointment fully explained, in practical terms, the significant improvement an adjustable bed would make to day to day living and care routines.

Following a comprehensive assessment of Matthew's needs, a low bed was prescribed.

This profiling and height adjustable bed is ideal for the Hopwood family as it provides both comfort and safety for Matthew and reduces possible back strain for Michele and her carers whilst attending to his needs. As Matthew can be prone to high levels of movement during the night, the sleeping platform can be lowered to floor level so the possibility of falling out of bed is eliminated. This low positioning also gives Matthew easy access to his bed which is essential due to his limited mobility and therefore carer intervention is not required. When in bed, his position can then be adjusted if required by Michele or a carer so that an elevated head or leg position is achieved.

In addition to Matthew's medical needs, the bed resolves care issues for Michele as she explains: 'As I have a bad back, this bed has saved the day! When I need to help Matthew or assist with a transfer, I can operate the powered height adjustment feature so the mattress lifts to a comfortable working height. If I need to help Matthew sit up then the profiling mechanism gently lifts him forward, so I do not have to bend or risk injuring a muscle which happened commonly before owning this bed. It looks great in his bedroom and you would never know it is a 'magic bed' as Matthew calls it. He also always says the mattress is so comfortable and when Matthew undergoes major surgery on his legs in the next few months, this bed will be even more essential in terms of his rehabilitation.'

The bed can be adapted with a wide range of accessories such as cot sides and varying pressure-relieving mattresses, so Matthew's bed will always meet his requirements even if his condition changes over time. Access underneath for positioning a hoist is straightforward and the hand controller is ergonomic and easy to use.

Michele concludes: 'I can honestly say that out of all our specialist equipment, this bed has made the biggest difference and we would be lost without it.'

Case study supplied by Theraposture

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