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Special bed gives comfort to Gladstone Hospital palliative care patients

11 March 2020

The power of touch is so important, particularly for patients and families preparing to say their final goodbyes.

In Gladstone Hospital’s palliative care room, families are given every opportunity to share cuddles and comfort in a homely, non-clinical environment.

The recent purchase of a “cuddle bed” has been a welcome addition for local families and a source of pride for staff who know how special the beds really are.

Acting Nurse Unit Manager of Cancer Care Lesley Whyte said the over-sized bed was one of only a handful in Queensland hospital palliative care units.

“We know closeness is so important to palliative care patients and their families, so rather than standing or sitting on a chair and being limited to hand-holding, loved ones can now lie on the bed and get really close.

“That opportunity for touch and holding is really special and families who have used the bed say it has given them immense comfort.”

The cuddle bed is not simply wider than a standard hospital bed, it has high-tech features such as electronic controls, smart scales, increased weight capacity and ergonomic positioning.

The ability to adjust the bed’s width, as well as height, ensures it is safe for nursing staff as well as the patient and family.

Lesley said Gladstone Hospital’s palliative care unit was grateful for donations which made the purchase of the cuddle bed possible.

“We aim to make the palliative care room as home-like as possible and encourage families to bring in photos or whatever items will help them feel as comfortable as possible.

“The room already has a kitchenette and extra beds so families can stay overnight as needed, but we will continue to look for new ideas that can improve the experience for everyone.”

Gladstone Hospital palliative care staff members Deb Norman and Sharon Curr are delighted the unit’s new cuddle bed is giving extra comfort to patients and families.

Last updated: 11 March 2020

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