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2016 Innovation in Caregiving Award Winner: Friendly Beds

The Innovation in Caregiving Awards recognize individuals who, in the course of caring for an adult aged 60 or over in a private home or a residential setting, invent a device or technique that solves a caregiving challenge, or find a new application for an existing device or technique that supports caregiving and eases the burden on caregivers.

The 2016 Innovation in Caregiving award was presented to Bill-Ray Home Mobility, LLC of Kimberly, Wisconsin at the Annual Caregiving Conference held at the Conference Center at Benjamin Rose. The award-winning device - Friendly Beds - is an all-in-one bed mobility system that enables individuals with limited leg strength to transfer in and out bed more easily, along with other features.

Friendly BedsFriendly Beds

by Bill-Ray Home Mobility, LLC

Type of Innovation: A New Device

How is your submission innovative?

Typical assistive bed area items are flimsy trapezes and wobbly bedrails - not a heavy-duty system where the components work together for unique benefits. Friendly Beds allows a struggling person to "help themselves" vs. straining the caregiver. A 36" long trapeze allows a person to move across a wide bed, a stable balance pole aids in standing and maintaining balance, pivoting assist rails aid in repositioning and provide support for transfers and a transfer bar option allows safe/independent bed transfers for individuals with no leg strength.

How is your submission useful in solving a caregiving problem or challenge?

I was caregiving for my brother-in-law who had suffered a stroke. I had to help with repositioning and bed transfers. This system allows a person using one arm/leg to reposition in bed and transfer in/out of bed independently. My 92-year-old father had no ability to roll over or get in/out of bed - 230 pounds of frailty. My 88-year-old mother with back problems was at great risk of injury. I invented Friendly Beds and allowed my father to be 100% independent again. Bed transfers can be difficult and dangerous for both a person and caregiver -Friendly Beds provides a perfect solution.

How easily can your submission be adopted, copied or reproduced?

We are currently selling Friendly Beds across the United States and Canada. This product can change people's lives. It applies to frail elderly, stroke, Parkinsons, MS, MD, CP, arthritis, paraplegia, amputees, leg neuropathy, and anyone having difficulties in the bed area. There are a large number of people who are struggling and with proper assistive devices they are able to remain at home and escape the high costs of extended-care facilities.

How does your submission improve the quality of care and quality of life for those receiving and/or
providing care?

In many cases, this product is the only reason a person remains at home. In other cases the product can be a person's ticket out of a nursing home. Sometimes a person is paying someone to put them to bed and paying someone to get them up in the morning - if there were a fire, they'd be a goner. A person that can get in/out of bed independently (even with no leg strength) has increased safety, independence, self-esteem and a chance to build strength as they can "help themselves" to a much greater extent. Additionally, Friendly Beds greatly reduces risk of injury to caregivers.

Submitted by Joe Vosters