Rauma in southwestern Finland is a picture-perfect city: picturesquely situated between forests and the Baltic Sea, with a UNESCO heritage old town and a bustling harbour. Now the city is raising the quality of life even further for its elderly citizens. They should be able to lead an independent life even if they no longer live in their own homes. Care beds from Stiegelmeyer make a significant contribution to this.
The city of Rauma's geriatric care system is a good example of the change in nursing culture in Finland. The independence and individuality of elderly people should be supported – even when their health deteriorates, and they need to switch to 24-hour care.
"The core values of our services for the elderly are individuality, security and quality of life. For example, residents can furnish and decorate their flats according to their own wishes. In many cases, the elderly people's own belongings are very important," says Marja-Leena Saramo, service manager at Mansikkapaikka Service Centre, which offers round-the-clock assisted living.
However, two pieces of furniture are always available in all flats at the centre: a care bed and a bedside cabinet. According to Saramo, a good care bed is especially important because residents who are in poor health spend most of their day in bed. A good bed has a significant impact on the quality of life of elderly people.
High requirements for the selection
"The bed must have comprehensive safety equipment and sufficient adjustment options so that the sleeping and sitting position can be adjusted according to preference," says Ms Saramo. A good bed also promotes the mobility of residents, she says, as height adjustment, for example, makes it easy to get out of bed. The bed must also take into account the ergonomic working positions of the nursing staff and be easily movable so that the residents can be transported in bed to the common rooms.
Last spring, the City of Rauma procured 105 new care beds for Mansikkapaikka and the newly completed Rannikkokoti Service Centre through a tender. At the same time, bedside cabinets were purchased for Rannikkokoti. Rauma city's geriatric services asked bed suppliers to present their products to a selection panel of procurement, nursing and technical service professionals. Based on the presentations, the panel defined the exact criteria for the tender in order to highlight the quality and usability of the products in addition to the price.
In the end, the Rauma geriatric care services selected the Libra care bed and the Cosano brevo bedside cabinet from Stiegelmeyer. The electrically adjustable care bed has a four-part mattress base. With the Vario Safe system, the placement of the split safety sides, head/footboards and panels can be tailored to the user without the need for tools.
Enthusiastic about the versatility of the beds
"When selecting the beds, we placed emphasis on quality and a variety of adjustments. It is important that the residents lie well in bed and that the positions for sleeping, socialising, eating and watching TV can be adjusted. The versatility of the Stiegelmeyer bed was a real “Wow!” experience for us. In addition, the Libra looks beautiful, is safe and easy to maintain," sums up Ms Saramo.
The bed is also of great importance for the daily work of the nursing staff. The clever electrical adjustments, the safety sides that can be easily mounted according to a modular system and the smooth-running, large double castors improve the ergonomics and well-being of the nursing staff. The bed also facilitates the mobilisation and activation of the residents.
"Our residents with mental illness are not able to adjust the bed themselves, leaving the work to the nursing staff. The good usability of the new beds makes the work more comfortable and physically easier. The split safety side, which is easy to modify, is also praiseworthy. A half safety side is sufficient as a safety solution for many residents, and it is good for older people to be able to support themselves when getting out of bed. We are very happy with our choice of bed," says Marja-Leena Saramo.
Leasing contract enabled the acquisition
In addition to the care bed, Ms Saramo also praises Stiegelmeyer's customer service and financing model: "The cooperation went wonderfully. The delivery and assembly of the beds were excellent. Our service technician is also very satisfied with the quick support for maintenance issues."
The City of Rauma purchased the beds and bedside cabinets under a five-year lease agreement with Stiegelmeyer Oy, our subsidiary in Finland. According to Ms Saramo, such a comprehensive furniture purchase would not have been financially possible without the leasing option. "If this financing model had not existed, the beds in Mansikkapaikka would have had to be replaced by a few units each year. Now we can provide high-quality beds for all residents and at the same time facilitate care. When the contract expires, we can decide whether to keep the beds or replace them with new ones. If we take the latter option, Stiegelmeyer Oy will redeem the old beds for a pre-agreed compensation," says Ms Saramo.