Every carer and clinician is well aware that alternating pressure air mattresses are vital for patients who are highly vulnerable to developing pressure ulcers. However, these mattresses do come with a number of challenges, not least when they are being used for a patient with dementia.
Air mattresses and dementia patients
In the mid to late stages of dementia, patients experience great distress and discomfort at unusual surroundings and objects. Air mattresses are known to create this kind anxiety in three main areas:
- Feel: The alternating cells can feel strange and sometimes cause a sea-sick feeling for the user.
- Sight: The air mattress pump unit attaches to the user's bed and can appear foreboding and disturbing.
- Sound: Air mattress pump units omit a near constant humming sound that can frustrate and frighten dementia patients.
So, is there a way of achieving the pressure relieving properties of an air mattress without causing anxiety and confusion in dementia patients? Introducing...
The non-powered hybrid mattress solution
Meet the Opera® Synergy, a non-powered hybrid mattress system that combines an innovative self-adjusting cell technology with multiple foams to provide advanced pressure relief.
Air cells integrated into the core of the mattress create a similar effect to an alternating pressure mattress, but rather than relying on a pump unit the Synergy relies on user movement to redistribute pressure. This requires the user to be semi-active (e.g. able to reposition themselves on the mattress).
The Opera® Synergy is non-powered and doesn't require a pump. This presents significant benefits for dementia patients as the mattress appears normal, it doesn't omit any sound and it is extremely comfortable.
How the non-powered hybrid pressure mattress works
The Opera® Synergy incorporates a self-adjusting cell technology that responds to user shape and movement to redistribute pressure. A row of 8 air cells are positioned beneath a pressure relieving foam topper and each cell has an air inlet and outlet valve. As pressure is applied on the surface of the mattress, the cells affected release air through the outlet valves.
As the user repositions themselves, the movement causes pressure to be taken off certain cells and reapplied to other cells. As this happens, the valve system breathes air back into the cells and out of others, acting like natural air cells.
This redistribution combined with pressure relieving foam has significant pressure care and comfort properties, resulting in the Opera® Synergy being rated as suitable for users at very high risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Video (01:37) - Opera® Synergy Hybrid Pressure Mattress
Find out more about the Opera® Synergy, explore the specialist foams used, discover pressure relieving features such as heel zone taper, and see the self-adjusting cell technology in action for yourself in our video....