ST. MARYS — Having replaced all of its electrical hospital beds and mattresses, Elk Haven Nursing Home officials have decided to offer 90 gently-used beds to the community and those in need.
EHNH Administrator Arlene Anderson said the facility had been purchasing beds in smaller lots over the past couple of years, but it became difficult to keep track of them, since there are a variety.
“We reached out to the board of directors to replace the remaining beds in one lot,” Anderson said. “As the board is always primarily focused on resident needs, they approved the replacement of all the beds in the facility.”
EHNH ordered 100 beds at one time, Anderson said, and had to rent a storage trailer until the maintenance staff could assemble and trade them out of residents’ rooms.
“That led us to the question of what to do with the old beds, as they are still in great shape,” she said. “The initial thought was to dispose of them, but we thought that would be such a terrible waste.”
A former EHNH staff member, who teaches at St. Marys Area High School, gave the facility’s staff the idea of reaching out to nursing programs in the Tri-County area, Anderson said, offering beds for teaching purposes. The Clearfield County Career and Technology Center will be receiving some of them.
“That still only put a small dent in the total amount available,” she said. “Then we thought, ‘Why not put it out there to the public and see what happens?’”
The response, Anderson said, has been very positive.
Anderson said EHNH staff members often hear stories of people having difficulty getting hospital beds and other medical equipment as insurance policies become more strict and equipment is costly.
The beds and mattresses will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis and are free of charge. EHNH does not have the ability to deliver or hold the beds once they’re removed from the rooms — individuals will be contacted that a bed is ready for pick up.
“This will continue until we have worked our way through the list or all beds are gone, whichever comes first,” she said.
Requests to be placed on the list for a bed can be emailed to email@example.com, with a name and phone number provided.