Case study - how equipment helped Natasha Lawrence

Natasha Lawrence

A dual combination bed with turning system delivers 'future-proof' independence to Natasha who lives with Familial Dysautonomia


  • Powered functionality to assist with transfers in and out of bed and independent adjustment when sleeping
  • To share a fully functional bed with her husband

Solution: Dual combination bed with turning system

Natasha Lawrence, aged 25 from Mill Hill, north London, lives with a disability and is dependent on carers 24/7. To assist her carers and to gain greater independence Natasha has recently taken ownership of a specialist turning bed system.

This dual combination bed provides powered adjustment on one half for Natasha and a variable height and profiling platform for her husband who requires less assistance when getting in and out of bed.

Diagnosed at 14 months old, Natasha has Familial Dysautonomia - a rare genetic disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions such as digestion, breathing and the regulation of blood pressure and body temperature. Natasha also has Scoliosis and a complication following unsuccessful spinal surgery. She uses a wheelchair to remain mobile.

Before owning a dual combination bed, transferring in and out of bed and re-positioning independently at night was very challenging for Natasha. However, now her double combination bed provides electronic profiling, variable height and rotation - empowering Natasha to re-position herself and assisting her carers. It provides a safe working height and allows Natasha to get in and out of bed on her own terms. Transferring to and from bed into her wheelchair is now a much safer daily task and easier for all.

Despite needing specialist care, Natasha is a determined individual who continues to fill her life with rewarding social and work-based activities. With the ability to relax and sleep better thanks to her new bed, Natasha is thriving at home and during her work at the local Aspire Leisure centre. The Aspire centre in Stanmore is a pioneering leisure and sports facility that provides world-leading accessibility. Natasha is aiming to set up a new adapted Frisbee league and has recently received support from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Natasha and her mother, Rosalind Jacobs, were initially recommended a dual combination bed with turning system bed by their occupational therapist.

Rosalind explains: 'We could see that a rotating bed would benefit Natasha enormously. Our OT's recommendation led us to meeting one of bed supplier's assessors, who explained why their bed is a proven choice. We attended a demonstration and decided this bed would be ideal for Natasha.'

Rosalind selected a separable dual combination bed including the turning system, with a hand crafted solid oak surround. The beds have central locking for easy separation when required. The powered precision mechanism adjusts the height of the mattress head and foot ends, raises the complete sleeping platform and fully rotates to a seated configuration. This means Natasha can exit the bed or change her sleeping position without disturbing her husband. Natasha controls her movement using an intuitive hand controller and can sit up with the touch of only one button.

The dual combination bed is an essential piece of equipment for everyone in the household. Natasha has greater independence, her husband can share the same bed and her carers have less manual moving and handling.

Rosalind continues: 'This bed gives us choice at home in terms of powered assistance. Sometimes we may not need all of its functionality however having profiling, variable height, rotation and separation gives us options. Plus the bed is future-proof so if Natasha's condition changes, we know that this bed will be able to provide the support we need.'

Rosalind concludes: 'Its comfort and flexibility has greatly improved Natasha's quality of sleep so she has much more energy during the day. As her senses are highly developed and can fluctuate dramatically, being able to relax and feel settled is so important for Natasha. Our bed helps with this so much and has made life easier for all of us.'

Case study supplied by Theraposture

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