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Inclusive Design For Bariatric Patients

Americans are not only getting older, they’re getting larger. Bariatric patients are now the leading healthcare consumer, and that presents a major issue for facilities who do not have the proper equipment. Luckily there is an opportunity to be better! If producers of durable medical equipment and the facilities that are in need of it partner, quality healthcare improved bariatric patients.

Why Inclusivity Is Important

With the increasing rates of obesity, having the ability to treat bariatric patients is critical! Unfortunately, equipment options aren’t robust in all facilities. Inadequate assistive devices and patient handling equipment are a barrier to providing necessary services, which increases the risk of caregiver and patient injury. This highlights the need for a major change in how the healthcare community approaches the care of bariatric patients.

Decision-makers face different issues, but the mission remains the same: to provide safe, dignified care for bariatric patients. Often times, bariatric patients' must seek care outside the mainstream because of equipment limitations, which can be a major hinderance on their health and finances. Considering how instrumental health care is, everyone should have access to quality services without marginalization. 

The Current State of Care

Today’s hospitals are designed for an average patient size of 330lb. According to planning experts, a standard of 1000 lbs. is necessary. Proactive building design strategies for the future should include major structural changes that improve the feel and functionality of spaces for large patients. On the other hand, change can start now with integration of inclusive medical equipment that serves patients of all sizes.

What Changes Are Needed

Basics including bariatric beds, commodes, wheelchairs, walkers, grab bars and toilet seats are the minimum for patient comfort and safety and promote culturally competent medical intervention. In addition, patient handling systems, including lifts and tables, are essential for caregiver safety and decrease the high costs associated with both patient and staff injury.

According to the CDC, over 35 percent of the U.S. population suffers from obesity. As time moves forward, treating overweight  patients may be the standard. The adaptive equipment makers and healthcare providers that address this issue quickly and enthusiastically will be at the forefront of care for this vulnerable population. Furthermore, they stand to benefit professionally by improving patient outcomes.

Ready to Provide the Best Healthcare Experience to All Your Patients? Check Out Our Recommended Products!


1 Invacare 9000 Topaz Heavy Duty Wheelchair 

This heavy duty wheelchair is the perfect choice to transport bariatric patients. Regardless if you are a healthcare professional or the patient, this is a smart investment. With its strong carbon steel frame, this wheelchair is extremely durable and can withstand 700 pounds.

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2) Hoyer Presence Professional Electric Patient Lift

This heavy duty full body lift is a cost effective solution for safe bariatric patient transfers. Because of its outstanding lift range, this lift is a great investment both institutional or home environments. The lift can withstand 500 lbs, and it comes complete with a 2 year warranty.

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3) Afikim 4 Wheel Scooter

This outstanding scooter won the Red Dot Award. With a fully adjustable orthopedic seat and steel frame, this scooter is a perfect option for bariatric patients. An optional integrated canopy is also available to protect you from sun or rain!

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4) Invacare Bariatric Bed

This heavy duty full electric bed is capable of supporting 750 lbs. It also expands in width and length up to 9 inches to accommodate for the patients body! It is the perfect bed for any bariatric patient/

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5) Invacare Reliant Plus Electric Lift

This standard assist lift is a must have for caregivers who perform many patient transfers. It is a popular lift for institutions because it allows for caregivers to avoid injury during difficult transfers. Its sturdy design allows for this lift to support 450 lbs- perfect for bariatric patients!

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