Profiling Bed - retaining intimacy

My husband is now in need of a profiling bed. The OT has been suggesting it for a while but we have been putting it off. However, after a recent fall it has become inevitable and the neuro-muscular consultant has now started to call for one.
My husband & I currently sleep in a double bed. As a couple we aren’t ready for single beds & it would only be a single bed that is provided. It would cause great damage to our intimate life shall we say!
How have other people managed this? We don’t have the money to purchase a double profiling bed especially as I don’t need one - we are only in our 50s.
Does it work to purchase a basic single bed for me & push it up to the profiling bed to make a double? I don’t know if this would hamper the mechanics of my husband’s profiling bed.
We work really hard to ensure we have a life as a married couple as opposed to carer & caree but we are struggling with this whole concept.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hi Deb. I know that my parents got an adjustable bed for Mum and Dad had a standard one - they were made to go together and had clips to keep them together, but could be pulled apart to be two singles as necessary. This was very helpful before an electric hoist was installed for Mum as Dad/us or Carers could get each side of the bed. Very useful when changing the bed in middle of the night!!

They bought it privately as they couldn’t get it through OT etc so I don’t know what sort might be provided. They were in their 70’s when it reached the stage of Mum needing this but they still felt they had a Marital Bed so I get what you are saying. (Trying hard not to be the son talking about his parents sex life now! :blush:) It’s a big step to have separate beds after years of closeness.

May I suggest asking the OT about what might be available in case they say there is an option to buy an add-on which would be suitable. I wouldn’t think the mechanics should be compromised as these should all be tucked away within the footprint of the bedframe. If you can get the dimensions of what they can supply and approach some bed retailers they may be able to find a match for you.

I hope this helps.

Hi @SeasideDeb

A few additional comments to those given by @Chris_22081
I got my Dad a single electric-adjustable bed from laybrook:
(back in 2015)
few things to think about if you do get a single:

  • make sure you triple confirm with any company the ‘exit’ side you want (I had to get the first one returned). This is the side the buttons console will be on and the other side will have a short amount of cable for power (ie. you may need an extension lead)

  • unlike the one Chris highlights, the one I got was standalone. I can imagine another single bed could be pushed against it though

  • there was no hoist on the one I got, the feet could rise, the head could rise (Dad had rheumatoid arthritis and heart condition, so managing lymphodema was important).

  • sorry to say but the bed I got is very heavy because of the electrics & hydraulics, and because our stairs have 2 sharp turns, we had the bed installed downstairs

  • Mum and Dad were very close…and despite the dangers of the stairs (there were a few falls at the base of the stairs), or perhaps because Dad was very much a creature of habit, he pulled himself up the stairs using handrails, each night to get to their double bed. So, we used the bed downstairs for afternoon naps, and overnight respite watches when we could get it.

We had some tough discussions trying to balance safety, comfort, wishes and respite. If you can get one via OT/whichever way, it’s worth it.
Hope this helps

Oh one thing to watch out for. If you have one mechanical bed and one ordinary and put them together - make sure there is a way of attaching them - even if it is improvised otherwise you can get them moving apart… at an inconvenient moment.

I once had a call at 3am (after I’d had a night out with friends and got home at 2am) with Dad saying ‘Mum has fallen between the beds, can you come get her up’. Only other option would have been ambulance!! I got there to find he had indeed slipped between the two beds a he had not secured the clips, She wasn’t hurt but to walk in and find your 73 year old mother naked on the floor with Dad in his dressing gown, sitting on a stool chatting to her while sipping from a mug of tea was a bit of a surprise! The story was - and I am not questioning it - that he had got her up to the loo and as he put her back in bed she rolled…


It’s funny, really, in a way. I’ve been around caring for over 60 years and this is the first time anyone’s ever asked this particular question…I was going to say this sort of thing doesn’t come up much, but… :innocent:

We had a difficult time after Gill’s spinal cord injury (nine years ago next week), and it took a lot of care and practice for us to find what worked for us. That’s very different to your situation (except we were in our 50s then), and perhaps the best option is to think outside the box - or more to the point, the bed. Think of the change of bed as an opportunity to explore other ways to be intimate. A bit of experimentation away from beds might work better for you, and add to the pleasure.


Thank you for taking the time to reply. The profiling bed will be ordered by the OT through the county Adult Social Care. I think we need a more in depth discussion about the size, what will be included, whether or not they can get it up the stairs etc. The hope is that I can buy a single which fits nicely next to it - securely attached in some way (*taking note of Chris’ point!). I had hoped that other people had found solutions I hadn’t thought of.
Unfortunately bed is pretty much the only place we can now be intimate. We have been inventive over the years to take account for my husband’s disability but it has now progressed too far. We can’t even sit together on the settee like we used to as he can’t get down there without literally falling over (and the possible damage that entails) & getting up is just impossible.
The physio mentioned in passing a possible grant to put towards buying our own double but our concern is that it may not be long & a single will be important for practical reasons to do with his care which we will then need to buy.
Definitely more conversations to be had with the OT.


@SeasideDeb Could OT get you a riser-recliner like the HSL ones advertised on tv? they rise up quite far & could help him sit down - some chairs are quite sturdy and comfortable too!?
You’ve probably thought of that already though…
Keep us posted - on the OT purchase & discusion not the intimate details :wink: !

Keep us updated on what the occupational therapist recommends.

I completely get the problems with a sofa as they are not designed to be easy to get onto and up from unless you are reasonably fit - which is why single recliner chairs etc are the usual ‘solution’ but in your case it isn’t a solution - its a further inconvenience.

I am not sure what else to suggest other than see how blunt you can be with the OT about yours and your husbands needs.

It seems sad to me that there is no provision for married couples to have the bed of their choice provided. It’s not just about sex, just the comfort of reaching out and knowing someone is there for you. Sadly, I was widowed suddenly when I was 54, but we very often went to sleep cuddled up together, or holding hands.


When my wife had a spinal cord injury, part of the rehab included a chance to talk about sex. Turned out it was a group topic, and Gill was the only female patient. Spouses/partners were not allowed in the sessions because it might inhibit, apparently. She told me she was very open about our situation and her expectations in that department. I don’t know what she said, other than “love will find a way.” All I know is that she embarrassed most of the men. And all of the staff. And, frankly, if that was the case, they needed to give their heads a wobble. Just because someone has physical limitations doesn’t stop them having needs and wants in that department.

Be open with them about the situation and what it means to both of you - your husband may not feel able to discuss his difficulties in that department. It’s sort of the last taboo subject, isn’t it? But if he can, it would help to make the point that you’re in this together, and it is part of his well-being and therefore his mental health.


Apologies - I seem to have caused some confusion. I was using the issue with sitting together on the sette as an example of how we struggle to even sit & cuddle outside the bedroom due to my husband’s needs. He has an excellent riser recliner which has been bespoke made to suit his needs. We don’t need any help or advice for riser recliners.
I agree Bowling Bun that it isn’t just about sex but cuddling, holding each other & just being together.
Thanks Charlesh47 - I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in your wife’s group. The attitude from the outside world seems to often be that disabled people don’t have sex or that it shouldn’t be important to them. Alternatively it is quite patronising with people thinking how sweet it is that disabled people might want to be intimate.
I shall do some serious research and then get back to the OT. I’ll keep you updated.


Deb I totally get what you are saying. There is too much emphasis on sex and not enough on ‘intimacy’ as that can be something totally different and often more enjoyable if one or both partners have and limitations. I get angry that so many people do not understand that even with illness or disability there are still needs which, when addressed can help a person put their limitations on one side.

I am currently signed up for a sleep course run by one of the doctors at my GP surgery. He refers to keeping the bed for “sleep and snuggles” only - emphasising that he isn’t referring to sex but ‘intimacy’ of whatever type helps. i smiled when he first made such a reference because he clearly understands. G always refers to himself as more of a sensual person than a sexual one… I won’t go further with that so as not to embarrass anyone, but its a subject which so many feel awkward discussing and cannot comprehend those with a disability/infirmity/limitation having!

I hope you manage to get more help from the OT

I have a very treasured memory of visiting hubby at the assessment hospital. We sat in the bed holding hands, watching a travel programme. Not a word was spoken. No need. This was after I had been through hell with his delirium. The peace I felt that day was wonderful knowing whatever may happen, the love was still there.


That makes at least two of us!!

The attitude from the outside world seems to often be that disabled people don’t have sex or that it shouldn’t be important to them. Alternatively it is quite patronising with people thinking how sweet it is that disabled people might want to be intimate.

Oh yes! I call it “Aw, bless!” Syndrome. People who find ordinary feelings in others so cute you could strangle them for feeling that way. And I have no doubt this post will get flagged for that one!


That’s true of many things that people with autism and LD feel, think and do.

Off topic really but it reminds me of something a parent once posted on a WhatsApp group (paraphrased badly by me) - if someone gets cross and throws a mug, then they got cross and threw the mug. If a person with LD gets cross and throws a mug then they have challenging behaviour and it goes on their records for life …


@melly1 How true!!!

M very nearly wasn’t accepted at Fairfield Opportunity Farm because his school had said he was “uncooperative” ! When I challenged this, it was because he didn’t want to wear his country dancing outfit or do country dancing at 16 years old!! What self respecting teenager would when he’s 6ft plus and still trying to coordinate his long limbs?! Husband and No.1 son would have done exactly the same as M.