At Home DIY Everyday Gear Nursing Home

Caddy/Holder for Call Button and Bed Controls

Call buttons and bed controls are a critical part of nursing home life. For someone like my dad, who is able to manage these on his own, using them is one manifestation of independence. He can request that someone come to his room, rather than passively waiting, and he can adjust his bed without any help.

The call button has a clip so that it can be attached to the bed covers. No matter where it gets clipped, though, it’s often hard to find. Sometimes the clip doesn’t hold, and the button and its cable slip under the bed. Ditto for the bed controls; neither one is much use if they can’t be reached.

At first, I attached hooks to the wall next to his bed, and draped the cords over them. That worked pretty well for a while, but at some point Dad began grabbing the cords a little more aggressively, and the hooks, which were applied with removable adhesive, began to pull off the wall.

GPS Cell Phone CaddyBrowsing through a sporting goods store one day, I spotted this little storage container — a GPS/cell phone caddy for boats. This version has two pockets, though it’s available with just one section, too. It’s wide enough so that the bed control slips in and out easily, and deep enough so that neither it nor the call button fall out, but not so deep that they can’t be seen.

Dark Gray Cord CaddyThe open top lets Dad easily get either the bell or the control with his reacher if he’s out of bed. It might also be useful for remote controls of any kind, for pencil and paper, or any other items that are difficult to keep close by.

I got the ‘graphite’ (dark gray) for dad — white plastic looks grubby so quickly, and he can see the caddy better at night because it contrasts with the wall.

The caddy comes with suction cups. I popped then off and attached the caddy to the wall with screws and plastic mollys; it’s now withstood the tests of time and usability.

I’m pretty sure that I found it at Gander Mountain in northern Michigan, but they have no product listings on their website. Cabela’s has them on their website, and, presumably, in the stores. This particular caddy is made by BoatMate; there may be other similar ones available.