What Can An Overbed Table Be Used For?

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: March 24, 2021
Last updated: July 28, 2022

Overbed tables are a staple in hospitals and senior homes. You’d often see bedridden or injured patients eating their meals off of these. Since they’re so convenient, some seniors might wonder whether they can buy an overbed table themselves and use it at home. Is this setup possible? Yes!

Mobility-impaired seniors who choose to age in place can use overbed tables to move independently and perform various activities without leaving their bed. You can rely on these for support with daily tasks such as reading, eating, sponge bathing, and medicine drinking.

Overbed tables come in all shapes and sizes. In most cases, however, they consist of a large, durable tray that’s perched on top of an adjustable crank and movable set of wheels. Ideally, the tray has to be big enough to carry multiple items at once.

Different Items to Place on an Overbed Table

You can use the overbed table to carry a wide range of items such as:

1. Meals and Plates

Getting up to eat can be stressful for those with poor mobility. Fortunately, an overbed table allows patients and seniors to eat full meals comfortably on their bed.

2. Wash Basin and Toiletries

You can use the overbed desk to carry the clean water basin during your sponge baths.

3. Personal Hygiene Kit

Stay clean and fresh by having your personal hygiene kit (e.g., deodorant, cologne, shaving cream) ready on your bedside.

4. Medicine Bag

Keep your maintenance and prescription medication close to you at all times so you’re ready in case of emergencies.

Items NOT to Place on an Overbed Table

Of course, there are also items that you shouldn’t place on an overbed table, these include:

1. Commode Buckets

Keep your commode bucket on the floor and have it emptied regularly.

2. Soiled Linen

Soiled linen should be washed immediately. 

3. Contaminated Items

Caregivers should keep contaminated items like used needles, empty syringes, and other hazardous waste off of overboard tables.

Final Thoughts

Overall, an overbed table is a versatile, efficient senior care device mobility-impaired older adults and patients can use for support with different activities. It is a must for any senior who wants to age in place and move independently

For maximum utilization, we suggest having a close relative or caregiver manage the table. They’ll primarily be in charge of placing the necessary items on the table, clearing the desk when necessary, and moving the device around as needed.

Supporting an elderly loved one can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, Senior Strong is here to provide multiple guides and resources readers can use to understand more about aging in place and assisted living. Visit the Senior Strong website today!

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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