2012-12-03

Cooling Bed

    Recently I was invited by a celebrant to look at her cooling bed.  This is an interesting device used to keep the body cool at home.  It is a unique idea for Australia and so far remains relatively rare.

For more information on the beds or to rent one follow the link below:
http://www.victoriaspencecelebrant.com/funerals/cooling-beds

More information on the celebrant who showed me the bed:
http://www.victoriaspencecelebrant.com/about

    Basically this device keeps the body cool in the home, greatly extending how long the body can reamin at home before decomposition starts.  The bed will help keep the body between 1˚C and 4˚C, the temperature it is legally kept at in a mortuary fridge.


    The bed was well designed, it felt solid and high quality but was only made of four simple pieces.  The cooling motor, the cooling tray, a headrest and a collection tray underneath to stabilise the whole thing as well as collect any condensation.


    A good thing about this bed is that it can be setup just about anywhere.  One can put it on an actual bed, or on a table (as was done for the photos), the floor or just about anywhere imaginable.  The simplicity of the device makes it quite versatile.

    The bed is not that expensive to rent, I will not say the exact prices as they could change over time or it might change depending on the situation.  If interested or curious about the price or simply wanting more details, contact the celebrant who showed me the beds with the information provided at the end.


    Below is a closeup of the motor which kept the bed cool.  I was surprised by how quiet it was, appart from a faint fan sound it was about as loud as a refrigerator.  Actually it was a cross between a computer and fridge in terms of sound.  Furthermore it was not hot at all.  I had expected it to produce more heat as it removed the head, but there was almost none.  Either way it was quiet, cool, and would hardly be noticeable, it would certainly have little to no impact on the service or mourners.

Sitting at a comfortable 3˚C, perfect for a body.
    A very thin layer of ice formed on one side of the bed.  This was only a very thin layer and was wiped away easily.


    The bed would normally be set up more like a bed, with pillows and sheets on top, as shown below. One would never play a body directly on the metal bed for a number of reasons.  To name a few it would be unhygienic, the body might stick to the bed and it would be an unappealing sight for the mourners.


    Naturally the bed can be set up in a number of ways, what is shown is just a quick and simple demonstration for the photos.


    My understanding is that this is not a common thing, nor is it a common procedure.  However, it is becoming more popular as more people discuss funeral options.  I think this could be a wonderful divice that can integrate with the current funeral industry.  It does not compete or conflict with the funeral service or funeral industry as they currently stand.  Instead funeral companies could rent these out to the few who want it, as an alternative or addition to the standard viewing.

    For a long time taking care of the dead was part of the domestic areas, whether or not it will go back to this area is to be seen.  But the cooling bed is a great option for anyone who wants to keep a body at home for longer.  To hold a vigil, to say goodbyes, to dress/wash/prepare the body themselves and so on.


For more information on the beds or to rent one follow the link below:
http://www.victoriaspencecelebrant.com/funerals/cooling-beds

More information on the celebrant who showed me the bed:
http://www.victoriaspencecelebrant.com/about

Contact details:
contact@victoriaspencecelebrant.com


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