4 Smart Benefits of Bed Rails for Seniors

When it comes to the health and safety of older adults, one prime spot for focusing consideration would be the bedroom. The bedroom and often adjoining bathroom are where many daily tasks are completed that can potentially lead to falls or injury – getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, bathing, toileting, and so on. When it comes to equipping the bedroom with basic yet effective tools that will help keep you or your loved one safe and mobile, bed rails top the list. Why?

Bed Rails Provide Support

Whether affected by mobility issues or not, getting in and out of bed can become a more difficult and strenuous task as seniors age. Why exactly? Natural deterioration of muscles and joints can lead to some weakness and joint stiffness, especially in the knees and feet. And oftentimes, getting in and out of bed involves a standing to sitting or sitting to a standing motion which requires balance and coordination. Bed rails fixed at the side of the bed can play an important role in offering sturdy support to lean on when getting in and out of bed.

Bed Rails Prevent Falls

With 1 in 4 seniors experiencing a fall every year, many leading to serious injury, fall prevention is critical to health and safety. Whether it’s falling out of bed while sleeping, or tripping and falling when standing up after laying down in bed, the potential to incur an injury like a hip fracture or laceration from falling is high. help to keep seniors safely in their bed, even if they roll or scoot close to the edge. Additional equipment like fall mats beside the bed can also help cushion a fall and alert caregivers should a fall happen.

Bed Rails Offer Accessibility

Awkwardly twisting the back to turn and grab a glass of water, remote, or book of the bedroom side table can be uncomfortable and even result in mild to moderate muscle strain and back pain. Bed rails offer unique accessibility to everyday items a senior might need in bed by featuring a handy surface with which to attach a bag, pocket, or sleeve. Having personable belongings within reach once you get in bed makes nighttime rituals easier and less stressful.

Bed Rails Simplify Repositioning

Need to turn over or adjust your body position yourself to get comfortable while sleeping? Bed rails are a must for making it easier to reposition in bed for comfort and sleep quality. Caregivers caring for an older adult can also rely on bed rails to give their loved ones something to hold onto when they are being rolled over to dress a wound, for example, or be repositioned. Bed rails can provide peace of mind for seniors and their caregivers, minimizing some of the nighttime stress which comes with bedtime routines.

Bed rails come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. They may slide part way under the mattress and strap to the other side to be raised up and down when not in use, or attach to the bed rail and swing up and down. Typically, bed rails are made of reinforced materials like steel or aluminum; some feature mesh coverings while others come packaged with helpful pockets to place personal belongings.

The type of bed rails you get will depend on the size of your bed, your own functional ability to move them, and whether you plan on using them when traveling. Simple ‘assist bed rails’ will offer quicker installation and portability while bed rails for fall prevention will require more complicated assembly and be heavier and more sturdy. Look for bed rails online or in your local pharmacy.

 

Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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