Utilizing Safety Bed Rails For Seniors’ Bedrooms

by Bethany
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As older adults age, they often experience challenges with the daily tasks of living that they once performed with ease. Getting into and out of bed can become difficult for seniors who have arthritis, who are recovering from injury or surgery, who have a disability or other mobility issue, or who have lost the strength or muscle tone needed to move their body in and out of bed.

Safety bed rails for seniors are a smart solution for seniors in need of help with mobility in and out of bed. Safety bed rails come in several different configurations to allow seniors and their caregivers to create a personalized support and safety rail system around their bed that meets their particular needs. These rails not only help with mobility support for seniors as they get into and out of their bed, they offer a safe barrier while sleeping for seniors who could experience injury if they rolled over and fell out of bed while sleeping or resting.

Utilizing Safety Bed Rails For Seniors' Bedrooms

For caregivers and family members of seniors faced with mobility and aging issues, safety bed rails offer peace of mind that their patient or loved one is able to rest, sleep, and move in and out of bed without accidental or preventable injury. For seniors recovering from surgeries such as joint replacements, bed rails offer the stabilizing support needed to gradually increase mobility as they heal, recover, and undergo physical therapy to aid them with their joint replacement.

Before investing in safety bed rails for yourself or for a loved one, it is important to understand the different types of bed rails available, the possible configurations, the populations of patients who benefit from bed rails, and how these bed rails can be used in everyday life to increase mobility. Additionally, comparing the costs of different bed rail products and the steps necessary to install them is important as is considering the overall floorplan, layout, and safety of a senior’s bedroom.

What Are Safety Bed Rails

Safety bed rails are bars or handles that are installed along the side of a mattress to create a safer sleeping environment as well the benefits of providing stability and support to those who have difficulties getting in and out of bed. These bed rails extend along the length of the mattress and bed and can be either full or half-length, depending on the need and preference of the individual. Safety bed rails can be a fixed part of a bed frame, such a hospital bed where the safety rails can be moved up and down as needed, or they can be installed to an existing bed with hardware, tubing, or safety straps.

Bed rails designed for senior safety and mobility are created for the special health circumstances often associated with senior populations in need of mobility assistance in and out of bed. Some advantages of railings designed for seniors are cushioning of the rails as well as coverings made from easily gripped material for those who may be dealing with decreased muscle tone, strength, and grip due to aging and chronic conditions such as arthritis. These bed rails are often designed to have a configuration that looks like a chair back to allow for postural changes from sitting to prone and from prone to sitting as seniors move in and out bed. They also may have higher weight limits for those patients whose size requires a sturdier bed rail for safety.

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Who Needs Safety Bed Rails

Safety bed rails offer benefits to many different populations of individuals for several different reasons. Young children who transition from cribs into beds are often kept safe from falling while sleeping through the use of children’s bed security rails. Adults who have disabilities that impact their ability to move their bodies to a sitting or standing position such as those in wheelchairs or using assistive walking devices such as canes or braces may also benefit from the use of bed rails to assist in getting into and out of bed. Patients who have experienced injury or who are recovering from surgery benefit from the use of these bed rails as they recover and rehabilitate.

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Why Would You Want Safety Bed Rails

Senior populations deal with a wide variety of health issues that may create difficulties in mobility, particularly moving from a standing position to a seated position, then prone in bed, and vice versa. These bed rails give seniors greater security and the advantages of independence and confidence with the daily tasks of getting into and out of bed with minimal assistance from others. For those dealing with chronic conditions such as arthritis, or for those with an existing disability or an acquired disability from aging or from stroke, bed rails can be a necessity. Recovery from injury and surgery can create a new need for bed rails for previously mobile seniors. Beyond mobility, these bed rails create a safer sleeping environment for those individuals who may be at risk for great or grave injury should they fall out or roll of bed while sleeping or resting.

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Different Types of Bed Rails

Bed rails come in different configurations to meet the needs of a wide variety of populations. Children’s bed rails are often the simplest construction, featuring mesh or nylon panels attached to tubing to keep children from rolling out of bed. Bed rails for adults feature tubing, handles, cushioning, and sometimes a piece shaped like a chair back, all of which increase mobility and security and reduce falls while moving into and out of bed. There are beds, such as hospital bed, that have permanent bed rails attached to the frame which can be moved up and down manually or with power buttons. Bed rails come in full length or half-length sizes and may be foldable and portable for easy installation and travel.

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Cost of Safety Bed Rails

Safety bed rails vary in cost depending on the type of rail and its construction. The most expensive type of bed rail would be that which is associated with a full hospital bed. Hospital beds equipped with safety rails that are either manually or power operated are a significant investment and may be partially covered by insurance if the patient’s health requires it. Bed rails that are installed to existing beds with tubing, straps, or hardware can cost from $25-$100 per rail depending upon the features. Patients and seniors should check with their insurance plans to see if the cost of the rails is reimbursable.

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Senior Bedroom Safety

When adding safety rails to a senior’s bed becomes necessary to increase mobility or safety, it is also wise to consider the overall layout and accessibility of the senior’s bedroom. Furniture should be placed in an easy-to-maneuver layout with particular attention paid to creating room for assisted mobility devices such as walkers and canes or for wheelchairs. Area rugs may need to be removed as these can cause tripping and falling. Existing furniture should be evaluated for sharp corners and should be safely secured to prevent tipping or falling. Lighting should be evaluated as well to reduce the risk of falling or injury due to low-lighting conditions.

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Added Bed Rails To Your Bed

Overall, bed rails added to seniors beds offer benefits that improve mobility and independence for individuals who still live on their own or in an assisted living situation. Safety bed rails reduce the risk of falls for seniors who have conditions that impact their mobility. For caregivers and for loved ones, bed rails offer the confidence and peace of mind, reducing worry and anxiety. Safety bed rails can offer temporary assistance and support to individuals as they recover at home after surgery or illness; the easy installation and portability of many models of bed rails allow them to be quickly stored if they are no longer needed.