Each year, millions of older adults are injured as a result of falling. In some cases, these injuries occur when someone falls out of bed. Your loved one may be at risk of falling out of bed due to weakness, illness, a poor sense of balance, or dementia (which can make them restless and disoriented). Taking steps to prevent falling out of bed—or limiting the risk of injury—can help you both rest easier.
Here are some items you can use to help keep your loved one in bed.
If your loved one is weakened by illness or an injury, ask their doctor or home care nurse about getting a hospital bed. These beds come with built-in rails. They also have controls that can adjust the mattress into different positions; if your loved one is more comfortable, they may be less likely to fall. These may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Bed rails can be attached to a regular bed—on both sides, or just on one side. Your loved one can also use a sturdy bed rail to steady themselves if they need to get into a sitting position on the side of the bed.
If your loved one doesn’t like the idea of bed rails, pool noodles are a “hidden” option. Put one of these long foam pool toys near the side of the bed, tucking it under a mattress pad or fitted sheet. You don’t see the noodle. But if your loved one rolls over, the noodle will prevent them from falling out of bed.
Foam wedges are often used to keep people in a certain position after an injury, or if they have bedsores. These wedges can also be placed on the sides of the bed to prevent rolling off .
When getting out of bed is unavoidable, these items can reduce the chance your loved one will fall or get hurt.
One of the main reasons people try to get out of bed during the night is to go to the bathroom. A commode (a free-standing toilet) close to the bed means your loved one doesn’t need to walk too far and risk falling.
Placing a floor mat right next to the bed won’t stop your loved one from falling, but it will provide a softer landing if they do.
Devices such as SafeWander, can be attached to your loved one’s pajamas or clothing. If they try to get out of bed, the device will send an instant alert to your cell phone.
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