Should I be concerned about bed safety?
|Yes. Although less known than bathroom safety, bed safety is still an important consideration. Having the right kind of support while moving in and out of bed can greatly reduce your risk of a fall.|
If someone mentions bed safety, you might be thinking, “bed safety? Seriously?! It’s a soft place where I’m mostly lying down. What could go wrong?”
While less common than injuries in the bathroom, bedrooms can still pose a risk, particularly for older adults. “It’s when we relax our guard in familiar surroundings,” says Nora Underwood in a 2003 Globe and Mail article, “that things go wrong.”
Have you ever experienced dizziness when you stand up quickly or get out of bed? Most of us have. Often, this is a common phenomenon called orthostatic hypotension. When we lie down for extended periods, our blood settles in our legs, and when we get up quickly, it can take a second to redistribute.
Most of the time, this happens without us noticing, but it can be more debilitating and put us at risk of falling, particularly as we age. All the more reason to take action early.
What hazards exist in my bedroom?
Falling out of bed while sleeping
Unfortunately, as you get older or due to temporary, acute, medical situations or injuries, your risk of falling out of bed during sleep tends to increase. This can be due to medication, uncontrolled movements, disorientation, balance; the list goes on.
A fall out of bed may not be of serious concern if your bed is low down, or if there’s a padded surface next to your bed to soften a sudden landing—but falling out of bed can still cause serious injuries.
Falling while getting in or out of bed
As you get older, any transition or level-change from lying down to sitting to standing (or vice-versa) can become more challenging, putting you at risk for a fall. Getting in or out of bed is no exception.
We sometimes rely on other furniture or walls for support, but it’s not always enough. If you lose your balance or your grip—you could be in danger.
Getting stuck in bed or being unable to move while in bed (bed entrapment)
You might not think this is a real issue right now, but if your mobility changes over time—bed entrapment can present health risks and barriers to your independence.
What might start as struggling to change positions or get comfortable in bed, could eventually become a serious issue, especially if no one is around to help you, or your phone is out of reach.
Support options for overcoming bed safety challenges
Luckily, there are solutions for each of these problems. Overall strategies for safer bedrooms are a good place to start. Think clearing clutter, motion-activated night lights, and having an easy way to call for help in an emergency.
Depending on your specific bed safety needs, you may also want to consider the following three options.
1. Fixed bed rails
Traditional fixed bed rails can serve two main purposes:
- A barrier to prevent someone from falling out of bed
- Providing light support for shifting in bed, and getting in and out
Most are geared towards one of these functions over the other, so make sure to ask if you’re not sure. Our Assista-Rail is more support than barrier.
Fixed bed rails are a widely available, cost-effective option to improve bed safety, but don’t offer as much support as some other options.
2. Pivoting bed rails
Pivoting bed rails like our Smart-Rail offer the same functionality as fixed bed rails plus additional movable support for getting in or out of bed.
Sometimes the whole rail will have a locking mechanism that allows it to swing out. In other cases, it will have an additional swinging ‘arm’ to act as a bed-mounted cane.
They’re less common than fixed bed rails and tend to be a little more expensive, but if you need the extra support—it may be worth the price.
Also, while pivoting bed rails work well for some, others prefer the steadiness of a fixed bed rail. If you’re not sure what to choose, consult your healthcare provider or visit a store where you can try both.
3. Ceiling-mounted support
A ceiling-mounted support trapeze has a very specific function—to help you get up out of bed by reaching up and pulling yourself into an upright position.
If you’re worried about bed entrapment, this type of support can be an excellent solution, but it does require some upper body strength. It also won’t prevent you from falling out of bed.
Often, customers pair our e2 Ceiling Mount Trapeze with other bed safety products to cover multiple areas of concern.
Finding the right bed safety solution
If you’re ready to start shopping for bed safety, remember that each solution serves a specific need.
If you’re most concerned about falling out of bed overnight, you should consider a traditional fixed bed rail designed to keep you in bed. If you’re also worried about maneuvering in and out of bed, a pivoting bed rail may be right for you. If you’re looking for support to hoist yourself upright in bed, consider a ceiling trapeze.
Finally, if you need support in a few different areas, consider pairing multiple solutions for full-coverage bedroom safety.
Yes, the bedroom can pose some danger, but if you take the right precautions—it doesn’t have to be a scary place.
Ready to make your bedroom safer?