The adult patients and the invalids need some comfort and safety. As a volunteer physiotherapist at a hospice, it is my obligation and primary concern to ensure that they feel secure and accommodative. In that case, most elderly adults spend their time in the hospital bed for considerably longer hours due to their state of health. Unfortunately, bedroom safety and comfortability are always overlooked and this kind of negligence is a risky venture for the seniors and the bedridden invalids. Therefore, safety bed rails for seniors offer the ultimate solution to the problem.
A study published on the journal Age and Ageing showed that rails offer safety to patients and make them less anxious during their sleep. The FDA has reported of deaths caused by falls and therefore calls for safety bed rails that will not on the other hand cause death by entrapment
Bed rails for adults are recommended for the purpose of safety and act as barriers to prevent patients from accidentally rolling or falling out of their beds. When well designed, they prevent bed entrapment. In addition, they serve as aids to those elderly adults who might have difficulties in mobility as well as getting in and out of bed.
Tips to use when buying safety bed rails for seniors
While bed rails might offer safety and security to your patient, they might also be health hazards because of bed entrapment which has been said to the number one health hazards in hospital beds. So, what should you consider before buying the safety rails.
- Can the patient survive without the rails
For patients who are on low risk and can take themselves to the toilet without assistance, climb up the bed without your help, rarely get nightmares or hardly rolls off the bed, then you can consider not buying the rails altogether. Instead, get them some soft bedside mats so that incase they fall, they will not do so on hard ground but the soft bedside mat.
2. Does the patient suffer from seizures
Seniors who experience seizures should get padded rails that will protect them from hurt whenever they get their seizures. Metallic rails would only antagonize their safety. Other than seizure patients, demented seniors might easily get agitated and hit their bodies against the rails.
3. Can the rails be rolled down and up for ease in movement?
Rather than have solid unmovable rails that will never move when the patient wants to go to the toilet and they have to call the caregiver everytime, I would rather go for those spring fitted rails that can be rolled down and up when a patient needs to get in and out of the bed.
4. Height of the rails
The rails need to be big enough so as to cover the mattress height and still be able to protect the senior from rolling over and falling from the bed.
5. Rail material
Metallic rails are long lasting. Their only downside though is that they could hurt the patient. Plastic rails on the other hand are not as dangerous but they would break easily and therefore not very durable.
6.One sided or double sided
When buying rails for seniors, you need to consider whether they are one sided or double sided. One sided rails would only be good if your bed is standing against a wall so that the wall prevents the patient from falling on one side while on the other you have a side rail.
Double sided rails offer security on both sides of the bed.
7.Is the side rail removable by the patient?
There are some side rails that can be collapsed by the patient when they want to get out of the bed. This allows them to feel independent and free to get out of the bed whenever they feel like without the necessity of calling up their caregiver to come and help them out.
8. Is the side rail fitting the entire bed?
When buying rails, I would go for one that fits or runs through the entire length of the bed for enhanced security. Rails that only run a section of the bed can be dangerous since the patient could get entrapped on the edges or even roll out and fall.
Frequently asked questions about bed rails for disabled adults
- Are bed guard rails safe for elderly?
Some adults having problems such as dementia and seizures might not actually need bed rails since they pose a danger and might cause physical injuries and harm on them. Demented patients will always be agitated and feel irritated when you put them in a caged bed. Caged bed in this case means a bed with side rails. They will struggle to get out and in this struggle, they might hit their heads on the metallic side rails causing injuries or even lead to fatalities.
People having seizures might also get seizure attacks while lying on the bed. They would therefore need other safer alternatives such as soft bed bumpers for adults.
2.Can the bed guard rails be raised and lowered by the patient while they are on the bed?
Some side rails are actually collapsible such that rather than removing them, the patient can actually lower or raise them. This is great since the patient will not have to call you when they want to go out to the toilet in the night. All they will need to do is lower the rails and when they get back to bed, they can raise the rails back for protection.
3. Can the same bed rails be used for toddlers?
Yes these guard rails can also be used for toddlers who are transitioning from the baby cot into a bed and you want them to be safe without rolling over and falling.
4. What is an assist rail?
Different from a safety bed rail, the assist rail is placed just next to the bed and helps the elderly patient climb up the bed when sleeping and down when they want to get up. The assist rail is usually placed next to the bed for convenience.
Safety bed rails for seniors come in different designs and forms. We have the following categories that are ideal for home care:
- Stander adjust pivoting assist handle,
- Able life bedside extend rail,
- Vaunn medical assistance handles seniors,
- Adjustable height bed assist rail,
- Medline storage adjustable assistance.
Mybow bed rail safety guard for elderly
Alloyed from aluminum and iron with some parts made of timber, the mybow guard rail assures you of durability and strength. It is easily foldable by the press of the red button that is fitted on the side. This way, the guard rail will allow your disabled elderly patient to quickly fold the railing system and get out of the bed and when they get back, they can get it up again by unfolding. Measuring 34 inches in length and 14 inches in height mybow railing covers the better part of the bed making it safe for the elderly to sleep on the bed without the fear of rolling over and falling off the bed.
To install the mybow guard rail, you will require to have a plywood below the mattress so that it can be screwed in. Otherwise if you have just a metallic bed with no screw slots, then it will not hold. Again the mybow rail brings in a limitation of the thickness of your mattress. If the mattress measures above 7 inches, you will have to purchase the 5 inch L shape accessories. For a mattress 11 inches or more thick, then you can as well forget mybow since it will not be of any use
What we loved about the mybow guard rail for elderly
- Protects the adult from falls.
- Easy to fold since all one needs is press the red folding button
- Fits a good portion of the bed making it safe to sleep in
- Sturdy and durable material
What we did not like about it
- You will have to get some plywood below the mattress for installation
- Not great for thick mattresses since it either calls for purchase of 5 inch L shape accessories or buying other railing system if mattress is more than 11 inches thick.
Healthyboy foldable bed side rails for small adults
The one bad thing that put me off after buying the healthyboy safety rails was that they did not have free installation tools as they had indicated on their sales page. I hate lies and I hated them for this. But that does not mean that their product was not great. Yes, it was after I bought some installation tools.
The rail folds easily but you will have to have some plywood or wooden material below the mattress so as to screw it into place. Measuring 48 inches long, the railing system is great in keeping your adult safe throughout the night despite how many times they roll and turn.
What I loved about it
- Extra safety for those small adults and disabled elderly
- Easy to fold and unfold
What I did not like about it
- Healthyboy said that they come with free to install tools but I did not find them in my shipment. I had to buy.
Stander Adjust Pivoting Assist Handle
The Stander Adjustable Pivoting Assist Handle is unique in its design and purpose. Most significantly, it is ideal for preventing patients from falling out of bed and on the other hand, acts as a handrail that supports the invalid to get out of bed.
Moreover, it is adjustable in length hence its use as both a preventive and supporting bed rail. In order to prevent falls, this type of bed rail adjusts 26”-34”-42” after its installation. On one hand, the rail folds downside the bed to enable the patient to come out of the bed safely and also gives space for making the bed. With the inclusion of the safety strap, stander-adjust-pivoting-assist-handle attaches to either home or adjustable beds with ease and can be placed on either side of the beds. With the weight capacity of 300lbs, the rail fits on 12”-18” mattress heights and it is easy to assemble.
- Easy to assemble
Able Life Bedside Extend A Rail Adjustable Adult Home Safety Bed Rail
Unlike the Stander Adjust Pivoting Assist Handle, the Able Life Bedside Extend-A-Rail has the support handle purposely for easy standing. The two-in-one handrail extending from 20”-30”is designed to prevent the patient from falling at night. Another unique feature is the reversible safety rail that enables the product to be fitted on either sides of the bed. Its weight is 300lbs and it has a safety strap as well. Furthermore, this is the perfect bed rail for you if you are the kind of person that rolls out of bed during the sleeping time.
However, this kind of bed rail has its share of problems. To begin with, the user is susceptible to entrapment of the head, chest and the neck if precautionary measures are not put into practice. Also, it is only eligible for shipment outside the United States to a few selected countries.
What we didn’t like about it
- May cause bed entrapment
Vaunn Medical Assistance Handle Seniors
The product, however, is applicable to those who keep on falling from their bed at night. Besides, it offers support for those with difficulties in getting out of their beds. Just like the other two bed rails, this product can be installed in a variety of beds. It has the ability to extend three inches under the mattress and it is supported with the help of non-slip sleeves, making it stable and firm.
The adjustable height is an added advantage such that it meets the needs of almost any type of home bed. Another important feature is that it is easily installed and fits in large suitcase which makes it portable. It also supports the weight capacity of up to 300lbs. On the flip side, the product is not entirely effective in its design to ensure that the patient is confined to the bed.
Adjustable Height Bed Assist Rail
As the name suggests, the bed rail is easily adjusted to the suitable height to fit all types of beds. The unique aspect of its three bars or handles enables the user to get up/down with ease. Unlike other types of the bed rails, the Adjustable Height Bed Assist Rail does not require assembly tools and it is easy to install. Also, it is an ideal safety bed rail for seniors due to the nature of its safety and the design.
In fact, it has a free bonus bed frame fitted with a tie-down strap for safety and comfortability. The negative side of this product is not different from the rest, if not used with utmost care; it can cause entrapment of the most important parts of the body.
Medline Storage Adjustable Assistance Bar
Are you having trouble getting out of bed? The ultimate solution to your problem is the Medline Storage Adjustable Assistance Bar. This type of bed rail is suitable for your needs because it is sturdy and strong, thanks to the material (steel) it is made of. Its installation is hassle-free; in a matter of minutes, the product is set up without assistance from any tool. Regardless of your bed size and type, the product fits most of the heights and it boasts of an ergonomic feature, which is 13” by 9” nylon pocket.
The inclusion of a simple push button adjustment allows you to slide your legs to give a custom fit. For stability, the bed rail comes with safety straps used for wrapping around the mattress. Other additional features that you will find helpful are the presence of adjustable legs with grip bars and mesh pockets for storage of personal items such as books, pens and mobile handsets.
You are likely going to appreciate the use of this product, primarily if you are recovering from back pains or other related complications and it is a sure remedy for stability, confidence and peaceful mind. However, the product has disadvantages; it does not hold firmly on the mattress. Another negative aspect of the product is that the adjustable height is not low enough to fit a lower height mattress.
Regalo Swing Down Bedrail, 43-Inch Long
As the name suggests, the Regalo bed rail swings down when the adult wants to get out of the bed and will swing back up when they are back. Made with soft side padding, it would act as a good seizure precautionary measure for patients who face seizure attacks. At the same time, it would do in preventing bed entrapment.
Features of the Regalo Swing Down Bedrail, 43-Inch Long
- Measures 43 inches in length and 20 inches in height
- Has a swing down mechanism
- Metallic frame
- The padding is machine washable.
What I loved about this bed rail
- It passes the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards that work to prevent bed entrapment and injuries or fatalities that would have been caused by the same.
- The padding is great when you have seizure patients or easily agitated adults who might feel caged in the bed and hit themselves on the rails
- Easy to install. You need not call a specialist to do it for you. Again no tools are needed. Just a little time and you will be done.
- Has a good swing down mechanism that makes getting in and out of the bed a very simple process
- The height of 20 inches is secure enough to distract wandering seniors who would want to get out of the bed unmanned.
What I did not like about the Regalo swing down bed rail
- There were complaints that the plastic mesh broke easily
Drive Medical Deluxe Full Length Hospital Bed Side Rails, Brown Vein
If you are looking for long bed rails to go into that hospital bed or just a normal bed for your seniors, then the drive medical deluxe full length hospital bed side rails are a good pick. Coming in pairs, this drive medical rails fit onto your bed preventing medical entrapment which is fatal.
I bought these rails for some demented patients at the hospice who were always on the move trying to wander away unsupervised. With this side rails though, they are not able to get out of the bed until a caregiver helps them out.
Features of the drive medical deluxe side rails for hospital bed
- Spring loaded release to adjust the rails up or down with ease
- Adjustable length so as to fit hospital bed or normal bed
- Adjustable to cover any type of bed
- Add security to your bed as well as prevent patient from wandering unguarded.
- There were complaints that some customers got their rails shipped while the springs were already broken meaning that they could not adjust up and down.
Therefore, having exhausted all the necessary information regarding bed rails for adults and the safety concern necessary for home caregivers, you can make a wise choice of the appropriate products to use. Safety bed rails for seniors in particular, are highly recommended.