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Are bed rails safe for seniors?

Status: Open    Feb 24, 2015 - 12:11 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition

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May 26, 2015 - 08:32 AM

Full length side rails are not generally recommended for seniors.

If the individual is paralyzed and there is no danger of them trying to climb over the rails, it may be ok. The rails’ safety depends upon the individual senior and why you want to use them. A danger is, if the individuals tend to be confused, they will try to crawl over the rail and could fall. Sometimes non-confused individuals may, also, try to crawl over the rails rather than ‘bother’ the caregiver.

Now if you are trying to prevent someone from rolling out of bed, when they are asleep, rails (half-rails) that extend halfway along the bed, may provide the answer. The rail will keep the seniors in bed, but they are still able to get up safely, if they so choose. A sturdy chair, placed alongside the bed could serve the same purpose. The half-rail may also help the individuals turn or sit up by providing something to grab on to for stability.

If you are concerned because the senior is confused or wanders, the Alzheimer’s Association website (www. alz.org) provides suggestions for keeping individuals with dementia safe.

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