Bed rails for the elderly can be
used to increase safety in home-based caregiving scenarios. Experienced
caregivers realize how easy it is for an elderly person to fall out of
Even caregivers new to caregiving for an elderly parent or loved one may realize that falling out of bed may lead to a catastrophic injury.
Rails are beneficial for other things too, including something to hold onto when getting into or out of bed. Rails come in a variety of styles and sizes, and should be considered especially in scenarios where a caregiver is providing round-the-clock care for someone in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, or other conditions that impair cognitive reasoning and function.
When most people say, "bed rails" they picture hospital-type railing that extends the length of the bed. Such standard rails are certainly an option, depending on need, and don't have to be mechanically attached to a hospital bed frame. Many standard rails used in home-based caregiving scenarios slide easily beneath the bottom and top mattress and connect to the other side of the bed with an attachment for added stability.
Such rails come in adjustable length that extend anywhere from 26 inches to 42 inches. The bars on such a rail may pivot down 180° so they're not always up and in place. This makes it easier to make the bed and provide a more "normal" appearance of the bed during non-use. Adjustable height of the under-mattress portion of such rails are adjustable to most mattress thicknesses and can be used in a regular bed or a hospital bed. The weight capacity of most standard type rails ranges up to 300 pounds.
Today, rails for use in senior caregiving scenarios can range anywhere from the standard full-size rail to security poles, adjustable bedside "assistants" and safety rails that extend an average of 30 inches.
Reduced the gap rails are also available, and slide between the top mattress and the box springs. These rails include narrower gaps between the railings as well as crossbars to reduce the risk of entrapment. Such safety rails can extend from 36 inches to 62 inches and are most often used in home-based scenarios. The rail height may extend between 5 inches to 16 inches.
Another type of rail often used for seniors is Posey soft rails. Posey is a major manufacturer of bed safety products. Posey soft rails provide protection and prevention against patient falls or rolling out of bed through angled pillow-type construction or bolsters. Known as roll guards, these may be angled around the individual without the intrusiveness of a traditional bed rail.
Bolsters are shaped much like a small duffel bag and may be attached to either side of the bed to prevent your loved one from rolling out of bed. Posey type soft rails or bolsters are a popular alternative to a standard rail, and offer comfort as well as accommodating positioning for individual need. Bolsters are also easy to remove or move around for bed changing, patient or hygiene care, and are attached to the bed using straps and buckles.
Posey soft rails, linings, bolsters and cushions may be used in combination with standard rails or by themselves. The cushions themselves are designed with removable and washable covers in fleece or vinyl, each of which is easily cleaned. Replacement covers are also available for sale separately.
Standard adjustable bed railings, depending on manufacturer, size and construction are typically priced at or just under $100. Posey rolling guards and soft bed cushion protectors are a little more expensive, but can still be found for an average cost of between $100 and $130. The type of materials, design, and extension of rails as well as Posey soft cushions or rails also determine price, so take the time to check around.
You can find bed railings in a variety of sizes and materials at your local medical supply store. If they don't have a particular item in stock, staff will most likely be able to show you a catalog through which you can order what you need. You may also find a large variety of Posey soft rail products as well as standard adjustable rails in varying lengths online. Simply type in "bed rails" or "bed railings" into your favorite browser search bar and you'll be offered a variety of manufacturers and websites to choose from.