Bed Rails: Types and Benefits

Bed rails add a sense of security and safety for people who are aged or have mobility or agility issues. Also known as side, bedside, and safety rails, bed rails come in various styles, types, and sizes. Many options offer added safety and convenience features, like height adjustability, storage compartment, and foam for a better grip.

People use these mobility aids to prevent rolling or falling out of bed. These rails also provide support, stability, and security when shifting positions or getting in/out of bed. Adding these rails will allow you or a loved one to live more independently, with minimal help required from others.

Benefits of Bed Rails for Seniors

There are numerous safety and convenience factors that make bed rails an appealing mobility aid:

  • Assistance with turning or repositioning in bed
  • A sense of comfort and security
  • Prevention from fall risk, especially during transport or while getting in/out of bed
  • Easy access to bed controls and to personal items when needed

What to Consider When Choosing Bed Rails

Before choosing a bed rail, you need to evaluate the health conditions of the people to determine whether bed rails are appropriate for them or not. Also, there are different bed rails for different purposes and for different disabled people.

For instance, to increase mobility, you can consider a quarter-length bed rail that aids and supports them to get in/out of the bed comfortably. And for someone with thin skin that bruises easily, you can opt for bed aid that has foam covering to prevent skin damage. For more understanding, you should consult your doctor to take advice about which type of bed rail will suit your loved ones. And for your understanding, below are the different types of bed rails:

Types of Bed Rails

There are two primary types of bed rails for seniors: portable and hospital.

1. Portable- These are attachable, removable, and not designed to be part of the bed. You will need to install these rails separately along the side of bed including the following styles:

  • Bed rails with L-shaped legs that are adjustable for height and length. It has one end tucked under the mattress with two support legs resting on the floor.
  • Legless bed rails tucked under the mattress often come with a safety strap for additional stability. A heavier mattress weighs down the bed rails and helps to keep them secure. Thus, these typically come in an L-shape and suit best for queen and king-size beds.
  • Fold-down bed rails fold down for easier access, and one can also disassemble it while traveling.
  • Crossbar bed rails allow adjusting height and offering multiple handhold locations for assistance with getting in/out of bed. These are often useful to prevent suffocation or entrapment.
  • Dual bed rails along with connected crossbars are installed on both sides of the bed for providing support beneath the mattress.

2. Hospital- These rails are adjustable rails attached to a hospital bed. These are generally attached parts of a hospital bed.

Accessory Features

There are also additional features available to attach bed rails to the bed like:

  • A storage pouch
  • A height-adjustable grab bar
  • An adjustable bed step stool
  • An LED night light for fall prevention
  • A safety strap for additional bed rail stability
  • A contoured ergonomic grip to assist multiple gripping positions

You can easily find these mobility aids from online retailers and at medical equipment supply stores. Several home hardware stores sell bed rails. Before buying any rails, ensure you take the advice from the doctor as they know about your loved one’s medical conditions more than you. Thus, by keeping all the factors in mind, they can suggest the best option.

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