How a Bed Rail Can Help Those with Limited Mobility

by Medical XPress

Man using bed rail with storage pouchWhen you think of a bed rail, do you imagine a railing that keeps kids from rolling out of bed? If so, you’re not alone. However, this is only one type of bed rail that’s on the market today. There are also bed rails that can greatly assist those with limited mobility. If you’re wondering how a bed rail might improve accessibility and independence for these individuals, keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Bed Rail?

First, let’s address exactly what a bed rail is in terms of safety and mobility. These rails attach securely to one side of the bed, usually installing between the mattress and box spring. They also often come with an attached storage bag to keep remote controls, books, and other bedside items within easy reach.

Assistance Getting in and out of Bed

For those with diminished muscle strength and mobility, climbing into and out of their bed can be difficult. If they rely on a walker or cane, they might have that nearby, but transferring from the bed to a standing position can be difficult with a walker or cane that’s lower than bed height. A bed rail provides stability and support when climbing into bed or when standing up. This can provide added peace of mind when transferring to a standing position and can help ensure that you get a good grip on your cane or walker after standing.

Added Support While Dressing

Reduced strength and mobility frequently makes everyday tasks and routines difficult—including dressing yourself in the morning. Balancing on one foot to put on your pants, socks, and shoes is nearly impossible for many senior citizens, who must instead adapt the way they dress. A bed rail can provide added balance and support to make dressing easier in the morning. Instead of having to sit while dressing, you may find that you can stand while holding onto the bed rail with one hand, making it easier to pull on your pants or other clothing.

Keeping Items in Easy Reach

As mentioned above, these bed rails also often come with built-in storage. Even for those models that don’t have storage included, you can easily add a bag or pouch to the outward-facing side of the bed rail. This keeps items easily accessible at all times. But how is this a mobility or accessibility issue?

For those who are able-bodied, leaning over to grab your book, cellphone, or remote off the nightstand might be such a simple task that you don’t think twice about it. But you might be surprised how much the muscles of your back and core have to work to keep you balanced and prevent you from falling out of bed while you’re reaching.

Those with reduced muscle strength, especially in their back or core, would have a much more difficult time performing this seemingly simple task. A bed rail with storage allows them to easily reach the things that they need without having to lean over the side of the bed at all.

Preventing Nighttime Falls

Of course, an adult bed rail also performs the same function that children’s bed rails were primarily designed to do—preventing the user from falling out of bed. While this isn’t as common a problem for adults as it is for children, it does happen from time to time. And for senior adults who already struggle with mobility, a tumble out of bed can be extremely dangerous.

Falls are a common cause of injury among senior citizens, and they frequently lead to long-lasting issues and chronic pain as a result of these injuries. And if the person lives alone, a fall can leave them helpless and immobile on their bedroom floor, waiting for someone to help them. While falling out of bed may seem minor to some, it can quite literally cause lifelong consequences. A bed rail can prevent a nighttime fall before it happens.

A bed rail is a simple addition to your bedroom that can make every day simpler and safer. By preventing nighttime falls, helping you to get in and out of bed more easily, providing support while you dress, and keeping your bedside items within easy reach, a bed rail can make your life easier every single day. If you’re interested in adding a bed rail to your bedroom, call or stop by Medical Xpress or Arlington Medical Supply. We have many locations throughout Texas, and our staff are ready and willing to serve you.