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The Best Bed Rails for Seniors

Monday, July 6, 2020

Bed rails are an important accident-prevention tool that can keep seniors from falling out of bed. Additionally, some bed rail models are designed to help seniors use their arms to push themselves up when they get up in the night to get water or go to the bathroom. 

Bed rails help prevent falls while getting in and out of bed and some models are also designed to help patients reposition once they lay back down in bed. When you shop for bed rails, it’s important that you choose the right model that will be able to withstand your body weight and the force you will be putting on it each time you use it.

When a person’s mobility or balance is compromised, a bed rail may be necessary. Many seniors begin to get wobbly or shaky as they get older and this problem can be especially troublesome when the person is getting up out of bed at night or when they’re sitting back down in bed. 

Bed rails can reduce the need for caregiver assistance in the middle of the night or it can simply make caregiving easier because the patient is able to assist themselves during transfers. But most importantly conventional bed rails can help prevent the tragedy of a major fall and injuries that can occur as a result.

Some bed rails come with other features worth considering such as a motion-sensing night lights, special pouches, or padded handle grips that add an additional layer of safety and comfort to the product. 

Once you understand what you want in a bed rail, you can start shopping for the right product on the basis of features and price. To help you with this process, we’ve assembled a list of 10 different bed rails for seniors that have been listed according to rating. The list contains important information about each model including it’s price and features.

What Are Bed Rails?

A bed rail, which is also sometimes known as a bed safety rail or a bed assist rail, is a supportive aid that can be installed onto either the bed itself or the area around the bed. It can be used to provide additional support for people who need to transfer from a wheelchair to the bed or it can help a patient reposition themself inside the bed or it might simply be used to prevent falls.

 

A bed rail is a tool that seniors and their caregivers can use to reduce the risk of nighttime falls that could happen either because the patient is prone to rolling out of bed or falls that might occur as the patient tries to get up or sit back down in bed after a visit to the bathroom. Patients in wheelchairs use bed rails to transfer from the bed to the chair and back again. Your doctor or another healthcare provider might recommend a specific type of bed rail to reduce the risk of falls, but even if your health practitioner hasn’t recommended a bed rail yet, there are some telltale signs to watch for that indicate that a bed rail might be necessary:

·        Diminished endurance (labored breathing while walking or standing)

·        Diminished flexibility

·        Low body strength

·        Lethargy

·        Joint pain

·        Muscle pain

·        Vertigo or other balance issues

Why Bed Rails May Be Necessary

Bed rails provide a number of benefits to aging seniors. The most obvious benefit is that bed rails can provide you with protection from falls. Below are additional benefits to consider if you’re in the market for this important bedroom support aid:

·        Fall Prevention

Of course, one of the main goals of a bed rail is to prevent falls! A major fall can cause a cascade of negative effects in a patient’s life that can lead to wounds that fail to heal properly or that may never heal and even the development of disease. Fall prevention is the number one reason why most seniors get bed rails installed.

·        Support

Bed rails provide solid support to help elderly individuals as they get into and out of bed. Bed rails can also prevent patients from falling out of a bed while sleeping. A high-quality bed rail can improve your mobility, particularly if you suffer from strength or balance issues.

Certain diseases may necessitate the need for additional sitting and standing support in the bedroom like what bed rails can provide. Fibromyalgia, arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), cancer, and more can leave you in a weakened condition with pain in the abdominal muscles from making even small movements. 

A bed rail can help you move around more easily without expending as much energy. It can also help you sit up or lay down in bed, by providing additional support. Bed rails are often used when patients change positions while sleeping because they provide alternative positioning options for people who are in pain due to either disease or injury.

·        Increases Confidence and Independence

The ability to care for yourself during the nighttime hours is important. Many patients feel a sense of guilt when they have to call on a caregiver for help during the night, but bed rails can reduce this need. 

Bed rails can help you retain your independence and confidence by providing additional support for walking or transferring to a wheelchair when you’re in your bedroom space. Many patients use bed rails during both the night and the day to support themselves as they walk through their bedroom to other areas of the house. 

A solid grip on a bed rail can reduce your risk of falling and even reduce your need for a caregiver, in some situations. In any case, a bed rail can help you assist the caregiver more effectively during lifting and it can sometimes alleviate the caregiving need altogether by allowing the patient to get up from bed at night to use the bathroom by themselves.

The ability to use your own physical strength to maintain your balance is essential to maintaining your independence. Bed rails can help you overcome fears or concerns that you might have about your nighttime mobility. 

Having a good set of bed rails can help you maintain a positive attitude and over time, your use of the rails rather than a caregiver can translate into the retention and maintenance of strength and mobility to continue caring for yourself as an independent individual for many years.

If maintaining your independence is your goal, you must be sure to buy bed rails that  won’t increase your risk of strangling or becoming entrapped between the rails and the bed. 

To ensure that your bed rails are safe, have someone install them properly and make sure that they follow the necessary instructions and safety guidelines to avoid creating a hazardous situation. Check the user’s manual and ask your health practitioner for more information and safety tips about how to properly install and use bed rails.

·        Guidance

Bed rails can help you position yourself properly on the edge of the bed when you get up in the middle of the night. This extra bit of guidance can make the difference between a major fall or safely getting to and from the bathroom in the middle of the night. The best bed rails for seniors are made to help patients position themselves properly to stand up while also providing support during the process of standing up.

A fall that happens when a patient is trying to sit down in bed can result in injuries to the spine as well as the head. If you have balance issues or limited mobility, bed rails also provide much needed guidance while sitting back down in the bed. Going from standing to sitting poses a hazard for people who have difficulty balancing or limited flexibility. With a solid bed rail, seniors can grab onto the handle bars and sit down knowing that they’ll land on the bed and not on the floor!

After the bed rail is installed, you’ll position yourself by sitting next to it in the bed. Depending on your health issues, the bed rail can also be used to reposition yourself after you lay down in the bed.  

Types of Bed Rails

There are many different types of bed rails for seniors on the market today. Below is an overview of the various types and styles. Most bed rails don’t require formal installation. They can be held in place by the weight of the mattress. But each type offers different benefits that buyers must consider before making their final purchase.

 

·       Legless Bed Rails

 

A legless bed rail does not have legs. This type of bed rail is shaped like an L with the longer side of the rail situated under the mattress. The shorter side of the L is used as a support for the patient. Legless, L-shaped bed rails like this work best on beds with larger, heavier queen or king-sized mattresses. If you use a legless bed rail with a smaller, twin-sized mattress, it is liable to move the mattress when you grab onto it for support, which is potentially dangerous. People with twin-sized mattresses should look into a model with legs for additional support.

 

·   Bed Rail with Legs

 

Bed rails with legs have additional supports that extend down to the floor. The weight of the user is transmitted through the legs to the floor, though many of these bed rails also have a horizontal rail that slips between the mattresses.

 

·   Handles That Function as Bed Rails

 

Handles have a low profile and they take up less space than other bed rail models. They can be used for regular beds or hospital beds and they are often secured using just a single fixed point.

 

·   Bed Rails with Cross Bars

 

Cross bars make the bed rails a little more secure by providing a choice in terms of the height of the bars. They are made specifically to prevent the possibility of suffocation or entrapment. Bed rails with cross bars are an excellent choice for those who wish to use them for repositioning themselves in the bed and also for individuals who are concerned about safety from rolling out of bed.

 

·   Adjustable Height Bed Rails

 

Bed rails that can be adjusted are ideal for individuals who have never used a bed rail before. They allow for height experimentation. There are legless styles as well as styles that include legs that extend all the way to the floor.

 

·   Fold Down Bed Rails

 

Fold down bed rails are also sometimes called “Swing Down Bed Rails”. They fold all the way down to provide easy access to the bed. But they require a lot of space to fold outward and down, so there must be plenty of space beside the bed for them to work.

 

·   Dual Bed Rails

 

Dual bed rails, also known as Double-Sided Bed Rails are installed on both sides of the bed with the cross bars meeting underneath the mattress. There are both half and full-length dual bed rail models available.  

 

·   Pivoting Handle Bed Rail

 

This type of bed rail provides a two-in-one functionality. They act as a bed rail for getting up out of bed or sitting back down, but they also have a swing-out arm that locks into a position perpendicularly with the bed for additional support.

 

·   Floor-to-Ceiling Pole-Style Bed Rail

 

Bed with a floor-to-ceiling pole (also known as the Super Pole) uses tension for installation. No screws are required. This type of bed rail is installed between floor and ceiling cross-beams.

 

·   Travel-Friendly Bed Rail

 

Travel-friendly bed rails fold flat so they can be packed easily for both at-home use and overnight visits with family or friends.

 

·   Floor Support Rails

 

Floor support rails are installed between the floor and the bed frame. Some models rely on tension between the two to secure it while others are screwed into the floor for support.

 

·   Wall-Mounted Bed Rails

 

These bed rails extend out from the wall in a perpendicular fashion to provide a hand-hold for the patient when they get into and out of bed.

 

·   Wall-to-Floor-Mounted Bed Rails

 

This is a sturdy type of bed rail that’s usually manufactured in an L-shape. It can be helpful for sitting or standing up from the bed or transferring to a wheelchair. Some models come with a special kickstand support leg. 

 

·        Trapeze/Traction Equipment

 

This type of bed support helps patients change positions once they’re inside the bed in addition to providing support for getting into and out of the bed.

 

Will Medicaid pay for bed rails?

Medicaid in New York will pay for trapeze or traction equipment that has been deemed necessary for a patient due to a respiratory condition that requires changing of body position or for getting into or out of bed. Bed rails, pads, or shields are also covered if a healthcare practitioner has documented a need for the patient to have these items in order to prevent injury or entrapment.

Patients who need replacement bed rails for a patient-owned hospital bed can request Medicaid coverage for this cost in the state of New York. If the duration of the need for this item is unknown at the time when they are ordered, patients should rent them rather than buying.

Considerations When Purchasing a Bed Rail

What price range are you looking to stay within?

 

Bed rails are available in many different styles, and they are also available in prices that fit a variety of budgets. While it should be noted that expensive doesn’t always equal better in the world of bed rails, there certainly are some correlations between price and quality. It’s important to assess your budget before starting the search for bed rails so you can make a good decision about your purchase that is also budget-friendly.

 

Generally, bed rails range in price from $50 to $150, but there are some models that are cheaper (or even more expensive) that are also available. The price varies according to many factors, including the kinds of features included, the size of the bed rail, the materials its made from, and the brand affiliated with the bed rail.

 

What type of bed will the bed rail be used on?

 

Considering the type of bed that the bed rail will be used on is extremely important, since some bed rails may be designed only to work with certain types of beds. For example, some bed rails that have legs may not be able to work correctly when used with an adjustable bed. Some other types of mattresses, such as box spring mattresses or particularly thick mattresses may only be suited to particular kinds of bed rails. Make sure to check the product description or contact the bed rail manufacturer to make sure that the type of bed rail you choose will work with the patient’s bed.

 

How much does the person who will be using the bed rail weigh?

 

While it might not seem like weight would be a factor in choosing a bed rail, bed rails almost always have a weight limit! It’s important to make sure the patient is under the weight limit before making a bed rail purchase. Choosing a bed rail that has a weight capacity under the weight of the patient who will be using it puts the patient at risk of injury, so this is one of the most important considerations on this list.

 

Where is the bed placed in the room?

 

Depending on the size of the bedroom and the orientation of the bed inside the room, some bed rails may work better than others. For example, if the patient’s bed is up against one wall, a single-rail model will work best. However, if the patient’s bed is situated in the middle of the room, it will be necessary to get a dual-rail bed rail so that both sides of the bed are protected. Plus, because of the construction of some bed rail models, it may be important to consider the bulkiness of the bed rail. If the bed is in a particularly small room, it will be best to look for a slim, compact bed rail, if possible.

How will the bed rail be used?

 

Depending on the needs of the patient, a bed rail may be used primarily to provide stability when getting into and out of bed, or it may be required to prevent the patient from falling out of bed in the night. In some cases, the bed rail must be able to serve both purposes. Being conscious of the way that the bed rail will be used is necessary, since there are different product specifications that are important depending on the situation.

 

Patients who are still fairly mobile may only need a simple grab bar to provide extra stability for when they are getting into and out of bed. An adjustable length bed rail may suffice for some other patients who can move relatively easily, but who want or need extra protection in the night to prevent them from falling out of bed. There are also even more advanced, protective bed rails available for patients who require more support.

 

Will the caregiver raise and lower the bed rail, or can the patient do this themselves?

 

Some bed rails are designed for the patient or the caretaker to be able to raise and lower the rail, while others are designed to be moved only (or mostly) by the caregiver. The bed rails that can only be adjusted or lowered by a caregiver are primarily used in facilities where the patients may not be coherent enough to perform these activities by themselves. Most bed rails for adults and seniors are designed primarily to be adjusted either by the patient and the caregiver. They tend to be very easy to adjust so that there’s no struggle for the patient or caregiver when it comes to making adjustments.

 

Does the patient suffer from dementia?

 

Individuals with dementia may need bed rails, but it’s important to be careful when installing bed rails for people with dementia, since they may get confused and try to climb over the bed rail instead of lowering it. This can result in more danger and risk of injury than if there were no bed rail installed at all. Regardless, it’s still good to consider this potential issue. If you think that bed rails might be a problem for your loved one, ask a doctor for advice on what to do.

 

What Are the Best Bed Rails for Adults and Seniors?

 

1. LumaRail-FS Bed Assist Rail

 

The LumaRail-FS Bed Assist Rail is an affordable and feature rich bed rail option that’s only $57. It is very simple to install and requires only minimal set up. It has a clever metal design that features padded grips for comfort. One particularly unique feature of this bed rail is its motion sensing LED night light, which lights up when it senses movement so that it’s easy to get into and out of bed. Plus, an anchor strap adds to the stability of the unit.

 

2. Able Life Home Bedside Safety Handle

 

This Able Life unit is only $44, and has some decent features for that comparatively low price. The mesh accessory bag on the outside of the bed rail adds to the convenience by offering the patient a place to store essentials like books, medicines, water bottles, and more! It supports up to 300lbs and is lightweight and easy to put together.

 

3. Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail

 

This is one of the most affordable, simplest bed rail models on this list. It is well suited to helping seniors who need a handle for helping them get into and out of bed safely and easily by themselves. This Essential Medical Supply unit has an adjustable height, as well as padded grips and a lightweight construction for easy set up and transport (when needed). This unit is only $41.

 

4. Stander Bed Rail Advantage Traveler

 

For people who travel frequently or who plan to use their bed rail on the road, this is the best model on the market. The Stander Advantage Traveler unit supports up to 400lbs and features an accessory pouch, lightweight design, carrying case, safety strap, and an adjustable height. It comes in at only $59, making it also quite affordable for most budgets.

 

5. Drive Medical Home Bed Style Adjustable Bed Rails

 

This is a dual bed rail that can fit any size of home bed. It is constructed from 1-inch steel, so it’s lightweight and also very durable and strong. This model is $80. It features the option to adjust the height of the crossbars and can easily be adjusted up or down. Straightforward push buttons make adjusting this bed a breeze for both caretakers and patients.

 

6. RMS Dual Bed Rail

 

For couples who sleep in the same bed and who both need handrails, or for patients who need to have a bed rail on both sides of the bed for safety reasons, a dual bed rail is the best, most effective option. This unit from RMS is $64 and features 3 non-slip foam handlebars and an adjustable height. Plus, no tools are required to put this bed rail together!

 

7. Stander EZ Adjust and Pivoting Adult Home Bed Rail

 

This Stander bed rail is one of the more expensive models on this list at $99, but it also comes equipped with a few cool features. It supports up to 300lbs and functions both as a bed rail and a bed handle, and when you don’t need it, it can simply be pivoted down to the side of the bed! Plus, an accessory pouch and super simple construction give this particular bed rail extra convenience value.

 

8. Drive Medical Home Bed Assist Rail

 

The Drive Medical bed rail is easy to set up since it requires no tools and is made from a lightweight aluminum construction. It has a weight limit of 250lbs and features a safety strap that wraps snuggly around the mattress to ensure a secure and solid hand hold. It has multiple crossbars too which adds to the high safety profile of this unit. It is only $38.

 

9. MTS FREEDOM Grip Bed Rail/Bed Handle

 

The MTS FREEDOM bed rail is $48 and has a 250lb weight capacity. It features a solid panel that slides easily under the bed, and the rail itself is 9-inches wide and has a cushioned grip handle to make it as easy as possible to maneuver into and out of bed. It requires no tools for assembly and takes minutes to set up with any normal bed.

 

10. EasyComforts Bed Guard Rail

 

At only $29, this is by far the most affordable bed guard rail on this list! The EasyComforts bed rail is made from solid steel construction and is thus strong and durable, yet also lightweight. It requires a little bit of assembly before it can be installed with the bed, but the work required is minimal. The length of this unit is adjustable, and it can be folded for easy transport if needed.

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