Who would have thought, when young, that getting out of bed would one day be a challenge? I mean, “what is hard in getting up, turning over and standing up?” You may ask, until old age sets in and you need the best equipment to help get out of bed for the elderly.
This article enlightens us on why elderly need help getting out of bed, factors to consider when choosing a bed assist device, other things that can be done to help improve bed mobility for elders and a review of 5 top-quality bed assist devices.
Why does the elderly need assistance getting out of bed?
Certain illnesses are related to old age. It’s natural and may or may not be consequences of our decisions or indecisions from when we were young. They can only be managed at this stage, without being completely cured.
Those illnesses are usually bone-related and restrict most of our activities, making simple things complex. Example of such diseases are:
- Parkinson’s disease: this is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. The disorder commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Its symptoms worsen as the condition progresses over time
- Arthritis: which worsens with age, is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. Its main symptoms are joint pain and stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They are caused by different factors but affect the same place- the joints
- Osteoporosis: you will not notice it, but the bones deplete and just as soon as they drain new ones are created to replace the lost ones. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bones doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bones. Several factors can cause this, but research has shown that age is the highest causative factor
Note that the illnesses mentioned above progresses over time and can only be managed, this makes getting bed assist devices very important.
Factors to Consider when choosing Equipment to Help Get out of Bed
- Slip-resistant handles: the handles of the device should not be slippery. It is rubber-coated handles, especially, that can achieve this. Therefore, go for them
- Sturdiness: the bed assist device should be firm and not contribute to the shaky frame of most seniors. This can be guaranteed usually, by the make of the device. Most devices are made of Stainless steel or chrome-plated or powder-coated to ensure this factor is achieved.
The sturdiness of the device is what contributes essentially to its ability to provide support and balance to the user.
The make also contributes to the durability of the device. The previously stated manufacturing materials (stainless steel etc) are known to be durable
- Weight capacity: the weight capacity of the devices is usually specified by the manufacturers of the product. If you are big or you are purchasing the bed assist device for someone that is, it is vital that you lookout for this to avoid getting a device that will snap under your weight
- Your bed, bed frame, and room space: not all bed assist devices fit well with every bed, especially those that must be attached. Also, your room space should be considered before choosing a bed equipment, especially if the device stands on its own without being attached to the frame of the bed
A Proper Diet May Help
A get out of bed system contributes 85% effort to the getting out of bed process, the other 15% comes from the elderly, and we want to ensure that contributing this 15% will be easy for the elderly. How can this be achieved?
- Diet: the average elderly person has negative calcium balance, which causes loss of bone mass and reduces the reproduction of bones. This is why bone-related challenges, such as those discussed earlier, deteriorate rather than improve over time.
About 99% of the calcium in the human body is found in the bones and teeth, making it an essential mineral for the growth, development, and maintenance of the bone.
Therefore, it is important for the elderly to take foods rich in calcium to strengthen the bones. Other minerals such as zinc and magnesium are important minerals for the health of bones and should be added to our daily meals.
1. Platinum Health LumaRail Deluxe Bed Assist Rail
With a 4.7/ 5.0-star rating, this get out of bed system must be doing many things right. Platinum health is committed to setting a new standard in the safety, convenience, and reliability of bed assist rails. They achieve these goals through the following features and benefits.
- Padded grab bar
- Bed frame anchor strap
- Adjustable height top-rail
Integrated IntelliBrite motion-sensing LED night light
- It can accommodate virtually any bed
- It can support the frame of big and heavy seniors. Seniors as heavy as 400lb
- It doesn’t need a tool to assemble it, and the assembly instructions are easy to follow to install
- It’s lightweight and is easy to disassemble, making it convenient for traveling with
- The bed frame anchor strap prevents dangerous gaps, that can lead to fatal injuries, between the bed rail and mattress
- The integrated IntelliBrite motion-sensing LED night light helps to prevent trip and fall injuries by sensing your motion away and towards the bed and automatically lighting the way. As a sensor, it doesn’t need a switch to come on
- The light is held by a magnet which isn’t efficient at keeping the light in place
- The height of the device beyond the top is minimal and not really adjustable
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket
- Bed assist bar
- Steel rail slides
- Adjustable legs
- Adjustable hand grip/ grips bar
- Safety straps that go under the mattress
Storage and organizer pocket
- It is sturdy and strong if installed properly
- It has a simple design and a padded handle
- The storage pouch can be used to keep things you need handy
- It is easy to assemble and install, taking less than 10 minutes of your time
- It protects one from rolling over and falling off the side of the bed it is installed by
- The straps that go underneath the mattress are long enough and does a good job of holding the bar
- The height of the handgrip can be adjusted up and down to fit the various heights of different beds
- The pocket is designed to hang on the outside but is strapped down, so it doesn’t move while you’re feeling around in it to find something
- The storage pocket stretches too much and gives the notion of wanting to let go of the items inside it
- The device is not strong enough to support big or heavy people
Step2Bed Bed Rails For Elderly
These rails are suitable for anyone with bed mobility challenges to help lift them in and out of bed safely
- Non-slip grip tape
- Adjustable height step
- Steel support grab bars
- Extra-wide landing base
- Motion-activated LED light
- It has a firm grip with the ground because of its non-slip grip tape. This keeps it from moving around while you are trying to get on it or off it
- Apart from seniors, it is also useful for disabled, those recovering from hip replacement surgery, back pain or other injuries
- To ensure durability and satisfaction, it is made of Stainless Steel with a powder coating
- The motion-activated LED light illuminates your path, especially the parts closest to the bed
- With a weight capacity of 400lbs, it can bear the weight of big and heavy guys
- It can be positioned on any side of the bed suitable for you
- It is simple to assemble
- They cannot fit into small rooms as they occupy much space
- The non-slip grip tape does not work effectively on wooden floors
- The light works erratically. It doesn’t come on sometimes and fluctuates at its will. It sometimes falls off too
Duro-Med DMI Step Stool with Handle For Adults and Seniors
This is different from the previous bed assist devices we have seen so far with the following features
- Slip-resistant textured step platform
- Chrome-plated steel frame
- Reinforced rubber feet
- Foam handle grip
- It can be used with or without the handle and can serve more than one purpose- like a lift to help get out of bed, as a stool, as support for bathroom
- The padded handle adds stability when stepping up or down
- With a carrying capacity of 300lb, it is suitable for big and heavy guys
- It is portable and mobile
- Can fit into small spaces
- It has a narrow foot base
- Some may find the odor of latex used in making it offensive
- It is hard to assemble, as the directions on how to are complicated
- An elderly would need assistance carrying it or changing its position as its heavy
- The metal rim around the base could cause an injury, especially when it starts ungluing from the step platform
- Unlike the other tool-free assembling devices reviewed above, this would require the use of a screwdriver to put the parts in place
Essential Medical Supply Height Adjustable Hand Bed Rail
The essence of this product, according to the manufacturer, is to help the user get in and out of bed safely. The features below help to achieve this
- Made of chrome-plated steel
- 20 inches wide non-slip hand grip
- Securing strap to attach the rail to the bed frame
- Push buttons used for adjusting the height of the bed rail
- It has a 300lb weight carrying capacity
- Easy to install, and does not need the use of tools to assemble
- There is enough room on the bedrail where you can attach a storage pouch if you choose to
- Ideal for traveling as it can be easily disassembled and packed into a traveling box. It also has a lightweight
- It can prevent a fall, should the person be rolling from the part of the bed the handrail is attached to
- The height can be adjusted from 17 to 21 inches to accommodate different people’s height needs
- It is equally useful for people who have just performed bone-related surgeries or have issues getting in or out of bed or moving around on the bed
- The security straps it comes with are too short for queen-sized and king-sized beds, so you will have to purchase a different strap
- It functions best only with a box spring type bed set
General safety precaution: never use any bed assist rail without securely attaching a bed frame anchor strap. Omitting this action can cause the bed assist rail to move away from the bed and create a dangerous gap that can cause injury.
The above devices are not the only recommendable ones; neither are the designs they come in
However, amongst the few we have reviewed, the Platinum Health LumaRail Deluxe bed assist rail is our favorite pick. This is because, amongst other reasons, it satisfies all the factors to consider before purchasing a bed assist device for the elderly.
In addition to that, they also come with motion-sensitive LED lights, which is thoughtful of the manufacturers as most elders have issues locating light switches when they wake up, because their memory may still be unfocused.
Bed assist devices are an essential bedroom device for seniors as they prevent over 80% of accidents that would have occurred while getting in or out of bed. They could also keep one from rolling over and falling off the bed, although that’s not their primary function.