Night-time in the bedroom is a common time for falls, with mobility aid users tripping over items in the dark. Here we catalogue our solutions to bedroom falls.
1. Reduce clutter
The most common reason for seniors falling is objects and tripping hazards on the floor. Try to keep the bedroom clean and free of tripping hazards like slippers, clothes and magazines. Put a table close to the bed where objects can put, so that there are no items on the floor to fall over. Try not to hang things from door knobs or chairs, as they can drape on the floor and cause slips.
2. Make space near the bed for mobility aids
Make sure that you or your family member can easily approach the bed with plenty of space to get a mobility aid in, and turn around while using it. Many falls happen because mobility aid users are trying to get the last few steps to the bed without an aid due to space concerns. Clear the approach and space around the bed, so that there is enough room to get a mobility aid in, turn it around, and leave it near the bed for night-time use.
3. Plan your layout
Make sure necessary items are near the bed to reduce the need to get up and find them during the night. Keep a light near the bed so that you or your family member don’t have to wander around in the dark to get out of the room at night. As well as this, consider a cordless phone near the bed – this means that your family member won’t trip over the cord, and doesn’t have to rush to get up if the phone is ringing. It also means they can reach and call for help if a fall does occur. Keep clothes near the bed, so that you can sit down to get dressed in the morning, as getting dressed is another danger time for falls. Avoiding having pets sleeping in the bedroom can reduce the likelihood of tripping over pets or pet related items.
4. Install grip bars
Having grip bars around the room and house gives someone with mobility needs something to hold onto as they walk around the room. A grab bar or lifting aid can also help the person get in and out of bed safely, and avoid twisting to get up, which can be difficult and cause falls. Consider having sensor lights around the bed and path to the bed that can assist in finding grip points in the dark.
5. Choice of bed
Choice of bed also goes a long way towards avoiding hazards in the bedroom. While the bed itself can also help reduce pressure sores, improve blood flow and promote better health, selecting the right bed for avoiding falls is also important. If getting in and out of bed is an issue, choose an electric bed that can lower to the floor, to reduce the likelihood of falls attempting to get in and out of bed.