Is there equipment for seniors that will help my dad out of bed?

by Susan
(USA)

My dad is 76 years old. He moves around pretty good but was telling me he is having trouble getting out of bed. Is there any equipment for seniors that can make it easier for him?

REPLY from Caring-for-Aging-Parents.com
There are a several different options that can help your dad get in and out of bed more safety and easily. The equipment for seniors I recommend the most for elderly who still have fair mobility are the bed rails for elderly or transfer poles which are described below. Changing the bed height is also often an easy fix.

1) Bed Rails

These are rails that fit between the mattress and boxspring near the head of the bed. It can be quite helpful for people having difficulty rolling side to side, helps with pushing into sitting and gives a stable surface to hold onto when getting up from the bed (particularly helpful if dizziness on standing is an issue).

Newer ones are height adjustable to accomodate the tall pillow top mattresses. In my experience, people really like bed rails once they test them out. In Canada, you can often borrow these from the Red Cross for a small donation.

For more information, Bed Rails for Elderly.

2) Raise The Bed Height

To make it easier to stand up when sitting on the side of the bed, raise the bed height. That goes for any surface the senior has difficulty getting up from - raise it with a cushion or furniture risers.

For more detailed information about how to adjust the bed height, see the answer to this question submitted by Beverly: Q & A: Getting into Bed Unassisted.

3) Transfer Pole

A floor to ceiling pole can be set up next to the bed. These are particularly helpful for people who find it easier to pull up when getting up from a surface (rather than push up like one would with a bed rail).

It is usually positioned about 3 - 5 inches away from the bed and about a foot or two down from the head of the bed. They are braced between plates on the ceiling and ground without requiring any screws or nailing.



They should be placed where there is a ceiling joist and most medical suppliers can install professionally if there is no family member that can do it properly.

They can also have a "horizontal bar" which is a bar that can rotate around and sticks out to the side to provide a horizontal surface to grab onto as well. This can help a senior move from lying to sitting more easily.

4) Hospital Adjustable Bed

These beds can be moved into the head up position to make it easier for people to get up from an almost upright position, though this sounds like it would be overkill for your dad.

For more information, Hospital Adjustable Bed.

5) Bed Trapeze

These can be installed on the head of the bed and hang down over a person's head. The person can use the trapeze to move over towards the side of the bed and then to assist with moving into sitting. These are often more helpful for people with severe disabilities and little or no leg strength.

6) Bed Ladder

This device is more rarely used and is much like a rope ladder. It is secured to the end of the bed and the person pulls themself up one rung at a time. It likely isn't used much because the other solutions are easier, more sturdy and usually more effective. I just mention it as one other option. This one could also be home-made if cost is an issue.

Finally, don't forget the importance of maintaining the strength and balance he has. Take a look at the simple and effective exercises that can be done in any home. For more information, Exercises for the Elderly.

Thanks for your question and hope this helps.

Tennille
Caring-for-Aging-Parents.com

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