20 August 2018
The bedroom is an area of the house where a lot of time is spent, and it’s often the most personal space. With that in mind, it should always be a safe place to rest and relax; regardless of any mobility issues or impairments.
Experts in the design and installation of easy access bathrooms for the elderly and disabled, we’ve taken some time to review bedroom safety and outlined some important tips to follow to ensure it remains a safe space, whether for you or a loved one.
Getting out of bed can become a bedroom safety hazard for elderly people, but there are several solutions which help to minimise risk.
A common issue is having nothing to hold onto. A sturdy bedside table can help remedy this, or purpose-built adaptive devices such as bed rails or floor to ceiling poles provide something to hold on to when getting in and out of bed.
Before you stand up when getting out of bed, first sit on the bed for a moment with your feet on the floor. This ensures there’s no dizziness and that your balance is fine. Also take this moment to ensure there’s nothing in your path that you could trip over, like pillows or bedding that may have slipped off the bed in the night.
It’s essential for seniors that the bed is the correct height. Particularly as mattresses can be rather tall, this can raise the height of the bed considerably and cause difficulties getting on and off the bed.
You should just be able to sit on the bed, and not have to climb at all. If your bed isn’t the appropriate height, it can be raised using bed lifts, or it may be possible to adjust the box spring to lower it. Alternatively, a full adjustable bed may be a good solution.
The bedroom floor should be kept clear of rugs, wires and anything else that could cause a trip – don’t forget about bed sheets and bedspreads that might reach to the floor too. Keep the bedroom tidy and clear of clutter, especially if a walking assistance device is used.
It should be as easy as possible to turn lights on and off in the bedroom. The main light switch should be in an easy to reach place when you enter the room, and you could consider fitting a main light switch close to the bedside.
If having a main light switch fitted isn’t an option, opt instead for a touch-activated bedside lamp. This makes it easy to have light turned on and off, particularly important if you’re getting up in the night frequently.
It’s also possible to get small and unobtrusive automatic nightlights that are motion sensitive. These are great if you’re getting up in the middle of the night, and you can use one or two to guide the way to the bathroom, helping minimise the risk of a fall.
You should make sure that all important items, such as frequently-worn clothes, are easy to access – not too high up in a wardrobe or too low down in a chest of drawers. When getting dressed, keep a sturdy chair in the bedroom, allowing you to get dressed whilst sitting down.
Keep an easy to use phone on the bedside table, so that assistance can be easily called for in the night if required.
Following these simple and cost-effective tips on bedroom safety for the elderly helps keep the bedroom a safe space for seniors; with some adjustments it’s made easier to stay in your own home. More Ability are experts in making bathrooms accessible and safe for the elderly - for information, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.