The ideal bed height for elderly must be around twenty to twenty-three inches from the ground. Let us see why.
Do you have an older member in the family who has mobility or health issues? If yes, the best thing you can do to make their life easy is by choosing an ideal bed height. Did you know, according to “Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,” the ideal bed height for elderly must be around twenty to twenty-three inches from the ground?
Seniors have a greater chance of falling, which is one of the simplest ways to make their lives easier, safe, and comfortable. Read the article below, and you will get to know the details and tips to look after your senior members at home. Moreover, choosing an ideal bed height for seniors will become easier after reading the article.
Why Is A Bed’s Height Such An Essential Factor To Consider?
Did you know one out of five older people hurt themselves by falling from the bed? In one year, almost 800,000 seniors are admitted to hospitals due to falling from the bed. According to stats in 2030, every hour almost, seven people will die due to the same reason. This is shocking and something very severe that we, young family members, must think over seriously.
Elders who fall can have serious bone injuries and head injuries. The reason is either mobility or weak bones due to age. Hence, choosing an ideal bed height for the elderly is essential.
One more surprising fact that science shows that by the age of 70, women will get shorter by two inches and men by 1.2 to 1.5 inches. Are you shocked? But it is true. This shortening of height is also one of the primary reasons why seniors fall from their bed.
6 Reasons Older People Fall From Bed
Every year the body experiences a lot of changes that hamper the movability of the older members. Researchers prove that older people start losing their balance with age. This reduces their confidence level. They experience stiffness in their muscles that do not let them move freely. Reducing day-to-day activity due to fear of falling is another reason for muscles getting stiff, and thus, the number of falls increases.
Major Reasons Include-
- Weak bones: one of the significant reasons for senior members hurting themselves by falling from the bed is their fragile bones. Weak bones can be due to age or problems like arthritis, joint pain, muscular pain, leg injury, shortening of breath, and much more.
- Poor eyesight- is another problem that people face with the passing age. Older people cannot see things clearly; they also face adjusting themselves to sudden changes in light.
- Health issues: some older people have cardiac problems and have had strokes in the past. This again adds fear to their lives and disturbs their confidence. Urinary incontinence, dementia, Alzheimer’s are common health issues that increase the chances of elders falling. Low blood pressure and diabetes are the reasons for older people falling. Their body is not strong from within, and they keep feeling dizzy. This is the reason they fall from the bed and also while moving around.
- House conditions– slippery floors, poor lighting conditions, improper slippers, and water spilled on the floor- are also the main reasons elders fall. High and low surfaces also are one of the factors that can make elders fall.
- Any history of falls earlier: if the older member has fallen twice in the past six months, there are chances of them falling again. As there is a fear within them that makes them fall often.
- Sudden change in posture: also widely known as postural instability, is another reason older people fall. For example, a sudden change from standing to sitting can cause a loss of balance.
What Is The Best Type Of Bed For Elders, High Or Low?
Neither a high nor a too low bed is suitable for seniors or elders of the family. A mattress that is easy to step in and get out of is the best.
A high bed will make the older people exert pressure while getting in and out this, which can cause severe injuries and muscle pain. Elderly members of the family generally urinate often due to diabetes and other health conditions. There is a greater risk of injury if they get out of a high bed several times.
If the bed is too high, you can give a small stool to use to your elders. But, it can be a risky affair. Further, all those seniors who have experienced a higher surface fall will be scared of using an elevated bed for daily chores.
The same happens with short-height beds. The beds with shorter height can cause severe injury and result in cramps and pain in the muscles. Generally, elders need much assistance to get out of a lower bed than a higher one. Thus a bed on which the seniors can sit and stand with ease is the best. Their feet must touch the ground without stressing the body. As mentioned earlier, the ideal bed height for the elderly is one with a minimum height of twenty inches from a floor to twenty-three inches.
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What Are The Minimum Adjustments You Can Make To Make The Bed Perfect For Elders?
Buying a new bed is not possible for all. Sometimes the elders are so much in love with their things that they do not want to change them. In such cases, you can make small changes to make the bed of ideal height for elderly.
- Cutting the bed’s leg is a straightforward tip you can follow to make the bed of ideal height for the elderly.
- If you don’t want to destroy the bed’s frame can get the wheels removed from the bed. Or, if the bed does not have wheels, then lower down the base or the wooden slats.
- Another thing you can do is buy a new mattress that has a low height. Those who have a softer bed than the ideal size can buy a mattress of a greater height. Further, using a mattress topper will also increase the bed’s height to make it a perfect height for the elderly.
- Use bed risers if the bed is of low height so that the bed of the senior member of the family becomes ideal for him/her.
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How Are Hospital Beds Valid For Senior Members Of The Family?
To make the bed of ideal height for the elderly is to buy an adjustable bed or a hospital bed. What more can one ask for than purchasing a bed, that is easy to adjust according to the older people’s needs? It fits according to the requirements of the person’s body.
Earlier, these kinds of beds were only available in hospitals and health centers. But, today, most furniture stores have adjustable beds.
There are several advantages of hospital beds.
- One of the advantages of a hospital bed at home is, it helps older adults get in and out with ease. It also makes the bed easy to lay down, sit-up, and adjust the body with ease.
- These beds have adjustable bed rails.
- The best thing about the hospital bed is it can be adjusted according to the height that the elderly find suitable for him/her. Thus, making the bed of ideal height for the elderly.
- These beds add to the safety of the user and reduce the chances of falling.
- You can also lower and raise the bed’s head according to the requirement of the user.
- Anyone can operate these beds with ease, and even the elder can do it independently without much assistance.
- Hospital beds for home use also have wheels. Sitting in one room can be tedious; therefore, you can take the elderly’s bed anywhere in the house.
- The lock mechanism of the wheels also adds to the safety of the user.
Few elderly do not like the look of these beds as it looks typically like a hospital bed. Using a hospital bed at home is not preferred by most elders as they are fussy about using their beds.
Another issue with a hospital or adjustable bed is they capture a lot of space in the room. Thus, making it difficult for the caregiver or a family member to move around with ease.
13 Tips To Make The Bedroom And Bed Safe For Elders
- Never let the curtains, bed linens, and sheets touch the floor as they can get tangled with the elders’ feet and can cause serious injury.
- Keep the room of the elders lighted up. The more light, the better it is for them to move around freely. Installing some night lights could greatly help your loved one.
- Side tables must be of the same height as the bed. So that elders can reach for their medicines, water, lamp, torch with ease.
- Never keep a rug in the room of the older person. The bathroom mat must be non-slippery and must not move from its position.
- Adding bed rails can make the lives of older people easier. Getting in and out of bed will not require any assistance.
- Do make sure that the slippers of the house’s elders are skid-resistant and hold the ground well.
- Never keep any wires in the room open; this will minimize the risk of falling.
- Always keep a sturdy chair in the room so that if the elderly want to rest on the chair, he/she can do it with ease.
- Keep a walking stick near the bed so that going to the bathroom becomes convenient.
- The switches to the lights, fan, AC, and TV must be reachable. It is better to remote on the side table or near the bed.
- Before letting the older adults in and out of the bed do ensure that, the corners of the bed are smooth and not pointed to reduce the chances of falls and injuries.
- The passage or pathway to the bed and the washroom must be lit up to minimize falling chances.
- Another essential thing to keep in mind if you have a pet is not to let it move around the older adult’s bed. This will help them be safe in their bedroom.
Ensure there is a lighted pathway, no rugs, no pets in the walking area, and even floors are something we need to keep in mind when there is an elderly member in the house. The safety of the seniors of the house depends on other members of the family.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Ideal Bed Height For Elderly
What is the best hospital bed mattress for seniors?
For the elderly persons of the house, various mattresses are available for hospital beds. These mattresses are tough, easy to maintain, and are also waterproof. Generally, the mattress for a hospital bed is antibacterial and acid-resistant. They are strong enough to withstand weight up to 450 to 500 pounds.
Other than a hospital bed, what beds are suitable for the elderly?
Electric and semi-electric beds available in the market. These beds can put an end to backaches, muscle pain, and joint pains. Electric beds are best for people with limited mobility. It is perfect for those who have been suggested bed-rest by doctors. Everything in an electric bed is automatic; with a touch of a button, the bed can adjust to the body.
Turning from one side to another, raising or lowering the bed, and raining the head and side rails is possible with a small button. With most electric and semi-electric beds, there is a remote which is easy to operate. Now, spending hours on the mattress will not be painful and stressful for the elderly.
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The other family members can play a vital role in increasing older people’s confidence and helping them change their lifestyle. Motivating them and making simple changes in their life like selecting an ideal bed height for the elderly will help them get back their confidence. This will help the elders of the house to move without fear.
Every person is different and has unique requirements. Thus, an ideal bed will help the elders move in and out of it safely and comfortably.