Safely Managing Bed Rails for Elderly People

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Bathrooms are not the only place in your house which is unsafe for elderly people and people with limited mobility. Falling while getting in and out of the bed is a common occurrence.

Bedroom safety is imperative for people who have problems with memory, sleeping, pain, uncontrolled body movement, or those who can not walk safely without assistance. Sometimes, fall-related injuries could lead to either hospitalization or in the worst case premature. So, make sure the bedroom is secure.

Among different aids that people use to reduce falls, bed safety rails or bed sides, are popular. These rails act as a board at the side of a bed connecting headboard with the foot board. They act as a supportive aid by providing stability while sitting or getting up from bed. You can even use it to assist with moving, rolling, or repositioning in bed. They even prevent the chances of the user rolling out of bed at night. Rails will majorly help you with the following things:

  • Assist the user with repositioning while lying in bed.

  • Prevents the risk of falling from bed.

  • Provide a strong and dependable support in transitioning to and from the bed.

Generally, bed rails are available in these types:

  • Rails with two vertical legs that stand on the floor. It even consists of a board that slips between your mattresses.

  • Legless rails have an L-shaped design in which the longer side slips in between the mattresses and the shorter side acts as a supportive hand.

  • Swing-down rails are handy. They come with a handy pocket where you can put a cellphone or other items.

  • Portable rail is helpful in preventing the user from rolling out of bed.

  • Foldable rail is compatible with both sofa beds and slatted beds.

You can adjust the rails both in length and height and are suitable for different types of bed. A bed grab rail serves as a clamp to support the bed frame.

Once you decide to purchase a safety rail as per your requirements, the next step is to figure out how you can install it.

Here's what you need to take care of:

There are three ways in which you can install a rail. First is to attach the sides between the mattress and box spring. Second is to attach the mount to the side of the bed. Third is a free-standing transfer pole between the ceiling and the floor. 

How to Safely Install the Rail 

  • Before using, always make sure that the rails are secure and at the correct place.
  • Place the head-end and foot-end cross braces between the fourth and the third springs on the bed for stability.
  • See that the arrows on the cross brace are pointing to the center of the bed.
  • Make sure the distance between the rails does not exceed the width of the mattress. If this happens, the person can get trapped between the rail and the mattress.

At times, if the neck, or limbs become trapped in gaps between the bed rails because of poorly fitting rails. This can cause several hazards. Other risks involve rolling over the top of the rail, violent contact with the rail parts, climbing over the footboard, and so on. To avoid these risks, take care of the following things:

  • The rail is suitable for the bed and mattress.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the rail to remove potential threats.
  • Eliminate the gaps that could cause entrapment.
  • Approach professionals to carry out risk assessments before using.
  • Select a rail according to the age, size and weight of the person.


Bed rails or bed sides act as a barrier between individuals and the ground, while also providing a firm place to grip when regaining balance and repositioning the body in bed. To get the best of the equipment, make sure to eliminate all potential risks that could threaten the life of your loved ones.