Case study - Falling out of bed where bed rails are not appropriate
I visited Anne who was living at home with her son and his family. Anne has dementia and a care package in place which was working well. I was called out to see her following a fall out of bed with a request for an assessment for bed safety rails (cot sides).
Anne had fallen out of her standard height single bed during the night, luckily with no serious injury, but a problem that needed to be addressed. The family wondered whether bed safety rails would solve the problem which is a logical assumption to make. However, I discussed with the family that rails would not be appropriate for her, may well put her at more risk because of her confusion and disorientation and she may attempt to climb over the bed rails.
I recommended a profiling bed with the ability to lower to the floor or within inches of the floor, which could be raised to a good working height for the carers who were now assisting her with personal care on the bed. This was to be used in conjunction with a fall out mattress placed beside the bed should she fall.
The family bought a bed with the features that I had recommended and this solved the difficulty, the family were reassured that all precautions had been taken to ensure that Anne was safe. Because of the height adjustment on the bed the carers were able to care for Anne at a height that would not cause them back problems.