When caring for an elderly loved one, you want to do everything in your power to endure their safety and happiness. If they are at home with us, we want to make sure we can be by their side to provide them with the assistance they need to live every day with ease. If we can’t maintain the role of caregiver ourselves we want to ensure they have a great care giver in their home with them or place them in a facility where they will be taken good care of and watched over. No matter what route you take in providing care for the one you love, there is only so much time that anyone can keep an eye on them, especially at night. If they are in the home you or an aid may be asleep too, or the facility staff may not be able to check in on them as often as they would like to while they slumber. A worthy investment to ensure their safety during their times of rest is a bed rail to reduce the risk of falling while unattended and to help. Here are some foresight to keep in mind when considering using this device.


There are three types of bed rails on the market, portable bed rails, portable bed rails specifically meant for children, and hospital bed rails. Portable bed rails are guards that can be added and removed from a consumer’s bed at home and in facilities. Hospital bed rails are either part of or an accessory to a hospital beds as well as other FDA-regulated beds.

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Many portable bed rails can be purchased online and in store without a prescription and without a referral from a physician. However, there are other types of bed rails that are considered medical devices and are subject to FDA regulations. When using bed rails use them with caution, especially with the elderly and people with mental and physical limitations. Bed rails can do lots of good for patients who need them, but when not installed and used properly, they can be hazardous.

There have been several reports of casualties do to improper installation or improper choice of bed rails. In 2004 a 75 year old hospice patient died having gotten his neck trapped between a mattress and a bed rail. Several reports to bed rail related deaths have been similar if not identical, and in most cases it was someone with a mental ailment having used a bed rail that was installed improperly.


Bed rails still serve a great purpose and help more than they harm. Don’t let the story above scare you away from this product, just be sure to keep it in mind as a cautionary tale when buying and installing your bedrail. When purchasing one, be sure to go to a reputable medical supply store to choose the right bed rail for your needs and obtain an FDA regulated bed and proper instructions on how to properly install it to ensure the utmost safety and efficiency of use.