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What safety measures should nursing homes use to prevent falling out of bed?

Most people have fallen out of bed at some point in their lives. It usually causes little more than a shock. Yet, if it happens to someone in a nursing home, the damage could be much more severe.

Those in nursing homes are typically at the stage of life where their body is not as strong and resilient as it once was. Often they are there because they no longer have the full ability to care for themselves. Hence nursing home staff should take steps to keep residents safe at all times, including when they are asleep.

Here are some ways they can do that:

Add rails to the bed

It is easy to roll off a flat surface such as a mattress. Raised guard rails stop you. Particularly restless patients may need beds that contain them even more.

Raise the edges with something soft

Some residents may feel you are treating them like a baby in a cot by using rails. Hence subtler raised edges may be more acceptable. These could include adding pillows or throw cushions to the sides of the bed or inserting a length of foam along the sides under the sheet.

Lower the bed and soften the landing

The further someone falls and the harder the surface they fall onto, the more likely injury becomes. Reducing bed height and padding the floor with soft rugs or foam flooring cannot stop a fall, but they can reduce the consequences.

If you discover your parent was injured because they fell out of bed, it is crucial to consider whether the nursing home did all it should have done to prevent this from happening. While accidents can occur, sometimes it is down to negligence. If so, you may want legal help to determine if you can claim compensation.