Any thoughts on how to help mom not fall out of bed?


She and my dad are in Assisted Living, so most of the bed rails are considered entrapment dangers. I have a bed pillow cut in half and stuck under the mattress, but it really seems like it won't help for long. She just seems to creep feet first out of the bed.

She has a bit of dementia, but is really pretty "with it" yet. And she is mortified if she has to call someone for help. And, of course, dad gets mad at her. Helpful!

any thoughts?

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My first thought is to wonder if there is any hope of re-training Dad? This lady does not need anger at something she can't help! Does he think she falls out of bed deliberately? Life-long patterns die hard, so you might not have a lot of success with that, but it's worth a try, eh?

Then I wonder why she is falling out of bed. How often does it happen? Have you seen it about to happen? Is she agitated or calm? You say she seems to slip out feet first. Does she seem to be trying to get out of bed deliberately, for example to go to the bathroom? The "why" MIGHT give some clues about prevention.

I think your use of a body pillow is clever. Here is another pillow idea. What if you put a foam wedge at the edge of the side of the bed, with the wide end along the side and the narow end pointing in. Place this toward the foot of the bed, so the her feet had to make it over a little "hill" before they could slide out of bed. Possibly secure this under the bottom sheet (maybe needing a wider sheet). I don't think this would be a big obstacle if she were awake and trying to get out of bed, but it might be enough if she's sleeping. I haven't tried this, so it is just a guess.

Have you moved all items she might hit away from the bed? Can you put padding on the floor? Does she have to call for help to get back into bed? She shouldn't hesitate -- that is why she is in assisted living, because she sometimes needs assistance. But if it really bothers her could she simply spend the rest of the night on the floor, if there were a comforter and pillow easily accessible down there? Does someone come in each morning? Really, the best thing is to call for help. Convince your dad of that, too!

Good luck to you. And if you find something that works well, come back and share it -- lots of people would like to learn from someone else's experience!
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There are a couple of things they might allow. Lift rails are put on about 2/3 way up the bed. These give people something to pull themselves up to a seated position. They insert under the mattress, with legs to the floor for stability. They partially block, without being entrapping.

Another possibility is placing a "fall mattress" on the floor to cushion if she does fall out of bed at night. Ask the facility if these would be acceptable to them. I am sure they do not want their residents to be injured by falling.
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If the facility they are in does not allow rails, then ask them for suggestions, or make it clear she needs to be checked on more often... you are paying for these services..... let them know your concerns.... if nothing is done, consider another facility....
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Lower the bed. At least she won't have far to fall.
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