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Father in SNF on PEG tube and incontinent. The only independence he had left was to get himself in and out of bed into his wheelchair. He would use the only bedrail (12 inches positioned vertically) to help in this transfer. Now there is nothing stationary that he can grasp for support. I know bed rails cannot be used for restraint and that they are sometimes a problem with seniors getting caught in them and risk of suffocation. But is there really a new 2016 ordinance that says they all need to be removed? Now my father is bed bound unless he calls for assistance (which he will not do) when he wants to get out of bed.

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Hi, I requested a special 12 inch vertical assist for getting up for my brother in a nursing home, and he got one - though he lives on the end of the facility which is residential care, not the nursing home end. The difference I've seen is that the residential ones can often walk without a wheelchair, but with a walker - if that's the case for your father, I think you should fight for this - it makes a huge difference. When you speak up, you can tell them that if he finds himself no longer able to get up safely when he needs to do so, he will deteriorate, physically, mentally. When you fight, you contact his doctor, nursing home executives - you can write a letter - actually, when you make your point to enough people, and ask what they can do, you can often find those who will agree. It is also possible for you as his family, to buy one of those vertical self help assists at any medical supply store or online, and you can provide it - when something really is safer and better for the patient, I have found it is possible to convince some people. Too many laws were written for one size patient, or one age or circumstance, and when the opposite is true, busy staffs all listening to general rules from distant superiors, or interpreting rules in general - apply the wrong rules to help a patient, and when that happens and the pt deteriorates slowly, they don't pay any attention. To me, I always felt much better when I spoke my mind, to any and all, and asked for help to get something relevant done. When you mention that in his case, his health and safety will deteriorate below what it is, you get some people to pay attention.
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Another thing, those are not actually a "bed rail" - those are lifted up and down and could catch people's parts in them. What you are describing is a "Transfer Handle" for a bed - available in many varieties on Amazon.

I really suggest that if you think this matters to your dad, that you make some time to help him make the point to the nursing home. I've worked in direct care support for years, and helping a person continue to do whatever it is they can, is a major part of motivation that helps them keep going as strong as they can - and with dignity, not always lying there waiting for busy help to come.
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CMS (center for medicare services) is going after bed rails and facilities are running scared. BUT if the patient or POA submits a written request to keep the upper rail as an assistive device, they can keep it.
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My sister works at a memory care center, where they have done the same and of course have done away with restraints. They are also admitting more folks there who have more serious behavioral problems. There are always problems getting enough STNA's (Ohio) to work at these facilities on top of that, and what few there are stay impossibly busy with too many patients. I would think there will be more falls. I can't imagine any of this will actually be good for the residents. For the 15 days my own mother was there back in 2014, she managed to fall twice trying to find the bathroom at night. Again, not enough help and it doesn't look like they can keep enough good dedicated workers because they're overwhelmed as it is.
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I'm sorry for 3rd post here - I said help him make his point -and that's only if an argument would be OK for him. If that would tire him, you should make the point yourself, to all you can - be polite but explain, and ask others who know him to support your view that he is able to do this and it matters to him. If you are persistent, I think you'll find some who support this, for keeping someone healthy and strong and independent as possible is the goal. Good luck!
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There can not be 2 full length bed rails on a bed in a facility.
There can not be more than 3 short bed rails on a bed in a facility.
If the bed rails go the full length of the bed that is considered a restraint.
They can use 1 long one or short ones and wedges.
It is not a matter of suffocating it is "restraining" someone within the bed.
I think the type you are talking about should be permitted.
I think it might be worth it to ask to see how the code is written and how they are interpreting the code.
(Anytime someone says there is a code and it somehow effects you you have every right to see that code and how it is written.)
And I am sure that you can get a Doctor's order that would over ride the interpretation they have.
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I work in a SNF in Arizona and we have the patient or MPOA sign to have the 2 rails at the head of the bed up so the patient can move themselves around in bed. We do not use the rails at the end of the bed as they seem to be the ones that cause most injuries and are considered a restraint. The rails at the head of the bed are for mobility. I have never heard of an across the board law prohibiting total use of bedrails however they we do need to have patient consent.
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BTW - it is not always a matter of not enough help when someone falls. People always make that assumption. The use of bed alarms is important as patients can get more confused at night and do not use the call lights. No staff person can be everywhere for everyone all the time. Frequent falls can be a result of impulsive behavior If someone you know is having that problem in a facility ask if they are using bed and chair alarms which are perfectly acceptable and help prevent many risk behaviors.
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Ask for a meeting. There are exceptions to policy. Not having side rails is a significant change that impacts his quality of life as he can no longer be mobile. He is no longer safe if he attempts to get up on his own without rails. Key words: quality of life , significant change and safety- regulatory agencies love those words. A call to the nursing home ombudsman if they do not listen.
Good luck and keep us posted...
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There have been nasty accidents, including fatal accidents, involving bedrails. This is true, and deplorable.

In terms of casualties-per-person using (and benefiting from) a bedrail, though, accidents have been vanishingly rare (thank goodness); and when you go on to read the details of a particular incident the cause of the accident is not usually the bed rail per se. The cause is usually somebody, or several people, doing something monumentally stupid and dangerous; such as continuing to use a bed rail that is faulty and requires maintenance; or using a bed rail that doesn't properly fit the bed it's attached to, so that there is a head-sized gap between the bottom edge and the mattress.

Since you can't cure stupid, some authorities have chosen to cure bed rails instead. I find it frustrating. Competent, responsible professionals in the care services industry must find it absolutely maddening.
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