Risks of Bed Rails

Should You Install Bed Rails?





If you are caring for a loved one that is at risk of falling out of bed you may be considering using bed rails. Knowing a loved one is safely tucked up in bed at night can give a caregiver that extra peace of mind.

Used correctly, bed rails can help reduce the risk of falling out of bed for certain people, but caregivers need to be aware of the risks of incorrect usage.

For example, people who fear falling out of bed, for instance after a stroke, can feel much safer with bed rails.

But for someone with dementia, bed rails can be hazardous and increase the risk of injury.



Examples of bed rail products:








Bed Rail Safety Concerns


  • It is not uncommon for people with dementia to attempt to climb over bed rails overnight; for people who are at risk of falls due to night time wandering, lowering the bed to the floor is preferable.


  • People with dementia generally feel trapped by bed rails causing increased anxiety and agitation. It is not unusual for people with dementia to hang onto or shake bed rails overnight putting them at risk of injury.


  • Skin tears often occur when arms and legs get caught in between bed rails. Heads can also get stuck in the space between the mattress and the bed rail.


  • Purchasing bed protectors can soften bed rails but many people with dementia and agitation will pull bed protectors off. Be sure that any bed protectors are secure and fit firmly around the bed rail.


Able Life Bedside Extend-A-Rail - Adjustable Length Home Bed Rail and Stand Suppor Handle + Included Safety Strap
Able Life Bedside Extend-A-Rail



The use of bed rails needs to be considered carefully. Keep in mind that a person’s needs and health can change over time and the use of bed rails may need to be reassessed.


If you are concerned a loved one may fall out of bed other strategies to consider before using bed rails include:


  • Purchasing a high-low bed and lowering it to the ground overnight. Place a soft mattress next to the bed for a safer landing.




Cordless Bed Alarm System - No Alarm in Patient Room!Consider this Cordless Bed Alarm System with no alarm in the patient’s room.
This is a wireless, cordless bed alarm system; when the patient lifts their weight from the bed pad, the alarm will sound, up to 100 feet from the pad. The pad is made of a high quality soft vinyl, incontinence protected and features a layer of foam for more comfort for the patient.


  • Use grip and bed handles on the side of the bed as an alternative to a bed rail to assist with transfers.




  • Move one side of the bed close to the wall.



  • Ensure a person is ready for sleep when they are put to bed.


  • Consider modifying the environment to encourage sleep. Night lights, soft music and ensuring the TV is turned off may induce sleep.


  • Many older people fall overnight as they can’t get to the toilet in time. Installing a bed handle, using a urinal overnight or placing a commode next to the bed can make toileting safer and easier.


Bed rails are designed to provide protection and security to individuals who cannot reliably support themselves, and can also be used as a precautionary measure for those who will be limited their bed for an extended period of time. These rails are often portable, and typically feature handholds that assist the user in rising to a seated or standing position.


If you have a loved one entering a care home, their need for bed rails will be considered on an individual basis. A restraint form must be signed by family and a doctor detailing the specific use of bed rails and reassessed every few months.


If you have decided that you or your loved one need the added safety that a bed rail provides, consider  my personal recommendation:

Recommended:  The Stander EZ Adjust & Pivoting Home Bed Rail + 3 Pocket Organizer Pouch.  
Stander EZ Adjust & Pivoting Home Bed Rail + 3 pocket organizer pouch + Adjustable in Length to 26"-34"-42" + Included Safety Strap + Lifetime Gaurantee
Stander EZ Adjust & Pivoting Home Bed Rail + 3 pocket organizer pouch + Adjustable in Length to 26″-34″-42″ + Included Safety Strap + Lifetime Guarantee




This is only bed rail that adjusts in length after installation.

This Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail works well as a side rail for preventing falls, as well as a support bar for getting in and out of bed.

It adjusts from 26″ to 34″ to 42″ with the push of a button.







  • It includes a dual safety strap that secures it to the bed frame.


  • The rail also folds down and out of the way when it isn’t in use.


  • The Stander EZ Adjust can be installed on either side of the bed in between the mattress and box spring.


  • The Stander EZ Adjust works well on any size home or hospital bed rail and at 23″ high it accommodates the thicker pillow top mattresses; also works well with adjustable beds.


  • It comes with a bonus 6-pocket organizer, which prevents entrapment and is perfect for keeping handy items close by.


  • Weight capacity: 300lbs


The Stander EZ Adjust is a best seller on Amazon, and has over 1,000 customer reviews, with a 4.5 star total rating.



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.






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6 thoughts on “Risks of Bed Rails

  1. This was some really great information. I was not aware of the safety hazards with using bed rails. I always thought they were safe to use except for children who could decide to stick their head between the rails. What would you suggest for children instead of bed rails? What would you suggest for sleep walkers?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kristena. The rails shown in the post work great for adult sleepwalkers and this who wander due to dementia. The bed alarm shown is also an excellent idea. Children’s bed rails are a different product, but easy to find atdepartment stores and anywhere kids furniture is sold.

  2. Hey,
    Very nice and informative post.
    The rail designs have improved a lot in past few years and even different technologies are being implemented where you will be notified if someone in your house falls down. They even get an emergency button, when pressed, it places an emergency call and notify 911.
    Nice work, keep it up.

    1. Thanks for you comment, Abdul. yes, these products have improved, and things like the bed alarm can really give a caregiver peace of mind at night.

  3. This is a very touching website. I especially appreciate your page about Sympathy Cards and what message to say in such a card. My sister just lost her husband and I have been sending her cards about once a month, just to let her know that I am thinking about her.

    Also, the chemo hats are amazing. I never thought that it would be important to make sure the hat fits to cover the hairline.

    It is a very thorough and well thought-out website. Your story in the ‘About this blog and me’ page is very special.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Myrabeth. That is really thoughtful of you to continue to send your sister cards. I’m sure it means a lot to her, because the grieving goes on, long after most people are done giving their condolences.

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