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Bed safety rails question

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,215
A question for forum members:

A friend of mine is currently making arrangements to place his mother in a care home due to her advancing dementia. She is self funding. At present she is in hospital recovering from a broken hip. He has found a suitable home and the home are due to assess her next week. He has already been to see the home of course and as his mother may be a a high falls risk, he has asked the home about pressure mats etc. He asked the care manager whether they use bed safety rails to assist with the prevention of falls. Her response was that they don't use them as this would be seen as a deprivation of liberty and would therefore may require a deprivation of liberty safeguarding order.

He asked me if this was correct as I had previous experience of my mother-in-law in care, but I didn't know the answer. Anyone know?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,216
South coast
I was told that the reason mums care home didnt use bed rails was because thay could get tangled up in them or injure themself trying to climb over them
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,745
Chester
No experience but posts on TP seem to suggest that they aren't sensible for PWD who are still mobile as they might try to climb over them and then fall.

The suggestion if they are likely to try to get out of bed is to have the bed lowered to the ground with a pressure mat next to it.

Don't recall any mention of DOLS in the context of bedrails.

In this context I was alarmed to see my mum had bed rails when she was in hospital, but this was when she was very poorly, they were removed as soon as she was mobile, or well enough to be mobile.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,400
cornwall
A question for forum members:

A friend of mine is currently making arrangements to place his mother in a care home due to her advancing dementia. She is self funding. At present she is in hospital recovering from a broken hip. He has found a suitable home and the home are due to assess her next week. He has already been to see the home of course and as his mother may be a a high falls risk, he has asked the home about pressure mats etc. He asked the care manager whether they use bed safety rails to assist with the prevention of falls. Her response was that they don't use them as this would be seen as a deprivation of liberty and would therefore may require a deprivation of liberty safeguarding order.

He asked me if this was correct as I had previous experience of my mother-in-law in care, but I didn't know the answer. Anyone know?
Hi. They are correct but only if she lacks “capacity “.If she has “capacity “ and consents to using them there is no problem.
If a person is mobile though they are not recommended as the person can climb out. I’m assuming that this person will be having a nursing bed in the care home?Nursing beds have bed rails on but don’t necessarily have to be used.
My dad has a hospital bed at home and uses bed rails. As you know DOLS do not apply at home.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,647
North West
Hi. They are correct but only if she lacks “capacity “.If she has “capacity “ and consents to using them there is no problem.
If a person is mobile though they are not recommended as the person can climb out. I’m assuming that this person will be having a nursing bed in the care home?Nursing beds have bed rails on but don’t necessarily have to be used.
My dad has a hospital bed at home and uses bed rails. As you know DOLS do not apply at home.
Don't mean to split hairs @TNJJ but just to point out DOLS can apply in the home if deemed necessary. Its estimated that some 60,000 plus pwd at home should have a DOLS in place because they are being deprived of their liberty in some way. If mum had stayed at home and I had fenced the back garden and locked the gate -that would require a DOLS.

Bed rails do require a DOLS in someone who lacks capacity, but to be fair I have seen more people get trapped in them or fall because of them, so even if a DOLS is insitgated it would be very dependent on how the pwd is in coping with bed rails. Falls unfortunately are a risk that comes with advancing dementia, all we can do is trial things to see what helps to try and prevent falls
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,400
cornwall
Don't mean to split hairs @TNJJ but just to point out DOLS can apply in the home if deemed necessary. Its estimated that some 60,000 plus pwd at home should have a DOLS in place because they are being deprived of their liberty in some way. If mum had stayed at home and I had fenced the back garden and locked the gate -that would require a DOLS.

Bed rails do require a DOLS in someone who lacks capacity, but to be fair I have seen more people get trapped in them or fall because of them, so even if a DOLS is insitgated it would be very dependent on how the pwd is in coping with bed rails. Falls unfortunately are a risk that comes with advancing dementia, all we can do is trial things to see what helps to try and prevent falls
No problem @Palerider . I stand corrected. :)
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,209
My mother's CH doesn't use bedrails, but I think it's because they are, as others have said, likely to be a danger. Instead they use pressure mats. They used to put a pressure mat on the floor by my mother's bed, but they moved it to the bed itself so they can attend during the night if she gets up (I discovered this when I threw my handbag on the bed and set off an alert!)

Pressure mats seem to be the method of choice all round, my mother had one on her chair after she broke her hip, so that if she stood up a carer could immediately go and assist (both in the hospital and back in the care home).
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,765
Dorset
When he returned to his Care Home after breaking his hip The Banjoman had rails on his bed until he tried getting over them feet first, then they lowered the bed as far as they could and had a mattress and pressure mat on the floor beside the bed .