- A bed leaver is a board that fits under the mattress with a shaped rail at right angles to it. The board is designed to be used when a user is sat or lying on the mattress as their weight holds it in place. It is also possible to fix it round the bed base using a strap(s). The base is reversible for divan or slatted based beds.
Bed rails are usually held in place by the weight of the mattress and occupier and can be at one or both sides of the bed. They can be width adjustable to fit beds of different widths.
WHEN WOULD YOU USE A BED LEAVER/RAIL
- When a person is unable to get up from the bed.
- When a person needs assistance turning in bed.
POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN THINKING OF USING A BED LEAVER/RAIL
- Does the user use the bedside furniture/ radiators/window ledges to push/pull up to standing? If so a bed rail could be of use to them.
- Is the user dizzy when they stand up? In this case a bed leaver/rail could be used to steady themselves before moving away but it must be a securely fixed type of rail.
- Does the user have good upper limb movement and grip in order to hold onto the rail and turn over/stand up?
- Does the user have a weakness to one side? This may determine which side the rail is fixed.
- Does the user need support when approaching the bed? If yes a securely fixed rail must be used.
- Is the bed height less than 19”(480mm) compressed. Is yes then the bed height may need to be raised, as a better alternative to providing a rail, to assist the user to get off the bed.
- Can the user follow simple instructions in order to change the habit of a lifetime in order to modify the way they get out of bed.
- Two rails, one on either side of the bed can be appropriate in some circumstances. One to assist in the transfer and one slightly lower down the bed to assist in turning and moving in bed
- The strap for a bed leaver needs to be fitted around the bed base therefore needs to be fitted by a competent/able person.
- The person’s problem may be as a result of a soft mattress and therefore changing the mattress may solve the difficulty and therefore rails may not be needed. .
WHEN YOU WOULD NOT USE BED LEAVERS/RAILS
- The position of the bed may dictate which side the rail can be fitted and therefore may not be appropriate for someone with a weakness to one side. If possible the bedroom may need to be changed round to accommodate this.
- The user needs to access items on a bedside cabinet. The rails can interfere with this due to their positioning.
- The pushing /pull movement is not suitable for the user’s medical condition e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis and joint protection.
- A bed leaver should not be used if a user needs to get hold of it before sitting on the bed as the weight of the person keeps it in place.
- A bed leaver may be contraindicated for a person who moves around in the bed a lot as there is a risk of trapping between the bars (there is a bed leaver available with 3 bars to prevent this happening) and also between the bed and the bar (in the latter a bed leaver fastened with a strap would be more appropriate).
- A rail should not be used if it causes a trip hazard or interferes with the user using a walking aid/wheelchair.
- If the type of bed/mattress means it is not possible to use a rail which needs clamping to the bed.
The person’s problem may be as a result of a soft mattress and therefore changing the mattress may solve the difficulty and therefore rails may not be needed.