As the saying goes, “there’s no place like home!” Most adults prefer to stay in their homes as they get older—where they feel comfortable, and life is familiar. If you plan to continue living at home, you need to consider the changes in your vision, hearing, mobility, sense of smell, and strength. These changes are a normal part of the aging process but can increase your risk of injury. Therefore, minor safety hazards throughout the home can pose significant harm. And with age, injuries can take longer to heal. If you or your family are concerned about your safety, a few basic home safety measures can make a significant difference.
As you inspect your home and take action to prevent home injuries, the bedroom is a good place to start. The bedroom is where we spend a considerable number of hours of the day sleeping, getting ready in the morning, and winding down at night. It is where we spend time when we don’t feel well or are recuperating. Many of us find great comfort in our bedrooms, and it’s where we want to feel safe, especially when getting up in the middle of the night in dim light or with stiff muscles. Ensuring that your bedroom is safe can help you live independently with confidence.
And there is nothing more important in the bedroom than the bed. Bed safety is not something that most of us think about. It might be difficult to consider a time when our current bed will no longer accommodate us or can even pose a danger to our health. At Dawn House, we have designed a bed system with a host of features to enhance the quality of your sleep so you can continue to enjoy a vibrant life.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for Americans over 65 and one of the leading causes of accident-related deaths. According to the CDC, three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for a fall injury every year. Falls often occur in the bedroom when getting in and out of bed or rolling out of bed during the night. But the good news is preventative measures can reduce the risk.
Bedroom Safety Tips
As you assess your room, take a careful look at the common bedroom hazards that could pose a potential threat. With some planning, you can reduce the risk of injury with these simple bedroom safety tips.
Tripping Hazards. Since slips and falls are common, eliminating fall hazards should be top of mind.
- Secure all electrical cords, so they are not in any pathway.
- Carpets should be wrinkle-free. Throw rugs should be secured or removed.
- Floors should not be damaged or uneven and free of clutter.
- Hampers should hold dirty clothes, and clothing should not be dropped on the floor.
- Robes and pajamas should not be too loose or too long to be tripped on when walking.
Fire Hazards. You want the bedroom to be a haven and free of accidents.
- Make sure a smoke detector is in the bedroom to alert in case of a fire. Batteries should be changed twice a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of the home.
- Old or potentially faulty electronics should be replaced.
- Don’t smoke in your bedroom, where you could accidentally fall asleep and drop a lit cigarette.
- Make sure all candles are properly extinguished, and never leave a candle unattended.
- Have an electrician assess the working condition of the outlets in the bedroom.
- Many seniors use space heaters to keep warm. Make sure the heater has an automatic safety shutoff and is kept from soft furnishings.
The Bed. As the focal point and most important piece of furnishing, take extra care with bed safety.
- While comfortably sitting on the edge of your bed, ideally, both feet should reach the floor with your feet flat, so you are steady when getting in and out of bed. The bed should not be too high or too low, which can pose a fall risk.
- Bed rails can prevent rolling out of bed or assist with standing and sitting on the bed.
- Adjustable beds have many benefits, including easing back and joint pain and assisting those with limited mobility. Innovative beds now have the functionality to raise and lower for ease of getting in and out of bed.
- Bedding and bed skirts should just skim the floor.
Furniture. Appropriately spaced and sturdy furnishings can prevent accidents when maneuvering the bedroom.
- Bedside tables should be placed close to the bed to avoid reaching too far.
- A sturdy chair near the bed can help with balance.
- Furniture should be solidly in place or anchored to the wall, so they don’t fall over if grabbed while falling or slipping.
Lighting. Injury from a preventable fall can often be attributed to poor lighting.
- Make sure your bedroom is well-lit to make it easy to navigate with a light switch near the entrance to your bedroom.
- Keep a flashlight on the bedside table, especially during winter and stormy weather.
- You may need to get up during the night, so keep touch-activated lamps by the bed, nightlights can help in the dark, or motion-activated underbed lighting, a feature of the
- Closet lighting, whether installed or battery-powered, can make dressing and finding what you need without straining to reach or move items easier.
Extras. What else can you do?
- Since many seniors live alone, an emergency alert system and keeping a cell phone with emergency numbers by the bed can help in the event of an accident.
- Underfoot pets should be crated or kept in another part of the house at night, so your pets are comfortable and secure and not causing a tripping hazard.
- Keep your eyeglasses, hearing aids, walker, or cane within arm’s reach, so these are easily accessible.
- Wear non-slip socks, sturdy slippers, or supportive footwear at night when walking around your bedroom.
Getting In & Out of Bed
The Dawn House bed system has incorporated many features into the design to help seniors get in and out of bed easily while lowering the risk of falling or injury. Bed safety is crucial for older adults, and there is no better place to start than the optimal bed height. The Dawn House bed base raises and lowers to the perfect height for you to easily get in and out of bed or to sit on the edge of the bed with your feet comfortably on the ground for stability. Few adjustable beds on the market offer this feature.
To increase safety, an optional stylish bed rail can be installed to use as a handhold to assist when getting in and out of bed or support when shifting positions. Bed rails can also prevent rolling out of the bed or falling. The bed rails move seamlessly in unison with any base adjustment. No one wants their bedroom to feel clinical. The bed rails have been designed to be supportive and stylish, so they don’t look out of place in the comfort of your bedroom.
For sleepers who frequently get up in the middle of the night, underbed lighting on the Dawn House bed base turns on the moment your feet touch the floor. The motion-activated LED lighting offers better visibility in low-light bedrooms, so you can feel confident getting up at night and walking safely.
The Dawn House mattresses offer patented edge support. The solid edge around the top of the mattress supports you while sitting on the side of the bed or is helpful when getting in and out of bed. The supportive edge helps when leaning against the mattress or walking around the bed while not interfering with the comfort of the mattress and still maximizing your sleeping area.Many people may think that falls are an inevitable part of aging or that accidents happen and that nothing can be done to prevent them. That is not true; steps can be taken to reduce fall risks. Take a moment to assess your home, particularly your bedroom and bed, to see what modifications can be made to make your home as safe as possible.