Bed mobility aids

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Getting in and out of the bed is often a task for many elderly, especially those who have conditions that limit their mobility. There are also chances of falls that may worsen the situation further. However, bedroom aids can come to your rescue, says Dr Nidhi Kumar. 

Aids or assistive devices help in performing activities of daily living for many elders. These can be categorized into sub groups depending upon their usage, e.g. mobility aids, bathroom aids, toileting aids, household aids, dressing aids, etc. In a continuing series on aids for elders, consultant physiotherapist Dr Nidhi Kumar focuses on bedroom aids.

Here are some mobility and disability aids for the bedroom:

Knee support: The knee support provides optimum comfort and pressure relief for the lower back and hips. It helps keep the back in the natural ‘S’ shape during sleep. It is secured in place with a ‘touch close’ fastening and covered with a soft polyester fleece.

Bed rails: Bed rails and bars help people to get in and out of bed easily. These supports can be an important means for people to retain their independence in the bedroom. A bed rail can either be fixed to the bed itself, or slid beneath the mattress, depending on the model.

Water proof bedding: This is used for people with incontinence. It is easy to care, wipe or wash with a disinfectant solution. The fabric contains bacteriostat/fungistat to prevent the growth of germs. It is flame retardant for added safety.

Reacher: It is used to pick up small items securely with minimal finger flexion. It features a lightweight shaft and an easy-to-close hand grip.

HC_AA39001_mediumMattress tilt: The Mattress Tilt is used under the mattress at the bottom of the bed to relieve the symptoms of swollen ankles, varicose veins or lower back pain. Alternatively, it can be used under the mattress at the top of the bed to relieve respiratory problems.
NR_F19625Cot sides: The correct use of a cot side is to create a solid barrier to prevent the sleeper from falling out of bed. The falls and their fatal effects have been discussed in an earlier article here.
image_6002Glide sheets: Glide sheets ensure a smooth glide between two surfaces, thus reducing skin friction for the patient and strain on the carer. The smart sheet has handles along the sides and on both ends to aid the carer’s grip.
mattressBed sitter: This is an ingenious armchair shaped comfort support that helps maintain an upright comfortable position when sitting up in bed.
image_6027Incontinence pads: For medium to heavy incontinence, these pads are widely used by patients. The shape is anatomic and ensures comfort and leakage prevention.
image_6193Tap turner: The innovative design of the tap turner makes operating taps easier. These are durable and multi-functional devices to help users with weak hand strength to operate taps. The handle has a rubber moulding to give a firm and controllable grip. They are made of plastic, and are therefore rust proof and always warm to the touch. They have colour coded handles to clearly identify hot and cold taps and are an economical alternative to replacing taps.
Key turner: Keys are usually thin and slender and require fine motor movements. Thus these are ideal for persons with arthritis or a weak/ unstable grip.
image_6259Plug pull: These make electrical sockets much easier to use. Plug pulls or pullers make use of loops in the handles to increase leverage for those with poor grip. These are self-adhesive plastic pieces attached at the back of a three pin plug.


Where to buy: Here are a few links that you can check out to source assistive aid devices in India. Kindly note that we aren’t affiliated with any of these websites offering assistive aid devices. Please do your own research about them before you proceed.

All images courtesy: Dr Nidhi Kumar. To read about more assistive aids, click here and here


About Author

Dr. Nidhi Kumar

Dr Nidhi Kumar is a physiotherapist. She completed her masters in physiotherapy with specialization in Orthopedics. She has done her post graduate diploma in preventive and promotive health care from Apollo Hospital. She specialises in accurate diagnosis, executing a treatment plan, providing prognosis of the treatment & devising a tailor made exercise & rehabilitation programme. She also practises manual therapy & kinesio taping techniques and is qualified for both respectively.She also writes on