Bed Assist Devices for Seniors

Bed Assist Devices for Seniors (2021): 8 Helpful Bed Mobility Aids + Buying Guide

By kbeveridge

Bed Assist Devices for Seniors

So, you’ve already bought your home-use hospital bed and mattress, and you’re looking for accessories. If you need extra safety aids or transfer devices, there are many different options. If you need help distinguishing between different bed assist devices, you’ve come to the right place!

This guide outlines the best bed assist devices for seniors. We cover the most helpful bed mobility aids and review the leading models. We also explain how and why you can use each item.


Table of Contents



What Are the Different Types of Bed Assist Devices?

In this guide, we will discuss the following bed assist devices:

  • Bed tables
  • Bed rails
  • Bed alarms
  • Bed trapezes
  • Bed step stools
  • Leg lifters
  • Transfer poles
  • Bed grab bars

Each assist device has a distinct purpose and can help you with a wide range of mobility issues.

What is a Bed Table?

Bed tables sit over the bed frame and provide a flat surface that you can use while lying. They usually have a tall base that sits next to the mattress and a flat top that stretches across the bed. Some models allow you to adjust the height to suit your needs.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Tables?

The main benefit of a bed table is that you can eat, drink, write, or draw without leaving the bed. These activities are challenging from a lying position. You would otherwise have to transfer to a wheelchair or a seat at a table.

However, bed tables can be sources of bacteria and contaminants. We recommend wiping down and disinfecting the surface regularly to avoid any unhygienic situations.

What Are the Best Bed Tables?

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Overbed Bedside Table With Wheels (Hospital and Home Use)

Pros

  • You can adjust it to any height.
  • It is durable and stable.
  • It is lightweight and portable.

Cons

  • The assembly can be confusing.

The Vaunn Medical Adjustable model is the overall best bed table. It offers full adjustability, allowing you to change the height between 28 and 40 inches (71.1 and 101.6cm). The base is straightforward to adjust and can support up to 45lb (20.4kg).

It provides a smooth surface to eat meals, use your laptop, or write from the bed. You can also easily roll it out of the way when not in use. However, it can be frustrating to assemble because of the instructions.

Drive Medical 13067 Non Tilt Top Overbed Table, Silver Vein

Pros

  • The table is adjustable and lockable.
  • It swivels and rolls smoothly.
  • The table is budget-friendly.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have the highest quality finish.

The Drive Medical 13067 is the runner-up bed table for hospital beds. You can move its height between 28 and 45 inches (71.1 and 114.3cm) with a lever to lock the table in place. The mechanism just needs pressure and an upwards movement to adjust.

The table swivels and can roll smoothly over various surfaces because of its casters. However, the tabletop finish is not premium-quality and may fade or chip over time.

What Are Bed Rails?

Bed rails are raised barriers that are either attached or built onto the side of a hospital bed. They may be permanent or removable, depending on the model. They come in various heights and materials.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Rails?

Bed rails are one of the best aids in fall prevention. They can prevent you from falling off the mattress while asleep or while the bed is moving. Bed rails also allow you to turn over or get up because you can use the barriers to grip and maneuver.

However, bed rails can be dangerous if you get part of your body stuck between the solid sections. They may also scrape your skin if you make heavy contact with the material. Lastly, bed rails keep you inside the bed and may prevent you from getting out without assistance.

What Are the Best Bed Rails?

Drive Medical No Gap Deluxe Half Length Side Bed Rails with Brown Vein Finish, Brown Vein, Half Length

Pros

  • The no-gap design prevents injuries and accidents.
  • They are straightforward to install.
  • They are durable steel.

Cons

  • They only protect half the length of the bed.
  • The rails are not compatible with all bed types.

The Drive Medical No Gap Half Length units are the best bed rails. They have a no-gap design with minimal distance between the steel sections. This design prevents you from getting limbs stuck or injuring yourself.

These rails are durable and compatible with most beds. However, you should double-check that they suit your model.

Drive Medical Deluxe Full Length Hospital Bed Side Rails, Brown Vein

Pros

  • You can adjust their height easily.
  • The rails run the entire bed length.
  • The rails are solid and durable.

Cons

  • The rails sit a bit low.

The Drive Medical Deluxe Full-Length units are the runner-up bed rails. They run the entire length of the mattress and allow you to adjust their height for your needs. However, they may be too low if you have a thick mattress.

These rails are durable, prevent you from falling, and don’t allow your arms or legs to get trapped inside.

What is a Bed Alarm?

Bed alarms attach to the bed and make a loud sound when the person inside tries to exit the bed’s confines. These devices are popular with patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Alarms?

Bed alarms can be helpful to monitor people who are at risk of wandering. Those with dementia may try to leave the bed, their room, and even the house. This can be dangerous, so a bed alarm can be an excellent safety tool.

They are also helpful for people who suffer falls and accidents. You will be able to hear the alarm immediately, allowing you to get there faster and give assistance. Bed alarms can also serve people who cannot communicate that they need to go to the toilet or otherwise leave the bed.

However, depending on the type of bed alarm, there are some risks. String alarms can be a strangulation risk or easily removed by the person inside. Passive infrared alarms can go off by accident. Mattress pad alarms are usually the best option because there are fewer risks.

What Are the Best Bed Alarms?

Smart Caregiver Wireless Bed Alarm System - Cordless Weight Sensing Bed Alarm Pad (10” x 30”) with Remote Alert Monitor, Free Individual Cleaning Wipes and Liberty 7 Day Pill Box

Pros

  • It is cordless and sensitive to movement.
  • The system has a long range.
  • It is waterproof and durable.

Cons

  • It is one of the pricier models.

The Smart Caregiver system is the best bed alarm. You can place it underneath the sheets, and it alerts you to any movements. The signal can travel up to 300 feet (91.4m) from the pad, reducing noise in the bedroom.

It resists water and damage. Although it is one of the more expensive options, it works very well.

Secure 45BSET-1Y Bed Exit Alarm Set for Fall and Wandering Prevention - Includes Patient Monitor with Holder, 12" x 30" Bed Sensor Pad and Batteries

Pros

  • It is budget-friendly.
  • It has a sensitive and durable sensor.
  • The pad is waterproof and latex-free.

Cons

  • The alarm is extremely loud.

The Secure 45BSET-1Y is another excellent bed alarm system. It can also go under the sheets, with the sensitive pad able to detect when the person moves off it. This sensor is resistant to any weight and is protected by a waterproof outer.

Bear in mind that the alarm is very loud. This could be disturbing if you have dogs or children.

What is a Bed Trapeze?

Bed trapezes are triangle-shaped grab bars that hang above the bed. They can either be attached to a floor stand or hang overhead from a frame. You can use this tool to support your weight and move your body on top of the mattress.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Trapezes?

Bed trapezes are excellent mobility aids if you cannot move your legs by yourself. You can utilize your arm strength to elevate your torso. Then, you or a carer can help shift your body to a different position or standing up.

There are no real cons of bed trapezes. However, you must make sure that your chosen model can support your entire weight. Otherwise, you risk it snapping and causing an injury.

What Are the Best Bed Trapezes?

Best Overall: Invacare Trapeze Bar 

Invacare Trapeze Bar with Two-Piece Design Trapeze Bar and Handle, Weight Load Limit 168 lbs, 7740A , Grey

Pros

  • It has two installation options.
  • It is easy to grip.
  • The bar is strong and sturdy.

Cons

  • It can be challenging to assemble.

The Invacare trapeze bar is the overall best bed trapeze. You can set it up on the bed frame or a standing frame, depending on your preferences. However, the instructions are limited.

It is relatively durable, supporting up to 168lb (76.2kg). It also has a large handle with a bar so that you can grip it easily.

Graham-Field Lumex 2800A Versa-Helper Trapeze, Chrome-Plated

Pros

  • It has a high weight capacity.
  • You can adjust the height and handlebars.
  • The frame is sturdy.

Cons

  • It may be too heavy for regular beds.

The Graham-Field Lumex 2800A Versa-Helper Trapeze is the runner-up option. It can support up to 250lb (113.4kg) with an adjustable frame that can connect to your bed. However, it is too heavy for non-hospital beds.

Overall, it is easy to grip and very sturdy.

What is a Bed Step Stool?

Bed step stools are raised devices that you can climb on to get closer to the bed. They may have a single step or a few different levels. The stools come in different heights and materials.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Step Stools?

Bed step stools can help you get in and out of bed without having to drop or climb so high. This can be beneficial if you have a history of falls, poor mobility in your lower body, or much shorter than the bed frame.

However, step stools can also be a falling hazard. We recommend using one next to a support bar or similar device that you can grip for balance. Otherwise, you risk slipping and spraining an ankle or worse.

What Are the Best Bed Step Stools?

Step2Bed Bed Rails For Elderly with Adjustable Height Bed Step Stool & LED Light for Fall Prevention - Portable Medical Step Stool comes with Handicap Grab Bars making it easy to get in and out of bed

Pros

  • It is multifunctional.
  • You can adjust the height.
  • It is very durable.

Cons

  • It is a little pricey.

The Step2Bed model is the best bed step stool. It combines a sturdy step stool, rails, and LED light to prevent falls. The stool can support up to 400lb (181.4kg) and is extra-wide for safety.

You can change the frame and step height to accommodate your body. Although pricey, this is one of the most sophisticated models.

DMI Step Stool with Handle for Adults and Seniors Made of Heavy Duty Metal, Holds up to 300 Pounds with 9.5 Inch Step Up

Pros

  • The stool is affordable.
  • It has a stool and handrail combination design.
  • The stool has a non-slip surface.

Cons

  • The assembly can be confusing.

The DMI Step Stool is the runner-up choice. This budget-friendly model combines a durable step stool with a tall handrail. The unit can support up to 300lb (136.1kg) and has non-slip material to prevent falls.

The only disadvantage is that it can be challenging and confusing to assemble.

What Are Leg Lifters?

Leg lifters attach to your foot or ankle. They are long straps that you hold with your arms and use to maneuver your leg. Because of their design, the lifters draw on your upper body strength.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Leg Lifters?

Leg lifters allow you to move your legs without engaging the related muscles. These tools can assist if you have recently had surgery on your hip, knee, or other parts of your leg. They can also help if you have paralysis from a stroke or an accident.

One disadvantage of leg lifters is that you may need some time to learn how to use them. We recommend asking your doctor or physical therapist for demonstrations.

What Are Leg Lifters?

Leg lifters attach to your foot or ankle. They are long straps that you hold with your arms and use to maneuver your leg. Because of their design, the lifters draw on your upper body strength.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Leg Lifters?

Leg lifters allow you to move your legs without engaging the related muscles. These tools can assist if you have recently had surgery on your hip, knee, or other parts of your leg. They can also help if you have paralysis from a stroke or an accident.

One disadvantage of leg lifters is that you may need some time to learn how to use them. We recommend asking your doctor or physical therapist for demonstrations.

What Are the Best Leg Lifters?

Sammons Preston - 84318 Rigid Leg Lifter, 41" Leg Strap with Webbed Loops for Hand and Foot, Easy to Use Leg Lift Assist & Riser for Getting in & Out of Beds, Cars, Wheelchairs

Pros

  • It is excellent value for money.
  • The lifter is adjustable and sturdy.
  • It is comfortable to use.

Cons

  • The material is very rigid.

The Sammons Preston unit is the best leg lifter. You can adjust the length to suit your legs, and it has a hand loop and soft webbing that is comfortable for your hands. The loop also prevents your foot from slipping out.

However, the material is a little rigid. It may be challenging to use while you get used to it.  

RMS 35 Inch Long Leg Lifter - Durable & Rigid Hand Strap & Foot Loop - Ideal Mobility Tool for Wheelchair, Hip & Knee Replacement Surgery (35 Inch Long)

Pros

  • It is budget-friendly.
  • The strap is lightweight but durable.
  • It has a large loop.

Cons

  • The strap can twist easily.

The RMS 35 Inch Long Leg Lifter is the next best option. It has a large loop that you can fit around your foot and shoe. The strap is light and flexible but strong enough to endure ongoing use. However, it can twist if you’re not careful while using it.

What is a Transfer Pole?

Transfer poles, also known as security poles, assist you in standing up and sit down. They are tall, secure bars that fix to the ceiling and reach the floor. These devices may have grab bars in the middle or just a smooth surface.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Transfer Poles?

Transfer poles can reduce the likelihood of accidents. Because you can grip the bar as you stand up or down, it makes it less likely that you will fall. This can reduce the amount that you rely on a carer for your mobility.

However, you will need decent upper body and arm strength to use a transfer pole. Otherwise, you may fall backward.

What Are the Best Transfer Poles?

Stander Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar, Elderly Tension Mounted Floor to Ceiling Transfer Pole, Bathroom Safety Assist and Stability Rail, Iceberg White

Pros

  • It has a rotating and locking grab bar.
  • The pole is adjustable.
  • The tension-mounting is user-friendly.

Cons

  • It only suits flat ceilings.

The Stander Security Pole is the best transfer pole. It also features a grab bar for extra security against falling. You can fix this bar in various positions for your safety. You can also adjust the pole’s height to match your ceiling.

It has tension-mounting, so you don’t have to drill or screw anything. However, it is only compatible with flat ceilings.

Signature Life Sure Stand Pole, Elderly Tension Mounted Floor to Ceiling Transfer Pole, Bathroom Safety Grab Bar and Stability Rail with Adjustable Curve Hand Grips and Padded Handle, Deep Bronze

Pros

  • It has two adjustable grab bars.
  • The pole is resistant and durable.
  • It uses a tension-mounting system.

Cons

  • It isn’t the most affordable option.

The Signature Life model is another excellent transfer pole. It has two grab bars that you can move and fix into place for extra assistance. Overall, the unit can support up to 300lb (136.1kg), and it provides a sturdy surface.

Although it is more expensive, it uses a tension-mounting system that is compatible with extra-high ceilings and doesn’t leave marks.

What is a Bed Grab Bar?

Bed grab bars attach to the bed frame and give you a place to hold onto. They are usually made of metal and allow you to support your weight and maneuver your body.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bed Grab Bars?

Bed grab bars can help you move around on the mattress if you don’t have good lower body and core strength. They may also assist with transfers in and out of the bed if you are worried about falling.

However, you should check that the grab bar is equipped to handle your entire weight. Otherwise, you risk falling and injuring yourself.

What Are the Best Bed Grab Bars?

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bed Assist Rail Handle and Hand Guard Grab Bar, Bedside Safety and Stability (Tool-Free Assembly), White/Black (876-V)

Pros

  • The handle has slip-resistant material.
  • You can mount it on most beds.
  • It is durable.

Cons

  • You cannot adjust the height.

The Vaunn Medical model is the best bed grab bar. It works with standard mattresses and is exceptionally straightforward to install. It has a protruding handle with slip-resistant foam that protects you from falling.

It is durable and can support up to 250lb (113.4kg). However, you cannot change the height, and so it may not work with high mattresses.

Medline Bed Assist bar With Storage Pocket, Height Adjustable Bed Rails for Elderly Adults, Assistance for Getting In & Out of Bed At Home, Black, 1 Count

Pros

  • It is easy to install.
  • You can adjust the height.
  • It is secure and safe.

Cons

  • It may be too tall for low mattresses.

The Medline Bed Assist Bar is another reliable choice. It slides under the mattress and is compatible with standard bed sizes. You can fix it in place with a strap and adjust the height to your needs. It also has non-slip material on the grip bar to increase your safety.

Buying Guide: How to Determine Which Bed Assist Devices You Need

There are some questions you can ask yourself to know which bed assist devices you need:

  • Do you have upper body and core strength? Aids like bed trapezes, grab bars, transfer poles, and leg lifters require you to support your weight and maneuver with your upper body.
  • Can you move your lower body independently? If you cannot lift your legs, then a tool like a bed trapeze or leg lifter lets you shift your leg’s position without using those muscles.
  • Have you suffered from falls in the past? Bed rails and bed alarms can keep you from falling and alert your carer if you do slip out. If you are worried about falling when standing up and down, a transfer pole, grab bar, or step stool could assist you.
  • How long do you spend in bed? If you spend hours a day in bed, any bed assist devices that help you shift around can avoid bedsores or pressure points.
  • How much weight must the device support? Each aid can support a maximum weight without putting you in danger. Check that you do not exceed this amount.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is a multitude of different bed assist devices available. Whether you want to avoid falls, stand up more easily, or move your body on the mattress, there are suitable mobility aids.

Bed assist devices can reduce your dependence on loved ones and carers. They can give you peace of mind and keep you safer during the day and night. By investing in the correct aid for your medical condition, you can enhance your quality of life.

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