Choosing a Bed for Seniors: 3 Things to Keep in Mind
For many seniors, their golden years bring with them leisurely days and peaceful nights. Yet, as the body ages, simply getting in and out of bed can become a chore. That’s why you should bear the following three things in mind when choosing a bed for a senior.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping patterns change significantly as we get older. So, when seniors mention their inability to sleep, the issue is often cast aside as part of the aging process. However, a saggy mattress may be a contributing factor to a loved one’s lack of sleep. A droopy bed cannot support the body properly. As a result, seniors may experience insomnia, aches, and pains. Try rotating the mattress 180 degrees every six months, purchasing a latex topper or buying a hybrid mattress for added support.
Consider the elevation of the bed’s frame, the depth of the box springs and the loftiness of the mattress. When a person sits up on the bed, his or her feet should touch the floor. Otherwise, it’s hard to shift the weight forward to stand. The bed’s height should match a dining chair seat. If the bed is for a wheelchair-bound senior, it’s important to make sure the height of the bed is no greater than the height of the wheelchair. To facilitate accessibility, measure the bed from the floor to the top of the mattress. Alternatively, you can have the person sit on the edge of the bed to make sure the hips and knees align while the feet remain flat on the floor. If the bed is too high, you can remove the wheels from the frame. Other options include buying a lower bed frame, purchasing less bulky box springs or replacing the mattress to reduce the overall height.
Seniors who require assistance may benefit from the use of a hospital bed that lifts and lowers for an easy transfer. In addition, bed rails can offer stability. They prevent a person from rolling out of bed and provide something solid to grab onto when getting in or standing up. Check for gaps between the mattress and rails, and cover the openings to avoid entrapment risks.
Seniors need and deserve a good night’s rest, and a good bed can help resolve many of their sleeping challenges. Just remember to consider the support level, height and transfer capabilities to give them the best chance of sleeping peacefully through the night.