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How To Keep Elderly From Falling Out Of Bed: Effective Measures To Do & Tools To Use

senior man with backpain sitting on bed

Last Updated: July 13, 2024

A fall could merely be a mishap for younger people.


Something that we rarely worry about and will probably never experience while sleeping.

But for the elderly, it can cause excruciating pain, and a bad fall can be fatal, too. The risk of significant injuries resulting from falling is too much for our elderly loved ones.

Hence, if this is an area of concern for you, then keep reading.

Let's identify various causes for such an accident and find preventive ways to keep our loved ones from rolling out of bed.

Rolling Out The List Of Possible Causes

Immediately, among all things, we have to pinpoint the particular cause as to why our elderly companions are falling off the bed. After all, without us knowing the reason, we will have a hard time finding the stop for adults falling out of bed.

1. Changes In Sleeping Setup

spacious bright bedroom with double bed and leather armchair

There are many reasons for falling out of bed, and introducing us to this topic is a simple, often overlooked problem.


A change in sleeping environment can confuse the elderly, that even a slight change in room brightness can also be a factor.

“How can that be?” you may ask. Well, seniors can injure themselves while looking for the things they need, and a change in positioning and other factors can affect them heavily.

Comfort also factors into this, as a less convenient setup can make them move more than expected. Moreover, a change in bed size can alter their sense of space, so adults' risk of falling out of bed increases.

It likewise shouldn't come as a surprise if the primary cause is the new but slippery bedsheet and bedroom clothing. Hence, it is necessary to be mindful of the small details to avoid catastrophic injuries resulting from a simple fall.

2. Disorders

As their bodies continue to change and age ticks up, disorders can play a big part as the cause of dangerous falls.

One of the most common is the Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. The elderly are usually the ones affected by this as they feel dizziness leading to accidents in bed.

Another condition is the REM Behavior Disorder which is also more observable for those aged 60 and above. With this, a person often acts out vivid, uncomfortable dreams physically by moving around, pushing the elderly into falling out of bed.

Dementia may also show up as a reason for disorientation.

Therefore, you must have your elderly companions talking with the doctors once this particular symptom arises.

3. Medications

old man holding medicine tablets

Growing old for many people may mean additional intake of medications, which is something to be careful and mindful of when considering possible causes.

Some of the pills the adults are taking may be causing dizziness.

Further, medicine intake in the middle of the night makes it even riskier since they might do this independently.

Not only that, but it can also lead to other side effects that affect the quality of sleep. So, don’t just ignore the possibility and take a look at the medicine they are consuming. 

4. Changes In Mobility

Experiencing problems in movement may be the primary cause of losing balance and eventually falling off the bed.

Activities like reaching for eyeglasses or responding to incontinence need to be comfy for adults.

Hence, It is crucial to look out for this aspect to prevent disastrous falls. Recent surgery, and other medical problems, such as heart attack, may also lead to further mobility changes. 

Therefore, looking out for any sudden changes in their movement or activities can help detect such a problem early on. With this in mind, we can likewise provide our elderly with the necessary support and prevent them from falling out of bed while sleeping.

5. Poor Eyesight

senior woman reparing eyesight

In the middle of the night, there’s nothing your mom can see but a blur. So she reaches up for the glasses until she finds out that it is not in the location she expects it to be.

Situations like these put the elderly in danger of falling.

Therefore, it is vital to put up a desk nearby to make it more convenient to access their necessities.

Otherwise, tragedy may be facing them and any action that they might do, from the attempt to go off the bed, remains dangerous.

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Falling Out of Bed Prevention Pointers

After going through the possible causes, we can now devise efficient prevention of elderly loved ones falling off the bed. Here are some tried and tested methods you may try:

1. Install Bed Rails

Putting in a physical barrier, particularly bed rails, is an excellent start to prevent falling out of bed situations, enclosing seniors inside the bunk.

Additionally, to further improve comfort and assure that no falls will occur, it is critical to attach these rails securely. After all, the purpose of having a railing in place is to guard them safely inside it.

And if you’re still thinking about it...

A steady rail likewise helps provide a handhold as your elders rise and go back to the bed.

2. Pillows And Pool Noodle

blue and orange pool noodles

Alternatives to the bed rails might seem a bit unlikely, but they are a helpful solution. Placing buffed, thick pillows the size of a body will help in preventing falling out of bed concerns.

Another great choice is to put up pool noodles, which can help in guiding and reminding seniors of the edge’s location.

These are the best options in keeping safe the elders uncomfortable with lack of space or dementia patients, throughout the night.

3. Lowering the Bed

Lowering the bed's height might be an essential option, especially if it causes problems with the elderly falling out of bed.

Height reduction opens better movement for aged people, allowing them to feel the ground much more quickly. Besides, it also opens up for better foot position, unlike in instances where the bed is tall.

So don’t hesitate to ask them what they are not comfy with, because the solution might just be as simple as this.

4. Prepare The Safety Mat

To be sure, grab one safety mat and place them next to the edge of the bed, keeping them safe in case of unwanted falls. Combining this step with other solutions listed makes for an effective way of preventing slumps.

However, some adults may have difficulty getting a clutch with their feet over the mats, reducing effectiveness over time.

Hence, it is necessary to keep observing to get the proper response.

5. Consult The Doctor

Health professionals may place together a diagnosis given data about your accompanying elderly falling out of bed. With that information, the doctors will help you out by creating suggestions on how to respond.

Prescribing medication to alleviate specific causes, such as eye problems, through treatments is also possible.

Aside from that, examining changes in medicines provided to curbside effects is also an open option for doctors.

In addition, doctors may also recommend activities to keep elders physically fit and well-built with sturdy bones, making them more flexible and preventing worse injuries.

Here are other reasons why elderly keep falling from bed:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best solution to prevent elderly persons with vision problems from bed falls?

As discussed in the causes of bed falls, poor lighting within the elder’s room is a reason for many falls. Unfortunately, it also worsens the situation for the elderly with poor vision, so comfortable lighting is vital for seniors.

In addition, it is also valuable to have a desk near the comfortable reach of the sleeping adult, making for an easier grab of eyeglasses.

My mom is living with dementia. Could this be the main reason why she keeps rolling out of bed?

Dementia is one of the possible reasons for confusion and dizziness, resulting in falling out of bed. Therefore, if your mother keeps falling while experiencing this symptom, it is essential to have her checked by doctors.

Is there a mental exercise to prevent adults from falling out of bed while asleep?

As discussed in our guide, observing the causes is crucial. For this case, seniors suffering from REM Behavior Disorder may take advantage of valuable mental exercises.

It is possible to overcome sleep disorders with exercises, as much as performing deep breathing exercises can also help clear their mind.

Concentrating and freeing thoughts of worries creates relaxing moments for the heart and brain, lessening concerns for the elderly falling out of bed while sleeping.

Final Thoughts

“How to keep the elderly from falling out of bed?”, this question could have brought you sleepless nights. Hopefully, this article serves its purpose in helping you identify the best prevention for such health and safety hazards.

While there are several solutions, like physical barriers, including bed rails or using pillows; however, professional medical advice is just as important.

When it comes to keeping our loved ones safe and sound, it doesn’t have to be challenging for you and the elders’ back. So, buckle up and try some of these solutions and find out which works best for you.

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