Low Beds vs. Traditional Beds for Fall Safety in Nursing Homes

We hope you find this Nursing Home Neglect Blog Article both Helpful and Informative.

At first glance, you might think, “What’s the big deal? A bed’s a bed, right?” But when you dig into the choice between low and traditional beds becomes a nuanced discussion with implications for resident safety, quality of life, and even legal considerations.

The Case for Traditional Beds: Comfort and Familiarity

Let’s start with the old-school, shall we? Traditional beds have been around forever and offer the comfort and familiarity that many residents are used to. They’re typically easier for caregivers to adjust and can make transfer activities like getting in and out of wheelchairs a bit more manageable. However, they do come with the obvious downside: the greater distance to the floor makes falls more dangerous.

The Rise of Low Beds: Designed for Safety

Enter the low bed—a somewhat recent innovation aimed squarely at minimizing fall risks. These beds are closer to the ground, reducing the impact and severity of falls. They’re often used for residents who are identified as high risk for falls or have cognitive impairments like dementia.

Proactivity vs Reactivity: Timing Matters

Now, you might be wondering when to switch from a traditional to a low bed. Is it after the first fall? The second? Or should it be proactive? This is where risk assessments come into play. Nursing homes should not wait for a fall to occur; instead, they should use comprehensive risk assessments to guide these decisions.

Regulatory Backing: What Does Florida Law Say?

In sunny Florida, there’s a focus on safeguarding nursing home residents from falls. State regulations advocate for individualized care plans, which could very well prescribe a low bed for high-risk residents. And remember, federal regulations also have teeth; F-Tag 323 specifically discusses accident prevention, which includes falls.

Let’s Consult the Experts: Recent Studies

Several studies, including those published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, have shown that low beds can significantly reduce the severity of injuries from bed falls. However, it’s essential to remember that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be part of a broader fall prevention strategy.

The Final Verdict: A Balanced Approach

Low beds are not a magic bullet, but they do offer a valuable tool in the toolbox of fall prevention. When used in conjunction with other measures, like bed alarms and improved staffing, they can make a meaningful difference in resident safety.



Call 407.612.6464863.324.3500 today to speak with an experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer who proudly serves Lakeland, Orlando, and throughout the State of Florida.

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Sanga Turnbull

Sanga Turnbull is the founder and principal attorney at The Turnbull Law Firm, a Florida law firm helping personal injury victims in Winter Haven and Orlando recover compensation for harm done to them by the negligence of others. The comprehensive personal injury practice at The Turnbull Firm includes all manner of motor vehicle accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, slip and fall, workplace and industrial accidents, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and more. Injury victims or their families are invited to call The Turnbull Firm for a no-cost, confidential consultation about any potential claims they may have.