Is there a state or federal regulation prohibiting bed rails

by Karen
(Castle Rock, CO)

Question:
Is there a state or federal regulation prohibiting
bed rails and/or fall mats in an assisted living residence?

Answer

There are no state regs in assisted living prohibiting bed rails however in my experience I would not consider them best practice to use them. The reason that they are not safe lies with the risk they present to the resident falling out of bed, being tangled in their sheets/bed rails and the possibility of strangulation. Many facilities may have a policy against bed rails. So in that case the state could write a deficiency for the facility not following their own policy (if the state were to find bed rails in use).

The alternative would be to have the resident use a bed cane and obtain an order from the primary care physician for occupational therapy. The resident can then learn how to use the bed cane safely and efficiently with the goal to maintain as much independence for that resident as possible. The state would be pleased to see that action taken, aside from the fact that it is making the resident's home safer for them.

Fall mats are okay, but whatever assistive devices are in use in the community MUST be care planned for that specific resident and you must have documented training on those devices for your staff.

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