Getting in and out of bed is easy when you’re young and healthy. It’s something you do every single day, usually without even thinking twice about it.
But sometimes when you get older, this once easy activity becomes very difficult and even dangerous. Weakness in the body, illness or stiffness makes it difficult for seniors to sit up and lay down. It also makes it difficult to lift their legs into and out of the bed. They may also have trouble maneuvering into a safe position for sitting on the bed.
Finding the right bed step stool for elderly people will improve their ability to get into bed. Bed stairs will also protect seniors from injuries or serious falls during their nightly routine.
If you or your loved one has trouble at bedtime, using steps to get in and out of bed more safely will help!
Video Guide: Bed Step Stools for the Elderly
Best Bedside Step Stools for Seniors
Here are my reviews of my favorite bed stairs for elderly people to use to get in and out of bed. These recommendations are based on my experience working with seniors with mobility problems.
1. Step2Bed Bed Rails For Elderly Step Stool & LED Light
I love when I find safety products for seniors that can serve multiple purposes. And, this one made me very happy!
Just place the step against the bed and you’ll have a step for getting in and out of bed with a handle to hold onto for better balance. PLUS it even has a motion activated LED light that turns on automatically when you get out of the bed. So, it even serves as a nightlight too.
This is my top pick by far!
2. Kings Brand Wood Bedroom Step Stool With Storage
Bed stools for tall beds like these from Kings Brand look a bit more elegant than some of the other ones I recommend. They also come in a variety of finishes to match most bedroom decor.
These are basically a simple 2 step stool with no handle. Lifting the lid reveals hidden storage which most everyone can use. Very basic assembly is required before using.
This style of bedroom step is best for seniors who have good balance and don’t require the use of a handle. Do not use these with slippers, however. The might make the surface slicker. It would be best to use these only while barefoot or add some anti-slip tape.
3. AdjustaStep(tm) Step Stool with Handle /Handrail
I really liked this adjustable step stool with handle in my earlier post about safe step stools, and I think it has a lot of use in the bedroom also.
This step area of this stool has an anti-slip mat and adjusts up and down. So do both the handles. This way the handles will match the bed height.
The dual handles offer support and better balance while climbing in and out of the bed.
The only real negative for this one is that it does look a bit like a medical product with the glossy white finish. It also may not reach high enough for extremely tall beds. But, this is a highly functional option especially for seniors with more advanced medical problems.
4. Design 59 inc Acacia Heavy Duty Step Stool/Bed Steps
This multi-function device is made of welded steel and solid wood steps. Even better – it ships fully assembled!
Because it is so well built, this heavy duty model supports up to 650 lbs. So, they are a good choice to use with larger seniors who may not be able to climb up in bed due to limited joint mobility and other medical issues.
These should work well for more active seniors who need a little help getting up and down. They do not have handles or rails however so do not use them with elderly people who have balance issues. Like other wooden steps with slicker finishes, do not wear slippers.
5. Rubbermaid 4209 EZ Step Folding Stool, 2-Step, White
These Rubbermaid steps are a good entry level idea for seniors who are beginning to have trouble getting in and out of bed.
Being a Rubbermaid product, they are well built and sturdy, supporting up to 300 lbs. Each step has an anti-slip rubber mat for safety and to reduce the chances of them slipping off.
Like some of the others above, these steps do not have handles or rails. So, they should not be used with seniors who have balance issues or advanced medical problems.
If you decide that bed steps are necessary, there are a few guidelines you should follow.
So, if you’re thinking about bed steps, ensure that your senior can use them safely, and that they’re actually improving their quality of life, not making it more difficult.
Bed Steps for High Beds
So now that we understand the advantages of different aids like a handle bar or a close by cane, let’s look at how helpful a bed stairs for elderly are for these tall beds.
Many seniors have raised beds because they think that’ll make it easier to get into and out of. Unfortunately, if it’s not perfectly suited to their height, they’re going to need a booster.
To use them safely, make sure the steps are pushed up securely against the bed. If there’s space in between the bed and the step stool, it could slip out from underneath them as they’re getting out of the bed.
The step stool should also be placed in line with where the senior’s feet would land as they get out of bed. If they have to bend over trying to adjust it, they may fall over.
Why Use a Bed Step Stool for Elderly Seniors?
Bed steps make it easier for seniors who have tall beds to lift themselves into bed. As seniors get older, they sometimes lose strength in their legs. Arthritis or pain in the joints can also make it difficult for seniors to climb into a high bed. Declining balance might make getting out of bed difficult.
Bed step stools are small and sturdy, and they can give you a boost that makes your bedtime routine easier. They are typically made out of wood or other types of strong materials. They can be particularly helpful if your bed is higher than usual or if you are short.
Consider a bed stool with a handle. These also give you a steady place to hold on while climbing the steps.
For an elderly person with a pet, cats and dogs may make use of them as well! The steps can be used to help the animal climb onto the bed without scratching the linen.
RELATED GUIDE: Best Dog for Elderly Widows
Tips to Avoid Falls at Bedtime
Falls are often devastating for seniors. Seniors often have more fragile bones and can end up severely injured from falls. They also take longer to heal from injuries such as broken bones. And sometimes, they don’t even heal completely. This can lead to long-term physical problems and even complete dependence. To reduce the chance of falls, take note of the following conditions.
Bedrooms should be well lit. Seniors often have diminished eyesight, and darkness makes this worse. Check that their bedrooms are well lit and obstructions moved out of the pathways.
Try to keep their walkers or canes nearby and close to the bed in case they have to get up in the middle of the night. Having that extra support handy can make a world of difference, and help them hoist themselves out of bed.
Take a look at the slippers they wear at night. Are they sturdy? Do they have non-slip bases? These safety features are ones most people don’t think about when looking for soft, comfy slippers, but for seniors, they’re a must-have to keep them safe in their bedrooms.
Remove any loose rugs from the floor, as they can bunch up and cause feet, canes, or walkers to become stuck and may cause trips or falls. Of course, if the floor has a layer of carpeting that isn’t as easily removable, that’s probably not going to be an issue as long as it doesn’t tend to bunch up.
Assess your senior’s procedure for getting in and out of bed and provide aids if necessary. You can try leg lifts or support rails on the side of the bed to help them with the necessary movements if that extra support would help them.
Check the height of the bed. If it’s too high, the senior will have to slide out of it, which may cause slips and falls or lots of pressure on the legs. If it’s too low, they may have trouble standing up again in the morning. This is where these helpful products can help give you the small boost you need in order to reach the bed.
Talk to your senior and their doctor about what medications they take and any side effects. If some medications make them dizzy or sleepy, this can be dangerous at bedtime.
If you have trouble getting in and out of bed by yourself, you should consult with a professional. Physical therapists or occupational therapists can evaluate your movements and limitations. They can show you new ways to safely and easily get yourself into bed.
For high beds especially, you may want to make sure that their cane or some other handheld security aid is near the steps. This will give them added balance as they make their way up and down. A step stool with handles like the one above will help also.
They will also suggest a range of devices that may help, like steps for high beds, and train you on how to use them correctly. If you have trouble and aren’t sure what might help, this is the best source for reliable information.
How to Safely Get into Bed
This will depend on you. It will depend on your physical limitations, on your physical state, and on the layout of your bedroom. Try the following steps and determine how they work for your unique situation.
- Move so the backs of your legs touch the bed. If you are too short, or the bed is too tall, use a step or stool to give you a boost.
- Hold on somewhere, a rail on the side of the bed is good here.
- Bend your hips to sit.
- If you need to, scoot backward until you are safely on the mattress.
- Use a leg lifter or other device to help lift or move your whole body onto the bed if necessary.
How to Get Out of Bed Safely
Many seniors have trouble getting out of bed. You may lack the core strength to move from lying down to sitting. Or if you are able to sit up, you may suffer from dizziness because of the change of posture. Talk to your doctor or other health professionals if any of these issues impede your movements. Until you can do that, there are several general steps you can try to make this easier.
- Roll to the side of the bed and lower your feet over the edge.
- Sit up. A bar or something else to grip can help with this if you don’t have the strength.
- If you feel dizzy, remain seated until it passes.
- If you use a cane or a walker with wheels, ensure it’s in the right position.
- Put your feet at hip distance apart and lean forward.
- Stand up. If you have trouble doing so, rock back and forwards for momentum.
Getting in and out of bed can seem like a simple activity to most people.
But for some elderly seniors, it can be a downright dangerous task. Weakness, illness or pain can restrict your movements and your overall stability. This can lead to falls and injuries such as broken bones or head injuries that have long-term repercussions.
Using simple aids such as bed step stools can make an elderly person’s nightly and morning routine safer and easier. These aids can help you avoid serious injuries and allow you to remain independent as well as safe. If you have trouble at bedtime, these tools are immensely helpful.
Do you have any experience with bedroom step stools? Did you find that they added more safety to your bedtime routine? If you have any tips or tricks, we would love to hear them. Please share below!