Seniors in nursing homes face a mountain of physical, mental, and emotional challenges each and every day. That is why caregivers are there to provide around-the-clock support. On one hand, many resident’s own health is troubling, requiring special equipment to breathe, move, and otherwise complete daily tasks. On top of that, even simple functions–like laying in bed for a night’s sleep–come with injury risks that healthier community members do not face.
One might think that nothing could go wrong when a senior resident is lying in bed. That must be the safest place for them, right? They avoid the risks of wandering or altercations, can be monitored easily by aides, and otherwise do not face any dangers. Not quite. For one thing, a roll off the bed could prove fatal for a resident with frail bones and weaker recovery systems. To prevent falls, many facilities use “bed rails.” These are metal bars placed on the sides of beds to prevent rolling off. But over the past few years, more and more question marks have been raised about the inherent dangers that these rails themselves pose for seniors.
All of this has led many activists to push for stricter standards on the design, manufacture, and use of these rails. Recently, many of those activists, including our team of nursing home neglect lawyers in Illinois, signed a petition urging more action by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).