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Staying safe in the bedroom

Staying Safe In The Bedroom Panel

The bedroom is a haven for relaxation and rest. However, for older adults living independently, navigating the bedroom at night or with limited mobility can pose safety concerns.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Falls: Especially at night, navigating a dark bedroom can increase the risk of tripping and falling.

This can lead to injuries like fractures, head trauma, and reduced mobility.

Lighting: Install nightlights or motion-activated lights. 

Clearance: Remove clutter from walking paths. 

Non-slip surfaces: Use non-slip mats in the bathroom and consider non-slip socks.

Difficulty getting in and out of bed: Low beds or high mattresses can present challenges.

This can lead to back pain, difficulty transferring, and increased fall risk

Bed height: Ensure the bed height is comfortable for entering and exiting. 

Grab bars: Install grab bars near the bed for support.

Limited mobility: Difficulty reaching items or navigating the room can hinder independence.

This can lead to reduced independence and frustration.

Reaching aids: Utilise long-handled grabbers or reachers. 

Furniture arrangement: Arrange furniture to allow for easy movement.


Common safety concerns in the bedroom

  • Falls: Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults, and the bedroom can be a high-risk area, especially at night. Poor lighting, loose rugs, and cluttered walkways can all contribute to tripping hazards.
  • Difficulty getting in and out of bed: Climbing into or out of bed can be challenging, particularly for individuals with limited mobility or weak leg muscles. This can lead to back strain, falls, and decreased independence.
  • Limited mobility: Reaching for objects on shelves, getting dressed, or navigating around furniture can be difficult for individuals with decreased mobility, leading to frustration and dependence on others.

Equipment and aids to help create a safe and accessible bedroom

Here are some practical tips to enhance safety and accessibility in your bedroom.


  • Install nightlights: Opt for nightlights with soft, warm light to illuminate the pathway without being overly stimulating.
  • Motion-activated lights: Consider installing motion-activated lights near the bed and bathroom entrance for hands-free illumination at night.
  • Adjustable lamps: Utilise lamps with adjustable brightness and positioning for reading or tasks in bed.

Clearance and surfaces

  • Remove clutter: Keep walkways clear of unnecessary items like clothing, shoes, or magazines, minimising tripping hazards.
  • Secure loose rugs: Ensure all rugs are secured to the floor with double-sided tape or rug grippers to prevent slipping.
  • Non-slip surfaces: Consider placing non-slip mats in the bathroom, especially near the shower or bathtub.
  • Non-slip socks: Wear non-slip socks with good grip, especially at night, to prevent falls on slippery floors.

Bed configuration

  • Bed height: Choose a bed height that allows you to comfortably enter and exit without excessive strain. Ideally, your feet should be flat on the floor when seated on the edge of the bed.
  • Grab bars: Install sturdy grab bars on both sides of the bed for additional support when getting in and out.
  • Mattress firmness: Consider a mattress with the right firmness level for your comfort and support.

Accessibility and reaching aids

  • Long-handled grabbers: Utilise long-handled grabbers or reachers to retrieve items placed on high shelves or in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Furniture arrangement: Arrange furniture thoughtfully, allowing ample space for manoeuvring with a walker or wheelchair if needed.
  • Assistive devices: Consider using sock or shoe pullers, dressing sticks, or button hooks to simplify daily tasks.

Additional things to consider

  • Maintain good posture while sleeping: Choose a supportive pillow and mattress that keep your spine aligned and prevent discomfort.
  • Ensure adequate hydration: Dehydration can contribute to dizziness and increase the risk of falls. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can improve strength, balance, and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing mobility.
  • Seek professional guidance: If you're facing specific mobility challenges, consulting an occupational therapist can provide personalised recommendations for assistive devices and modifications to optimise your bedroom environment.

Where to buy equipment to help you stay safe in the bedroom

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.



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