How to Boost Sleep Safety If Your Loved One's Mattress Is Too High

Has your loved one, like many older adults, been sleeping in the same bed for years? Unfortunately, a mattress that's too high off the ground poses a falling risk when severe-stage dementia interferes with mobility and increases disorientation.

You have several options to boost sleep safety:

1. First, consider a lower bed frame or an adjustable hospital bed. Medicare may cover a hospital bed.. Or choose a platform bed, which doesn't require box springs and therefore tends to be a bit lower.

2. Second, if falling has already become a problem, try placing a light futon mattress or yoga mat beside the bed at night to cushion tumbles. (Store it under the bed by day.)

3. A third option is for your loved one to sleep on a futon on the floor, if getting up and down is still manageable.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

over 5 years, said...

To either lower the bed frame or at least put a comforter or something a person can fall onto that keeps them from getting hurt and can be stored under the bed. Thank you!

almost 6 years, said...

Seriously. Need more hard information like put an alarm on closet door to alert caregiver if Mom opens that door. Motion detector the sets off alarm in other part of house if Mom starts toget out of bed (driveway alarm from Harbor Freight works great - $14 and portable). Lower mattress is no answer to Mom recovering from broken hip or Daddy with severe arthritus. And futon beside the bed only works if you don't need to get to them or they aren't going to get up to go to the bathroom in the night. I'm sure those hints might work for some folks but not in my world.

about 6 years, said...

I am finding all these articles have been very helpful too me! I enjoy this web site immensely.

over 6 years, said...

My wife upto now has no problem of falling. But I will consider of changing the bed to a lower bed just for precaution. Thank you for the information.

over 6 years, said...

We have two beds that fit together. The head & foot of each can be raised or lowered. Too much steel under beds to store anything. Our living quarters are on a cement floor that is carpeted with berber carpet. He has trouble even getting up from the sofa seat. He could not rise up from the floor.