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 Fall mats? 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:05 am
Posts: 150
Location: Raleigh, NC
Post Fall mats?
Apologies for double posting. Robin suggested we needed new topic for this question.

I'm looking for advice and experience related to fall mats or other means of preventing or lessening injury from falls

My mother cannot walk on her own but she keeps trying. She has had a few falls, with the most recent resulting in a broken hip when she tried to get out of bed or fell out. We don't know which.

She is already in a high-low bed, set on low when she's sleeping, with a scooped mattress to discourage exiting. That obviously didn't work. I do plan to get a bed alarm, but that only announces she's on the move. A fall pad would soften the fall, but it seems likely to make the fall even more probable. The facility considers bed rails a restraint and doesn't allow them, nor do other facilities I've checked with.

Has anyone found a good solution? If a fall pad is a good idea, what's the best thickness and size?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:54 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
I've heard of people doing three things to lessen the injury from falls:
(a) putting the mattress./boxspring on the floor (eliminate the frame)
(b) putting another mattress on the floor right next to the bed
(c) using an absorption pad*

It is common for facilities to consider bed rails restraints. The same facilities usually allow a "bed cane"** to be used. You might ask about that.

Would your mother use a call button appropriately to indicate she wants to get out of bed?

Is it possible for your mother to have a sitter while she's in bed? The sitter can be in the other room with a camera on your mother for monitoring.

Also...why is she trying to get out of bed? If it's to go to the bathroom, then consider a medication to deal with nighttime polyuria. I think there's a drug based on desmopressin -- something like DVAP.

Good luck,

* Someone on an online support group recommended this bath mat because it can absorb "up to 93% of impact forces from a fall." I have heard of the company before - Posey. They make a good gait belt and some incontinence bed pads.

Here's a description of the bath mat, which is in their Fall Protection product category:
The Posey Sure-Step Cushioned Bath Mat is designed to create a safe environment in damp, slippery areas. Made of soft, durable PVC and capable of absorbing up to 93% of impact forces from a fall. Impervious to water, oils, grease, brines, acids, alkalis and bacterial growth. Easy to install and can be cut to fit any size bathtub, shower stall, or bathroom floor. Meets UL94V0 flammability testing.

It comes 3' wide, and in various lengths (4', 5', 6', and 8'). It's $100 for the smallest size and $200 for the largest size. Pricey stuff.

Go to, and enter 60224 in the box next to the word Search. Then click on Search. You can see several pictures of the mat.

** A good one is: BedCane from Standers, Inc. ( - company name ends in S but the web address doesn't). The handle is wide, very sturdy, and somewhat cushioned. The handle attaches to a solid wood base, which is tied to the mattress. The whole thing is very sturdy. I think we paid $60 for this.

Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:43 pm

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:05 am
Posts: 150
Location: Raleigh, NC
Thanks again for good advice, Robin.

I'm looking into the bath mat (although the link didn't work for me). It's no more expensive than other fall mats and maybe, since it's made for wet surfaces, won't slip. The all-vinyl ones slide easily.

Someone else suggested hip pads, which I'm also investigating.

The bed cane is allowable but wouldn't help much. After she stands, she still can't walk on her own and isn't successful with a walker. Someone has to be there.

As for why she keeps trying to get up, it goes on day and night. She seems to think there are things she has to do.

We have sitters with her now, while her hip is healing and she needs two people for transfers, 24-7 but can't keep that up forever. I had not thought about a camera, but since the staff isn't stationary to be watching, I'm not sure if that will be any better than a bed alarm, which we'll install in any case.

I guess we'll just do the best we can.


Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:06 am

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:05 am
Posts: 150
Location: Raleigh, NC
It seems we can save our money on the hip pads, at least until there's solid evidence for a particular brand. An AMA study a couple of years back found no evidence they prevented fractures.

Here's a link to a short news summary: ... index.html


Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:31 am
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