This week’s tip is our favorite type of tip to share; it is in response to a question received from a Tuesday Tip subscriber:
“We have a small dementia care community. Can we have half rail beds in this setting or do they have to have quarter rail?”
The primary concerns with bed rails are resident safety and avoiding the use of the rails as a restraint. RCFE regulation 87608 “Postural Supports” addresses the use of bed rails for all residents, not just those with dementia:
“Under no circumstances shall postural supports include tying, depriving, or limiting the use of a resident’s hands or feet… A bed rail that extends from the head half the length of the bed and used only for assistance with mobility shall be allowed… Bed rails that extend the entire length of the bed are prohibited except for residents who are currently receiving hospice care and have a hospice care plan that specifies the need for full bed rails.”
So, as you can see, we are limited to using half-rails and they must only be used for assistance with mobility – not as a restraint.
Additionally, regulation 87608 also states that you must have a physician’s order for the use of a postural support, including bed rails.