Each year, more than 13 million older adults fall and more than half are unable to get back up without help. Many of these falls occur at night, when it is dark and older people are disoriented from lack of sleep. To keep older loved ones safe, it’s important to keep them in bed at night. Serious injuries, hospitalizations and other problems can arise if they wander at night. But what can caregivers do to help older loved ones stay in bed at night?

Address needs. There are a variety of reasons why an older person may get up at night, he may need to use the bathroom. They may need to drink something. They may feel uncomfortable and unable to sleep. They may be bored. If you can find ways to eliminate these causes, they will stay in their beds and have a safer night.

Older people sometimes get up at night to drink something, eat something, or take medicine. This is a simple problem to solve, as a bed organizer or tray can be used to keep water, medications, pain relievers, and food close to the bed, eliminating the need to leave the bed to meet that need. The important thing to remember is to keep these options within easy reach so the older person can stay in bed, rather than trying to navigate through hallways or dark rooms to get to the kitchen.

Another common reason older people get up at night is to use the bathroom. Helping older people stay in bed at night may mean limiting fluids a few hours before bedtime, making sure they use the bathroom just before bedtime, and providing bathroom aids such as adult diapers, bedpans and bed pads, urinals, and other supplies that can help reduce the need to get out of bed.

As people age, their bodies often change and less sleep is needed, and sleep becomes more difficult to obtain. Discomfort from physical ailments or boredom can interfere with sleep. This can result in staying up late or waking up too early. Reduce the risk of slips, falls, and other nighttime hazards by helping sleep-deprived seniors stay in bed. The best way to do this is by giving them tools to help them move and adjust in bed for comfort. A BedCaddie, for example, a bed rail, and other tools can help with comfort. Then also address boredom. A reading light and a bedside organizer that can hold books, papers, games, the TV remote, and other items to combat boredom can keep seniors in bed and safe.

Safety Rails – This is a bedside rail that literally helps keep seniors in bed by protecting them from falling. It can also offer support getting in and out of bed, which can increase safety, especially in the dark.

Even if you take every possible precaution to keep the elderly in bed at night, they may still get out of bed. So be sure to do what you can to increase safety if they do leave their beds. This means having lighting in high-traffic areas, clearing clutter, and making paths for high-traffic areas. Help them wear safe sportswear, like traction socks, and consider a pendant or other senior monitoring system they can use to call for help if they need it.