How Bed Step Stools for the Elderly Are Different from Normal Step Stoolsby Reading 3 Min
A bed step stool for the elderly is a crucial piece of equipment in preventing falls and ensuring safety for seniors while getting in and out of bed. According to the CDC, approximately 36 million older adults fall each year, out of which many result in death or serious injury. Further studies show that two-thirds are likely to fall again within six months. These statistics are not only shocking but can also put the fear of living alone into a perfectly healthy senior citizen. However, with the right mobility devices, like the bed step stool, not only can you ensure the safety of your loved ones, but they can also enjoy a life of independence as they age.
So, what makes a bed step stool for the elderly different from a normal step stool? The answer is simple— the ergonomic design of the bed steps for the elderly keeps in mind the specific changes that the body goes through with age. As a result, these step stools accurately provide the right kind of support to seniors and are much safer than normal step stools.
Normal plastic and wooden step stools and even step ladders serve several purposes but don’t necessarily consider the various ways in which seniors need support while getting in and out of bed.
A great deal of foresight goes into manufacturing bed steps for the elderly. For example, possible accidents while using the stool are taken into account when designing the stool, thus preventing these same accidents from occurring at all. For instance, small details like rubber stoppers and handles add a great deal of safety and support to bedside steps for the elderly.
Table Of Content
Bed Step Stools for the Elderly
Below is a detailed breakdown of the various ways in which the bed steps for the elderly, mainly the steel step stools, differ from normal step stools:
Bed step stools for the elderly come after a great deal of consideration into their materials and design. Made from steel (or metal), they are sturdy and durable. They also have rubber stoppers to prevent slipping and sliding and rubber grippers that help seniors get a good hold on to the handles while climbing up. In addition, the weight of these step stools is more than a normal step stool, making them more stable and less likely to topple over.
Bed stools for the elderly differ in design a great deal compared to normal step stools as they keep in mind factors like weight, physical mobility, visual impairment, and body coordination. Therefore, there are vast structural differences between the two, such as:
Bed step stools made for seniors must have handles. Seniors who require additional support to walk should use step stools with handles to maintain their balance and safely climb up. Handles provide that stability and support and reduce the risk of falls.
The platform or surface of a bed step stool for seniors should be large enough to stand on safely. Additionally, the surface should not be slippery and should be coated with an “anti-slip” layer.
Weak eyesight is a common problem with senior citizens. Keeping this in mind, the color of a step stool for seniors should be bright and easy to see. This will help differentiate between the different parts of the step stool and reduce the risk of accidents or falls.
Mobility is crucial for seniors. However, most seniors may not be able to lift their legs very high after a certain age. Arthritis, weak muscles, or even a recent surgery may prevent seniors from doing so. Therefore, the height of a step stool should be adjustable according to an individual’s convenience, which will make it easy even for seniors with poor mobility.
Weight gain is a common factor as we age. Many seniors are likely to be overweight. Keeping this in mind, a step for bed for the elderly should hold at least 500 pounds safely.
- Pros and Cons
Is a bed step stool necessary for seniors? Let us explore the pros and cons of a bed step stool for the elderly:
- It makes getting in and out of bed easier for seniors who have poor mobility or have just had surgery
- It increases safety and reduces the risk of falls
- It allows seniors to be independent longer
- It is bulky and maybe an eyesore in certain room aesthetics
- It may get in the way while walking around the room, thereby creating a tripping hazard
Why Should You Choose a Steel Step Stool
The design and material of step stools differ - namely, steel, wood, and plastic.
Plastic step stools, when new, are quite reliable. But as one uses them, they begin to wear out and, over time, can slip or collapse when least expected.
Wooden stools are far less likely to collapse and are visibly more sturdy than plastic step stools. However, wood can grow fungus, infest with termites, and even rot over time. This significantly compromises the safety of using a wooden step stool.
When looking at bed step stools for long-term use, steel step stools are the best option. Steel is a durable alloy and has no expiry date. It does not wear out with regular use, nor does it decay over time. Furthermore, it is strong and can withstand hundreds of pounds of weight, making it safer and more reliable than plastic or wood. Therefore, when choosing a bed step stool for the elderly, experts always recommend a steel model.
Benefits of Using a Step Stool
- Seniors who have recently had an injury or have had surgery should not to strain their muscles. Using a step stool to get in and out of bed makes it easier to move your muscles without straining them.
- Seniors who face challenges with mobility due to arthritis, Parkinson’s, or any other health reason can get in and out of bed with ease if they use a bed step stool.
- Even for healthy seniors, who are not particularly affected by mobility issues, using a bed step stool can prevent accidents, injuries, or falls as you get older.
- A step stool allows seniors to be independent for longer.
- Bedside steps for the elderly are always a good option to ensure safety in the home, especially for those who live alone.
Best Step Stools for the Elderly Considering the Above Points
This sturdy, steel step stool has all the features of the Step2Bed with one change—it is compact and smaller in size. The Step2Bed Mini is suitable for both high and low beds, with a height-adjustable step up to 10 inches. In addition, it can hold up to 300 pounds of weight.
The Step2Bed XL is a larger build with heavy-duty steel, and weighing only 22 pounds. This magnificent step stool can hold up to 800 pounds of weight. All Step2Bed step stools come with a user manual and assembly instructions.
The Step2Bed fully assembled arrives fully assembled and ready to use. It has all the features of the Step2Bed steel bed step stool, minus the hassle of assembly. Instead, an expert puts it together and saves you the extra effort required to understand and assemble the different components.
This steel bed step stool is easy on your pocket. If you are on a tight budget, this bed step stool is a great option. Without compromising on the quality of the step stool, this refurbished product is just as safe and useful.
When choosing a bed step stool for the elderly or any other equipment for seniors, it is very important to ensure that the product’s company, website, or manufacturer is senior-centric. Here is where you will most likely find the best and safest products.
NORMAL STEP STOOLS
While normal step stools are helpful in many ways, they don’t keep the unique needs of seniors in mind.
Normal step stools are wooden or plastic, as opposed to bed step stools for the elderly made out of steel. They also sometimes come as a combination of fabric and wood. While these step stools comply with basic safety standards, they are not right for older adults to use. They succumb to wear and tear and are no longer safe to use after a certain period of time.
For instance, a folding plastic step stool that might appear sturdy and even claim to hold up to 300 pounds safely can collapse suddenly while you are standing on it. This is because it has too many hinges and moving parts. The hinges wear out over time and eventually give way. Unfortunately, you may not realize what happened until it is too late.
Cons of Using a Normal Step Stool for Seniors
Normal step stools are not safe to use for seniors, and here’s why:
- They are not made of steel
- They are not ergonomically designed and don’t keep the unique needs of seniors in mind
- They may not be equipped with handles and other key safety features
- They may not have a surface large enough to stand on comfortably
- They may not have an anti-slip surface
- They may be too high, causing difficulty for older adults to step up
Who Can Use a Normal Step Stool?
Young, healthy individuals who do not have balance, coordination, and mobility issues can use a normal step stool at home for several purposes, such as reaching a high shelf, cleaning a fan, or dusting in hard-to-reach places, changing a light bulb, etc.
Difference Between Step Stool for Elderly and Normal Step Stool
Step Stool for the Elderly
Normal Step Stool
Reinforced steel: strong, durable, and not subject to wear and tear.
Wood, plastic, or fabric: reliable when new but undergone wear and tear over time.
Have handles for support. This helps with balance and stability while climbing on and getting off the stool.
May not have any handles. This is risky as there is nothing to hold on to for balance.
Height of 7 – 10 inches for seniors to step up easily.
Height can differ and can often be too high, increasing the risk of falling or injury.
Can hold up to 800 pounds in weight.
Can usually hold up to 300 pounds, but with time, the material may not be able to withstand that amount of weight due to wear and tear.
Normal step stools may work well for housework when used by a young, healthy individual. However, they are not safe for seniors. When selecting bed steps for the elderly, trust only websites or manufacturers who are “senior-centric.” Always choose the best quality, even if it means spending a little bit more. In the long run, you can prevent falls and injuries that would otherwise cost you a fortune to treat. In addition, you can also engage in mobility exercises and workout for seniors that will improve stability and balance.
Know more about how to choose the best bed step stool for the elderly.
Why Use a Bed Step Stool for the Elderly?
The elderly go through a lot of physical changes with age, which leads to poor mobility. Getting in and out of bed is risky without the right support. In order to prevent falls and injuries, a bed step stool is a great solution. Bed step stools also reduce the stress and strain on the muscles while getting in and out of bed.
How to Choose the Right Bedside Step Stool for Your Needs?
When selecting a bedside step stool for older adults, it is always important to consult senior-centric websites or manufacturers. They are experts and are well researched in the unique needs that seniors have regarding mobility.
How to Choose Bed Steps?
Choosing bed steps is easy, as long as you know what purpose it will serve you. Here are a few guidelines:
- Always go for steel over other materials
- Try to get a bed step stool with a handle
- Always opt for step stools that have adjustable heights.
What Should I Look for In a Bedside Step Stool?
Durability, stability, adjustability, grip, height, and weight capacity are the key features to look at when selecting the right bedside step stool for you.
How to Safely Get into Bed?
A bedside step stool is a reliable tool to ensure that you are getting in and out of bed safely. It provides extra stability and support. Most bedside step stools for the elderly come with a height-adjustable step to ensure minimal stress and strain on the muscles while getting in and out of bed.
Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.