An Occupational Therapist's Guide to Making Your Bedroom More Accessible
A bedroom should be an inviting, comfortable space, where sleep and relaxation take place. For those with a disability or illness, the time spent in the bedroom can also be vital to maintaining health and recovery. An uninterrupted and restful night’s sleep can help to recharge both mental and physical energy levels. Quality sleep also supports any affected joints, thereby allowing us to prepare for and recover from the tasks we want and need to do.
When assessing a person in their own environment, an occupational therapist will look at a variety of factors. This will include talking to the individual about their specific needs but also their wishes, such as what they want their bedroom to look and feel like. Additionally, they’ll discuss what activities other than sleep take place in the room. For example, getting dressed. It is also important to consider who else may use the room such as a partner, or carers who may visit to support with daily tasks.
An occupational therapist may also offer advice on preventing falls, adjusting your position in bed, getting in and out of bed safely and easily and how your carer can support you in transfers. Occupational therapists can also help you to establish a sleep routine and work on relaxation techniques.
Whatever the circumstance, a bedroom should be a safe, comfortable and supportive environment for all those who need and want to use it. There are several ways your bedroom space can be made more accessible.
5 Ways to Make Your Bedroom More Accessible
1 Take Stock and Organise
Consider what items you use daily and what could be removed or stored elsewhere. Keep items you frequently use nearby your bed, like the television remote, water bottle, phone or your glasses. This will keep the room free of clutter and reduce the risk of falling as you will have everything within reach to reduce unnecessary trips around the room.
2. Look at Layouts
Could furniture be moved to give you and/or your carer more space to move.
3. Check Top to Toe
It’s not just furniture that you need to look out for. Be sure to remove any rugs that may have curled up at the edges to avoid potential trips. You can also tuck away wires or cables so there isn’t anything under your feet when you move about and keep your entry and exit routes clear.
4. Enhance Lighting
You can reduce the risk of injury by ensuring there is enough lighting in the bedroom. Different types of lighting can assist with different tasks such as bright reading lamps and spotlights where you choose clothing and dress.
5. Get Techy
There is a variety of assistive technology to help you make your bedroom more accessible.
Motion sensor lights that will only turn on when you get up, enables you to sleep soundly in the dark and can also help you to easily see where you are going if you need to get up in the night.
Hand grabbers, often called litter pickers, can be kept at the side of the bed for easy access should you drop any items.
Smartphones can now help you to manage your environmental controls like lights and temperature from the comfort of your bed.
Falls alarms and lifelines can also offer reassurance that if an accident does occur you can reach out to someone for assistance.
Everyone has unique needs and a different home environment. An adjustable bed can support you with getting in and out of bed, adjusting your position during the night in addition to enhancing the quality of your sleep by supporting your joints.
A safe, quality night’s sleep isn’t always about making big changes. Even small changes like always putting items away after use can have a big impact. If you are unsure of what might meet your needs you could consult a professional such as an occupational therapist from The OT Service. Oak Tree Mobility regional home consultants are also trained to demonstrate how to get the most out of your adjustable bed. The team are always happy to assist with advice and support for your mobility needs.