Mobility and Safety

Bed Wedges: Health and Comfort for Elderly to Millennial

From Millennials to Gen Xers to Boomers to Golden Agers, beds aren't just for sleeping anymore. As our already fast paced world and its technologies continue to speed ahead, more and more people are working or putting extra hours in from the comfort of home and many people have gone over to 100% telecommuting. Bed wedges are for everyone these days.

With the advent of tablets, smart phones and lightweight wireless laptops, although a home desk with an ergonomic chair is recommended to prevent strain and pressure on the back, neck, bottom and knees, it's just as easy—if not easier—to flop down on the couch or prop up some pillows in bed. Hey, a cup of coffee, your favorite tunes playing, no boss over your shoulder, why not sprawl out? The short answer is: you put your body's function and well being at risk.

Propping up on one elbow or laying on your back with your neck at an angle and lumbar not supported are recipes to spinal, joint and muscular discomfort and damage. The best way to work or play in repose is to have your back and neck supported in a gentle upward slope with your knees up, using the thighs as leverage for a lightweight device. This is where things like bed wedges and lumbar rolls not only help reduce cramps and spasms, but assist in preserving your body's structural integrity for the decades to come.

Supportive pillows make full lounging as well as sitting up in bed more comfortable. The dual position comfort wedge by Hermell Products is a uniquely designed foam wedge and pillow that supports and cradles the back, neck, shoulders and head. Used in the upright position it provides comfort and support when sitting up. A Folding Bed Wedge unfolds from a rectangular shape into a long wedge. They're perfect for that gentle slope while lying down and for under the knees to keep them gently bent. For excellent knee and/or neck support, the 4-position bed pillow by Obusforme conforms to your contours for personalized support.

Even when sitting at a desk, there are best practices to follow that reduce strain and pressure. Sit with your knees and thighs parallel to the ground with your feet slightly out front. Your view of the screen should not make your neck bend much at all, so around toolbar level. Try not to rest your hand on the mouse for extended periods of time, keep your shoulders in line and elbows at around a 90 degree angle, wrists straight and neutral as you type. A chair pad will prevent spinal compression and lumbar support helps to maintain alignment and spinal integrity.

For seniors and retirees the wireless world still spins daily. And for less tech-savvy elders, keeping active, even when confined to bed for long periods of time, is critical for quality of life and cognition. Activities like brain teasers, puzzles, card games, artwork and keeping in touch with loved ones via hand written letters or the internet also help alleviate loneliness and depression. New products like computer based mind exercise games and magnetic puzzles entertain and can be shared with adult children and grandchildren alike, as well as enjoyed on their own.

Making sure elderly bodies are well supported is incredibly important, as our bodies take more time to heal as we get on into the golden years. Bed wedges created specifically to suit an individual body's needs are better options than trying to reconfigure ordinary pillows, but not all wedges go underneath or behind us. 

Long story short, always keep in mind that proper body positioning is crucial and often absolutely necessary in order for activities meant to bring productivity and joy to not also incur immediate and lasting damage to the back, neck or extremities. And don't forget to change positions, stretch and refocus during in depth sessions of being seated or in repose.

- Written By

Anastasia Hobbs

Elder Care Expert
With over 20 years of experience in the eldercare industry, Anastasia Hobbs is a true elder care expert. Anastasia is passionate about providing compassionate care for elderly individuals and helping them stay independent.