With the announcement this week by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bed Handles Inc. of a voluntary recall of about 113,000 adult portable bed handles, our attention is once again drawn to how to help keep elderly people safe. The bed handles that are being recalled can shift out of place, creating a dangerous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress. This gap poses a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death. This defective product has already resulted in the death of three women.
Recalled models include the Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W), the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) which is sold as a set of two bed handles, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant® (AJ1). The bed handles are intended to assist adults with getting in and out of bed by giving them a bar to grip and were sold by home health care stores, drug stores and medical equipment stores nationwide and in home and health care catalogs from January 1994 through December 2007 for about $100.
This is just one example of a number of products that are designed for elderly users that can cause problems both in the home and in a commercial setting, such as a nursing home. Other examples include consumer goods that may be safe for younger users but can be dangerous for elderly users who have reduced reaction times and less strength.