Chapter 3: Help with mobility and movement
Getting ready for the move
As Jasmine became less able to move, she needed me to help her sit up and to get out of bed. I was doing it all wrong, so I got the visiting nurse to show me a better way. Those techniques help me, and it is a little easier this way.
Sometimes a person who is ill finds it uncomfortable to be moved, but staying in the same position for a long time may lead to even greater pain or discomfort. Below are some tips for moving someone in bed.
Before you start
There are many things to consider before you help the person who is ill with movement when they are in bed. Click the arrows to view them.
If possible, watch a member of the care team do a move so you can see how it is done.
Before starting, if the person who is ill is in a reclining bed, lower the bed to a flat position, or recline it as far as the person’s condition allows. Lower the bed slowly, as rapid movements can cause discomfort.
Similarly, if the person who is ill is propped up on pillows, shift these gently and slowly so the person can get into a lower position.
If it is painful to be moved, talk to the healthcare team about giving the person pain medication beforehand, and ask about the best way to administer it (when, how, why).
When you are ready to move the person who is ill, keep the following in mind:
Use a turning sheet or slider to avoid injuring skin.
- Use two or more people to lift the person off the surface. Avoid dragging them across the surface unless you are using a slider.
- After the move, pull on the sheet or pad from top to bottom to smooth out wrinkles.