Chapter 3: Help with mobility and movement
Making the bed with someone in it
As illness progresses, the person who is ill may need to remain in bed, and you will need to change the sheets with them there. Click on each phrase below to review the steps involved.
- Collect your supplies. You will need a fitted sheet for under the person, a flat sheet that can be folded for use as a turning sheet, a moisture-proof pad if necessary, a top sheet, a bedspread or comforter, and clean pillowcases.
- Let the person know what you will
- If you have someone assisting, place yourselves on opposite sides of the bed facing each other.
- Check that any catheters or tubing are not caught on the bed.
- If possible, raise the bed to waist level to reduce any strain on your back.
- If the bed has wheels, make sure they are in a locked position.
- Gently remove extra pillows, but leave one under the head of the person.
- Next, help the person turn toward the other side of the bed. Ensure they can hold onto another person, a bed rail, the edge of the bed, or even a pillow placed on the edge of the bed for stability.
- You can cover the person who is ill with a clean sheet or blanket to help keep them comfortable.
- Loosen the soiled sheets on the empty side of the bed and roll them toward the middle of the bed. If there is a moisture pad, roll it toward the person and tuck it under their back.
- Place the clean fitted sheet on the empty half of the bed. Roll up the loose half of the clean sheet and move it toward the centre of the bed, toward the soiled linens. Repeat this for each layer. Create a turning sheet to help with future turnings by folding a flat sheet in half and positioning it from shoulder to thigh. Like you did with the fitted sheet, smooth the flat sheet and roll the unused loose half toward the person’s back.
- Use the same procedure if you are using a moisture-proof pad.
- If the person has a catheter (or other tubing), transfer it to the side of the bed that you just changed.
- Help the person roll to the other side of the bed, taking extra care as you move them over the rolls of linens.
- Remove the soiled sheets.
- Stretch the clean sheets to the other side of the bed and tuck them in. Repeat this for all the clean layers. Smooth out all wrinkles as they may cause discomfort for person who is ill.
- Straighten out the flat turning sheet and the moisture pad as before.
- Gently roll the person who is ill back to the middle of the bed.
- Reposition the person into a more comfortable position; use pillows as needed.
- Change the pillowcases.
- Wash your hands.
Watch the video for a demonstration and tips on making the bed with someone in it.