ARTICLES / General / Bed
Safety in the Elderly /
Few if any tasks as a caregiver
needs to be as done responsibly and efficiently as does
helping your loved one in and out of bed. Establishing a
ritual that you and your elderly loved one can follow
will ensure the best possible care. Depending upon your
loved oneís flexibility and maneuverability, you may or
may not be their sole means of movement in and out of
bed. Here are some helpful hints to think about as you
tend to your loved oneís need for more help in and out
If they are better suited to be rolled off the bed,
make sure they are close to the edge of the bed and
lying on their backs. From this position you can slowly
position their knees off the side of the bed so their
feet can hang off and they can best be in a position to
start walking or be pulled up. The same conditions apply
when placing them back in bed, only in reverse as they
are gently placed on their back and then they can roll
into a comfortable position on the bed itself.
Depending on their flexibility, have them lie on their
back and slowly move their body to the side of the bed
nearest you. Then have them put their arms straight out
at which time you pull them up and position their feet
towards the edge of the bed. With their arms now at
their side on the bed, they can push off from the bed
with their hands applying pressure to the bed. The
position is not as easy when placing them in the bed,
and they need to have some upper extremity function in
order to lean to one side and then onto their back,
while you place their feet in the bed.
Do not get angered easily at your loved one,
rather be calm and simply support them if they are having difficulty, and NEVER
Make sure they are not likely to try
and get up without assistance, as they could easily injure themselves.
Have a plan in place ahead of time if
they are likely to get up at night to use the bathroom and require your assistance with getting in
and out of bed.
Never become too aggressive and try to
forcefully pick up your loved one, as you could easily bruise or hurt their arms and legs.
Make sure they have a mattress that
best fits their needs. For instance, a water bed is not advised for someone who has difficulty
getting up out of bed, rather a mattress designed for back support can help
a seniorís movements.
If their movement is restricted, a
motorized bed that reduces stress on their backs by raising and lowering on its own may be a wise
If the senior is unable to put weight
on their arms, bed rails may work to provide a sense of strength and reinforcement in getting up
Always be upfront and instruct the
loved one of your next move so they are not surprised when you go to move them in and out of bed.