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.nbsp; Depending upon your loved one’s 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 one’s need for more help in and out of bed.

  • 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 criticize them.

  • 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 senior’s 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 idea.

  • 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 and down.



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