Home Care: How to Make a Bed with a Patient in It

How to Make a Bed with a Patient in It

One of the challenges of caring for elderly parents who are bed ridden is learning how to change the bed sheets by yourself while the bed is still occupied. While this may seem like an impossible task for a single person to do, it’s really not all that difficult. The secret is to change the bed linens one side at a time using the following instructions:

Supplies needed:

Supplies needed

fresh linens & pillowcases
extra pillow
laundry basket
clean lap blanket
latex gloves (if sheets are soiled)

Step 1: Remove the top blankets and bedspread (if clean) and set aside on a chair or night stand for now.

Step 2: Remove the top sheet and toss in the laundry basket. Cover the patient with the lap blanket to keep him warm while the bed is being changed.

Step 3: Using both arms, gently roll the patient towards you, propping up the back with the spare pillow. Be sure to cradle the patient’s head with a second pillow to avoid straining his neck muscles.

Step 4: Untuck the fitted sheet all around the edge of the bed, taking care that the patient doesn’t roll out of bed.

Step 5: Push the bottom sheet ~ lengthwise ~ under the patient’s side.

Step 6. Fit the clean fitted sheet over the unoccupied side of the bed. Scrunch up the other half of this clean sheet and tuck beneath the patient, lengthwise.

Step 7: Remove the pillow from the patient’s back, and roll him gently over the old linens to the clean side of the bed, taking care that the patient doesn’t fall out of bed.

Step 8: Remove the soiled fitted sheet and toss in the laundry basket.

Step 9: Pull out the clean fitted sheet from beneath the patient and tuck in place. If the patient is using bed pads for incontinence, this is the time to place a fresh pad beneath the patient’s hips.

Step 10: Carefully return the patient to his back, and continue making the bed with a fresh top sheet, blankets and bed spread. Double check the location of the bed pads to make sure it is properly centered.

Step 11: Gently remove the pillow beneath the patient’s head and replace the soiled pillowcase with a clean one. When it comes time to wash those soiled linens, it’s recommended that bed linens for bedridden patients should be washed using mild detergent, and rinsed twice to remove soap residual that can irritate the skin.