Making A Bed With A Person In It

What is it?

Making a bed is harder when there is a person in the bed. You may need to have someone help you make the bed. Having the bed neat and clean helps keep a sick person comfortable. Clean sheets that are pulled tight on the bed so there are no wrinkles may also help prevent bedsores.

Checklist for making a bed with someone in it:

Lock the wheels if this is a hospital bed. Always make sure the side rail across from the side you are working on is up . This will prevent the person from rolling or sliding out of the bed.

  • __ 1. Gather your supplies.

    • Clean sheets, pillowcases, and blanket or bedspread.

    • Folded sheet or a draw sheet.

    • Disposable gloves.

    • Laundry bag or hamper to put dirty sheets into.

    • Waterproof pads.

  • __ 2. Remove the dirty sheets on your side of the bed.

    • Put on gloves to keep from getting urine, bowel movement (BM), or other body fluids on your hands.

    • Lower the head of the bed to make it flat. The person in bed may keep one pillow under his head.

    • Raise the bed so it is high enough to keep your back comfortable while you change the bed linens.

    • Check the bed for items such as the person's glasses and put them in a safe place.

    • Ask the person to move or roll to one side of the bed with his back to you. You may need to help the person move. If possible, the person's back should be in line with the middle of the bed. Put a bath blanket over the person to keep him warm. Remove the top sheet and bedspread and put them in the laundry bag or hamper.

    • Loosen the bottom sheet from the head and sides of the mattress on your side. Roll the sheet tightly toward the center of the bed. Tuck the rolled sheet under the person's back.

  • __ 3. Put clean sheets on your side of the bed.

    • Put a clean sheet with the fold along the center of the bed.

    • Line up the lower part of the clean sheet with the foot of the mattress.

    • Roll the clean sheet along the person's back and tuck under his back.

    • Tuck a waterproof pad (if used) under the person's back.

    • Tuck a folded draw sheet tightly under the person's back.

    • Unfold the half of the clean bottom sheet on your side. Tuck it under the side of the mattress.

  • __ 4. If the bottom sheet is flat (not fitted), miter (MY-ter) the sheet corners at the head of the bed. Repeat the steps below for all sheet corners.

    • Lift the corner of the sheet and hold it up from the mattress. Hold it straight up from the corner of mattress to form a triangle.

    • Pull the triangle with one hand, and with a finger from your other hand, form a corner.

    • Rest the part of the sheet with the triangle on top of the bed.

    • With both hands, tuck under the mattress the sheet hanging near the corner.

    • Let the triangle fall back and land straight on the side, then tuck it under the mattress.

  • __ 5. Unfold the draw sheet and waterproof pad on your side. Tuck the draw sheet into the mattress. Make sure the sheet, pad, and draw sheet do not have wrinkles.

  • __ 6. Roll the person toward you over the clean sheets. Move the pillow over so his head rests comfortably on it. Raise the side rail up on your side and go to the other side of the bed.

  • __ 7. Lower the side rail on the side you are on. Remove the dirty bottom sheets and pads from under the person. Put the dirty sheets in the laundry bag. Throw away disposable pads. At this step, skin care may be done for the person in the bed. Only give skin care as directed by a caregiver.

  • __ 8. Finish putting on the clean bed linens.

    • Unroll the clean bottom sheet, pad, and draw sheet.

    • Pull the sheets to be sure they are wrinkle-free. Tuck the sides under the mattress.

    • If the bottom sheet is fitted, fix the corners of the sheet on your side. Miter the corners at the head of the bed. See step 4.

    • Change the pillowcases, and put dirty pillowcases in the laundry bag. Fluff up the pillows.

    • Help the person get into a comfortable position.

    • Put a fresh top sheet and bedspread or blanket on top of the person. Slide the bath blanket that was covering the person out from under the clean top sheet. Miter the 2 blanket corners at the foot of the bed.

  • __ 9. Make sure both side rails are up . If there is a call button, place it within reach of the person in the bed.

  • __ 10. Take the dirty sheets to the laundry area. Remove and put away all items used. Take off your gloves and throw them away. Wash your hands.

How can I help make a person comfortable in bed?

  • Change draw sheets, waterproof pads, and all bed linens right away whenever they get dirty.

  • Bed sheets should be soft and easy to wash. Old sheets are usually softer than new ones.

  • Use blankets and bedspreads that are not heavy and are easy to wash.

  • Wash all sheets and other bed linens using mild soap to avoid skin irritation.

  • Some people may be allergic to certain laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Always double-rinse (rinse two times) bed linens after washing them. Ask your caregiver about the best soaps to use if the person in bed has allergies.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your illness, injury, surgery, or procedure. You can then discuss your treatment options with your caregivers. You can work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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