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How to Make A Bed with a Person in It

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about making a bed with a person in it?

A neat and clean bed helps keep a person comfortable and helps prevent bedsores. You may need to have someone help you change the bed.

What supplies do I need to gather before I start?

  • Clean sheets, pillowcases, and blanket or bedspread
  • Folded sheet or a slide sheet
  • Disposable gloves
  • Laundry bag or hamper for dirty sheets
  • Waterproof pads, if needed

How do I remove dirty sheets from the bed?

  • Put on gloves to protect your hands from urine, bowel movement, or other body fluids.
  • Check the bed for any loose items and put them in a safe place.
  • Remove the top sheet and blanket or bedspread. Put them in the laundry bag or hamper.
  • Ask the person to roll so that he or she faces the opposite side of the bed with his or her back to you. You may need to help the person move.
    Make A Bed with a Person in It
  • Loosen the bottom sheet from the head and foot of the bed on your side. Roll the sheet tightly toward the center of the bed.
  • Remove the dirty linens and put them in the laundry bag or hamper. Throw away disposable pads.

How do I put clean sheets on the bed?

  • Unfold the clean fitted, or bottom, sheet so it runs from the head of the bed to the foot.
  • Pull the sheet over the corners of the bed, and pull the side of the sheet down.
  • Roll and tuck the loose end of the sheet under the person's body.
  • Roll and tuck a waterproof pad or slide sheet (if used) under the person's mid-section.
  • Make sure the linens are smooth.
  • Roll the person toward you over the clean linens.
  • Go to the other side of the bed.
  • Pull the roll of clean linens toward you so that it unrolls. Continue to pull the linens tight so that they are smooth.
  • Pull the sheet over the corners of the bed, and pull the side of the sheet down.
  • Help the person roll back so he or she is in a comfortable position.

What steps do I need to follow after I put clean sheets on the bed?

  • Help the person move into a comfortable resting position in the bed, if needed. If you placed a slide sheet under the person, you can use it to change the person's position. Have someone help you by standing on the other side of the person's bed. You will each hold the slide sheet at the person's shoulder and knee levels. Move the sheet up, down, or to the side as needed so the person is comfortable.
    Transfer Sheet
  • Change the pillowcases and rearrange the pillows for comfort.
  • Put a clean top sheet and blanket or bedspread over the person.
  • Take off your gloves and wash your hands.

How can I help make the person comfortable in bed?

  • Change slide sheets, waterproof pads, and all bed linens regularly. Change them immediately if they get dirty.
  • Choose linens that are soft.
  • Use blankets and bedspreads that are light.
  • Wash all linens with mild soap to avoid skin irritation.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.