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Taking Care in Bed


Taking Care in Bed 

Click here to print the Taking Care in Bed guide

Getting in and out of bedBed leaver and ladder photo

Getting in and out of bed is easier if the bed is the right height; low enough to sit on the bed and get legs into bed safely and high enough to stand from the bed or for carers to provide care in bed. Bed grab handles fit under the mattress or onto the bed frame, to give a firm grip when moving in bed and getting in and out of bed. The rail positioned to avoid risk of entrapment. Leg lifting straps can be used to help a person or their carer to lift legs into bed. Powered leg lifters can be fitted to the bed to lift legs into bed.  Bed raising blocks can be added onto bed legs or castors, to raise the height of the bed for getting out of bed more easily and for care in bed. A height adjustable powered profiling bed can be adjusted for getting in and out and raised to help carers who are assisting the person in bed.

profiling bedMoving in bed

Moving in bed is important for comfort and for preventing pressure ulcers. Slide sheets are fabric panels for assisted or independent movement in bed. Bed hand blocks, grab handles and bed ‘ladder’ can help when moving in bed. A powered mattress elevator or pillow lift helps a person to sit up in bed. A powered profiling bed can move to support the person in a sitting or lying position.

For a ‘Moving and Handling Assessment’ at home; call Care Direct 03451551007

Falling out of bed

Falling out of bed can be a risk. Make sure the person is lying away from the edge of the bed for a safe nights sleep. IdentifyThorpe mill wedges which part falls first, upper body or legs. Pillows placed under the sheet, each side of shoulders or feet may keep them in bed. Bed Safety Rails can prevent falls from bed, but are risky if the person climbs over. These wedges from Thorpe Mill can help to reduce the risk of  rolling to the edge of the bed. A low bed may prevent injury if rails and other solutions aren’t suitable, but a low bed may make care in bed more difficult.  A crash mat on the floor can reduce injury when falling from the bed, as long as it doesn’t become a trip hazard for the person or their carer.  A bed sensor alarm can be set up to alert a carer that a person has got out of bed.  A pendant alarm can be used to call for help if falling is a risk for that person.

Eating and drinking in bed

Eating and drinking in bed can be difficult as the person needs to be upright to swallow.  A backrest may not be enough to support a sitting position in bed when eating and drinking. Add a pillow under the knees to relieve pressure when sitting up in bed and a pillow each side can give support when eating and drinking in bed. A tray or over bed table should be positioned as close as possible to avoid the person having to lean to the side or forwards to eat, as this will make swallowing difficult. If the person is in a profiling bed the controls can be adjusted to achieve a better position for eating and drinking.

Taking Care to keep skin healthy in bedpressure risk in bed

When in lying in bed, pressure ulcers develop if the person is in a fixed position for a long time and if their weight is not spread evenly on the bed. When sitting up in bed or propped up with pillows or a backrest, extra weight is put through the buttocks and base of the spine. In this position the person will also slide down the bed, which puts extra pressure on their heels, elbows and the back of their head and causes pressure damage very quickly.

Support the person’s weight evenly on the bedsupported in bed to reduce the risk of pressure damage in bed. When propped up on pillows or a backrest, stop the slide by placing a pillow under the knees and maybe one pillow each side of the body, for support and to take the pressure off elbows, heels and buttocks.

In a profiling bed, profiling bedraise the knee section before raising the head section for support to stop the slide down the bed and reduce the pressure on vulnerable places.

 If lying on their side side lyingcheck for the risk of pressure on bony areas like the elbows, between knees and ankles, and protect or relieve this pressure.

Change position in bed frequently bed rails, ladder and slide sheetto relieve pressure and for comfort. The person might find that bed grab handles, slide sheets and the bed ladder will help them change position in bed to relieve pressure on vulnerable parts of the body. If the person is in a profiling bed, they can use hand controls to change their position to stop the pressure building up. If the person is unable to move in bed, carers can use slide sheets to change their position more easily.

 If the person is fixed in a position posture support in bedthat cannot be changed, carers can use pillows to support and protect vulnerable parts in bed.

It is important to get advice from a therapist from the NHS or Devon County team, to find out about equipment and ways to improve and manage that person’s position 24 hours a day.

If there is a risk of skin damage, contact the local community nurse team for advice.

For a ‘Moving and Handling Assessment’ at home; call Care Direct 03451551007