Helping an aging adult to get in and out of bed safely may sound like an easy task, but truthfully, you and the elderly can both get hurt if the process isn’t done carefully. If you use the right aids and follow the right instructions, you can mitigate most problems that may happen. Generally, here’s how you do it: you start by slowly rolling the elderly to the edge of the bed (relying on some sort of handrail would help), shift the legs off the bed, and put your hand under his or her shoulder to help them sit up. Let’s delve into these steps in detail and learn why it’s important to learn them carefully.
Why Is It Important To Follow These Steps?
Unknown by many, whenever you are helping an aging adult to move, there is a high risk of injury that both of you may face. Occupational therapists who have helped hundreds of such individuals move off beds, toilets, and chairs have injured themselves and suffered from chronic back pain. Remember that injuries can occur even with proper training.
Helping An Older Adult Out Of Bed Safely: Step-by-Step Process
Some of the common ways we help aging adults move are getting them off and on shower benches, chairs, beds, and toilet seats. There are various ways that you can follow, depending on some of the physical concerns each individual has. Generally, these are the steps that need to be taken to help an elderly out of bed safely:
Ensure you are close to the bed: Start by getting the individual as close to the edge of the bed safely. Here’s what you need to know: the closer that person is to the edge, the less strain your body will be enduring.
Log roll: With the elderly on his or her back, slowly help them to roll over onto the side that is nearest to the edge of the bed. If needed, you can help them to bend their knees and place their feet on the bed. You can put one hand under their hip furthest from the edge of the bed and another hand under the shoulder, also away from the edge of the bed.
Relying on handrail: The elderly can hold onto a bed handrail while you log roll them. This makes the process a lot easier for them as they have some support to rely on.
No handrail: However, if there is no handrail installed, the elderly will just put their hand on the edge of the bed as support.
Shifting legs away from the bed: When the elderly have safely moved to their side, help them to slightly shift their legs over the edge of the bed. Remember that you can assist them to put their legs down and simultaneously lift them up by the shoulder for them to sit up, if possible.
Sitting up: Place your hand under their shoulder nearest to the edge of the bed so they are able to sit up.
Give them cues: If they can follow your directions and instructions, give them cues throughout the process so that they are also able to help you as much as possible.