How to Move Someone Who Is Bedridden

Moving a bedridden person requires proper technique.
Moving a bedridden person requires proper technique. (Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Moving a person who is bedridden can be strenuous work. When moving a bedridden person, you need to take care of not only the patient’s well-being, but your own as well. Practicing proper techniques for moving a bedridden person will ensure not only that his needs are met, but that you won’t suffer avoidable injuries.

Turning the Person

Stand on the same side of the bed toward where you’ll be turning the patient. Position the person’s arms above his head with his hands clasped and his knees slightly bent.

Place one hand on the person’s shoulder and another on her hip, gently rotating her body toward you. You can also perform the rotation holding the person’s hands and knees if she cannot lift her arms above her head and bend her knees on her own.

Move the person, still lying on his side, back to the center of the bed to avoid him falling out of bed. Please one pillow between the patient’s knees and another at his back for comfort.

From Bed to Chair

Move a chair as close to the bed as possible. If you are moving the person into a wheelchair, lock the wheels.

Place one arm under the person’s legs and another under his back. Move the person’s legs over the edge of the bed, pivoting his body as you go. The patient should be sitting at the edge of the bed.

Bend your knees, feet apart, with the person’s hands on your shoulders. Put your arms around the person’s waist, hands clasped at her back. This position should provide support to assist as she moves to a standing position.

Pivot the person’s body slightly until his back is to the chair. Support the patient’s back as he lowers slowly into the chair.

Tips & Warnings

  • Review proper techniques with a health care professional. When starting to care for a bedridden person, you should be observed by a trained professional to make sure you’re following correct procedures. Mistakes can lead to injuries, both to you and the patient.
  • Maintain correct posture. This includes keeping your back straight, feet apart and knees bent. This will prevent strain to your shoulders and back.
  • Seek the help of another person, such as a family member, friend or health care provider. Moving a person should be done with another individual if at all possible.
  • A bedridden person should be moved frequently to avoid bedsores.

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