Good Morning,

I would change the sheets as much as needed. The medical supplies under your health insurance should covering pads to cover the mattress.

Also, I air out the bedroom daily. Keep the air circulated. You can also wash your bed sheets with laundry detergent and vinegar and baking soda. This gets rid of any sour smell. It's works great for athletic socks too.

Studies show the color lavender is calming for the elderly. I bought my mother a Lands End lavender comforter with matching sham. The other sham I put on her nightstand. She loves it.

These little things do matter. I know it's tough to strip the bed but it's quality of life for our loved ones. When I put Mom to bed at night we have our routine--her rosary beads go under her pillow and a feminine handkerchief. She has a smile on her face. There's a lamp left on until she dozes off.

It's makes me feel happy inside so when it's Mom's time to go I will know I did my best!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Ireland
lorrising Jan 7, 2023
Ireland, your sweet and loving attitude was something I needed to hear today. I am often frustrated and irritated with my mother and I try not to show it but a person would have to be deaf and blind to not to realize I am not at my best! Reading what you wrote about your routine for your mother was a great reminder for me that attitude and a servant's heart go a long way!
See 2 more replies
Bed linens should be changed whenever they are soiled. Otherwise I change bed linens once a week.
There are bed pads that can be ordered on Amazon. Medline is the brand I used. They work well to protect the bed from incontinence.
The correct fit on the disposable underwear such as depends or tabbed diapers used with pads can reduce the need to change the bed if the depends are changed often.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to 97yroldmom

I changed my dad's every day. He said it made him feel better.

I'm picky about linens and have my bed changed every other day. When we rented cottages, sheets were changed every Sunday and Wednesday. On Sundays after guests checked out we changed everything, mattress pads, pillows, all sheets and blankets.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Bridget66
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 30, 2022
Your posting reminds me of how my mom always changed our sheets when we were sweating from a fever breaking.

I still remember the comforting feeling of fresh sheets and the soothing taste of the hot tea that she brought to us.
See 2 more replies
When my late husband was completely bedridden in our living room, and under hospice care, I changed his sheets every Monday and Thursday when the aides were here to bathe him.
Now of course he had several large waterproof pads under him just in case he had an accident, but thankfully my husband had a permanent catheter so only had to be concerned if he pooped after his paid CNA left in the morning(which thankfully he only did a few times in the 22 months he was bedridden.)
So if the sheets aren't soiled, twice a week should be fine, otherwise change as needed.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to funkygrandma59
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 30, 2022
Did your husband find the catheter uncomfortable at times?

My daddy would ask me to bargain with his doctor about taking a break from his catheter. I think he got so tired of laying in the hospital bed, rather than being able to walk to the bathroom.

The doctor was sweet and said to me, “Okay dad can have a break today but tomorrow it’s going back in.” That seemed to satisfy my father.

I think daddy felt that his doc would give him an automatic, ‘No!’ So, he sent me into negotiate with him.
I ended up changing sheets daily if needed. It’s exhausting to keep up with all of the work, but if they are soiled I didn’t want my mom to sleep in a nasty mess.

Mom’s home health and hospice nurses kept an eye out for pressure wounds.

If they aren’t soiled then once a twice a week is fine. The smell will be overwhelming if sheets aren’t cleaned regularly.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

For the average 7 days a week, 8 hrs of sleeping I would say once a week. But for someone constantly in bed, I would say 2x a week if not soiled. Of course if soiled, they should be changed ASAP.

Not sure if they make them anymore but when my girls were babys the had crib paids the had flannel on the outside and rubber in the middle. I placed these on top of the sheet so I didn't have to change them every time there was an accident. I still had one and used it in Moms chair.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29

When my MIL was with us I changed the sheets each time the hospice bath aide came to give her a shower. She was in bed 24/7 except for showers and toilet and was not incontinent. I just felt she'd be a little more comfortable if the sheets were always fresh after her shower. They never actually seemed soiled to me.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to iameli

At least more often since the body is in the bed 24/7.
Even if there are no spills, not much sweating, change those sheets, for dignity's sake.
You can change the pillow cases more often, even daily.

There is a technique where you put an extra sheet over the regular sheet set.
Often called the slide sheet, it can be used as the only fresh sheet to be changed during the week. It is not tucked in at the top and bottom.
The bedridden patient can be rolled over, the sheet rolled up, then roll the patient the opposite way to remove and re-install a new sheet.

If soiled, resourceful caregivers on here have even reported that instead of dealing with a truly soiled sheet, they threw it away.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Sendhelp

I think they should be changed twice a week, unless incontinence is an issue, then as needed but, no longer then 4 days between changes.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

The bottom sheet is the one that is difficult to change when someone is bedbound. Here's a nurse trick you might appreciate. Make the bed with two fitted sheets each time which allows you to remove the top one and the bottom one is still on the bed. This really does make changing sheets easier when it has to be done frequently. If incontinence is an issue you can put pads between the two fitted sheets to keep the bottom sheet clean and dry.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to lorrising

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter