When my Mom was stronger and lighter, we were able to pull on her bed pad and move her higher in her bed. Now, when I come to visit, I often find her in the middle of the bed lying flat on her back even though she is fully awake. I feel this position is very bad for her state of mind. When I go to readjust her position, I cannot budge her -- she's just gained too much weight. I am trying to avoid getting a mechanical lift because I think that kind of machinery will depress her. I have two aides who have no trouble moving her up higher on the bed, but they are very strong women. Must I let go my aides who are not as strong and are now having difficulty, or is there some technique to readjust her more easily? When two of us pull on either side of her bed pad, we are successful, but I cannot afford to have two aides present at all times. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

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If your mother cares about you and your own health she will do whatever is necessary to make moving her easier on you so you don't injure yourself. Tell her what is going on and let her know you will have to get a lift. If she refuses then I would place her in a facility.

I am tired of hearing about all these children who are caregivers who risk their own health to take care of parents who dont seem to care about the health conssequences for their kids.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to sp19690
CTTN55 Aug 2, 2021
Yes! Why are an elder's feelings more important than their caregiver's physical health?

" I am trying to avoid getting a mechanical lift because I think that kind of machinery will depress her."

Don't you think a permanent physical injury outweighs the importance of mother's possible depression? Don't you think you will get very depressed when you may be in pain from a preventable injury?
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The easiest and safest way to do this is...
Hopefully you are using a "draw sheet" on the bed.
Lower the head of the bad as far down as it will go.
Raise the foot of the bed as high as it will go.
Grasp the edge of the sheet, if it is one person grasp at the top, near the shoulders while you stand behind the top/head of the bed and pull the sheet upwards to the top of the bed. If there are 2 people each grasping a part of the sheet, near the shoulder and hip and pull to the top of the bed.
Gravity is your friend here with the head lower than the foot it will be easy (easier) to slide the person upwards.

It might also be time to look at getting a Hoyer Lift. That will make it easier to transfer from bed to chair or even lift her to change her and change bedding.
(I did find it easier to just roll my Husband for a change or even changing the sheets. I used the Hoyer when getting him into the wheelchair and then back into bed. )
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Grandma1954
Dosmo13 Aug 4, 2021
yes, grandma. During many years of nursing bed-bound patients, I've often used your very effective method of moving a patient up in bed by pulling the draw sheet (which is under the patients hips and torso) up from the head of the bed. The draw sheet should be of sturdy material, preferably stronger than a typical bed sheet. I would add a suggestion, however. The person pulling from the top should stand as close as possible to the wall, ideally with their back flat against the wall. Bracing themselves against the wall can increase the effectiveness of the pull and also help prevent a back injury for them.
You need to find stronger aides that can lift properly or get equipment. I have a slick pad with handles on both sides that I got from a hospital. It makes moving up in the bed a little easier. I'm always trying to figure out how to do things easier, so I could see me tying a rope to each handle and rigging it to go over head of mattress, under the bed, and back out at the foot of the bed. With a crank of some sort, you would be able to drag her on up toward the head of the bed. Ask some menfolk in the family if they could rig something up for you - or get the equipment. Just tell her it is a safety issue to avoid a back injury and no one left in the home to care for her - she may understand that reasoning.

Always lay the bed out flat before trying to move someone up toward head of bed.

Here's one I found on amazon for $40 - very similar to what I have. Do search for this: ZHEEYI Bed Positioning Pad with Reinforced Handles 48" x 40" Lifting Turning Patient Sheet Transfer Blanket for Caregiver, Bedridden, Elderly, Black
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Reply to my2cents
TouchMatters Aug 4, 2021
Not stronger aides. They will have an injury. Referrals are helpful.
Thank you.
Note to all, please, re: physical strength of aides.

If any moving or handling task requires above-average strength YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG, and/or using the wrong equipment.

I am female, 57, 5'4" and weigh under 120lbs (if no one has given me any violet cremes recently). Some of my coworkers are taller/heavier/men, and most of them are younger, but once trained two ordinary people of either/any sex using the correct equipment can move any individual in any domestic caregiving context without hurting or risking harm to anyone involved.

If you find an aide standing there looking helpless, send her back to the agency labelled "please train."

If you find an aide using main force to move someone, clip his/her ear.

The commonest problem with moving and handling in domestic contexts is that the designers of hoists, wheeled commodes, stand-aids and the like seem not to have been informed that many homes have this weird stuff on the floor called "carpeting." If you have a 300lb immobilised husband and a thick-piled carpet, please consider relocating at least one of them.
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Reply to Countrymouse

I think it would depress everyone a lot more to wind up with a ruined back from trying to move an overweight woman than it would to use a mechanical lift system which can easily be explained. It's far more depressing for your mother to lie in the middle of her bed b/c nobody can move her than it is to have a piece of equipment that achieve the end result with ease & simplicity. We are each responsible for our weight and must accept the consequences that go along with our eating choices. That's my philosophy on the matter. My mother has gained quite a lot of weight herself over the past year or so & has to accept the limitations that go along with it. As well as the consequences that arise from her refusal to do physical therapy and her loss of core strength as a result.

You may be surprised at your mother's reaction to having a lift; she may be relieved at the thought of having no people put out at her expense!
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Reply to lealonnie1

As a RN, here are a few tips for moving a person in bed:

Try folding a flat sheet in half and place it under the person - should be from shoulders to upper thighs. Put any incontinence pad on top of it.

2 people can move her using the sheet by rolling the sides of sheet close to person. Ask person to bend knees with feet flat on the bed. Ask person to push legs while you pull up on count of 3.

A hospital bed makes moving somebody in bed a lot easier.
1 - Raise bed up to waist height to move the person.
2 - Raise feet and lower head when moving person to head of bed.
3 - When person propped into sitting position, raise feet so that knees and feet are a little elevated to prevent sliding down.
4 - Always leave person with mattress in lowest possible position to the ground and wheels locked.
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Reply to Taarna

Get a proper slide sheet (sometimes called glide sheet). Get one that's the right size for her original height.

These too are intended for use by two people, as you're currently using the bed pad, but I had no difficulty at all positioning my (hemiplegic, 5'9" fully stretched out) mother by myself. Admittedly she was not especially heavy for her height but she weighed more than I did and it still took no real effort - just get your hold right and you could move a small whale on one of those things.

Also: what kind of mattress on what kind of adjustable bed? The time will come when your mother isn't able to assist positioning by rolling, turning or bridging; when that happens, caregivers need to be able to push the slide sheet under her body and through to the other side. Again no strength required, just confidence in their training and good technique.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse

I am in exactly that situation with my mum, what you need to do is have a hospital bed, one that will lie her flat and tilt either feet up in the air or head up in the air. You also need to get a slide sheet, learn how to roll your mum onto her side on your own – use the CPR recovery position method, then you can push the slide sheet under her, tilt the bed up so her feet are in the air, stand behind the headboard and she will quite easily slide up the bed.(which will actually be sliding her down towards the floor, with her feet higher than her head) I do this with my mum every day several times a day. Then put the bed flat again and pull the slide sheet out, that is trickiest part. From the opposite side to you push the slide sheet under her shoulder and elbow and hip, then pull out from the other side from one corner of the sheet. This should work. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Metime
Countrymouse Aug 5, 2021
Tip from a physio: slide your flat hand in between the two layers of the slide sheet and grasp the opposite edge of the *bottom* layer. Going slow to be sure, pull out the bottom layer - this comes out easy, bringing the top layer gradually with it and avoiding shearing injuries.
Your aides aren't trained very well if they cannot (with your assistance or another) move your mother up in the bed. If they know what they're doing and your mom isn't 500 pounds, they should be able to. If not, then you should definitely dismiss them. Your mom needs people who can move and position her properly.
Maybe the aide depending on how big she is might need an assist of another person, but it shouldn't be a problem.
I know exactly what you mean that she keeps sliding down, or working herself down in the bed until she's in the middle of it. I had many bedbound clients who did this.
This is how to pull her up in bed more easily.

1) Totally make the adjustable bed flat.
2) Raise the foot of the bed as high as it can go. This will help greatly.
3) Make sure there is not only a good bed pad under her, but there should also be a large, heavy beach towel or draw sheet folded three times and laid width-wise under the bed pad. The positioning of these things should be right under her butt.
4) Stand at the head of the bed.
5) Grasp the bed pad AND the towel or draw sheet then slide her up as far as she can go.
6) If the bed pad and draw sheet is then up too high after moving her, turn her on her side and roll it from one end as tight as possible under her. Then turn her to the other side and repeat.
If this is too much for you to do physically then bring in a lift. Or whatever equipment needed to help with your mom's care. Don't worry yourself about this making her feel bad or depressed. Believe me, she'll feel a lot worse and depressed if you take a permanent injury and she has to go into a nursing home.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
TouchMatters Aug 4, 2021
Not necessarily. It depends on the strength and size and physical condition of the care provider. You are making a blanket statement which is not correct and not helpful.

The way some people are 'giving advice' here is to 'wait and see what happens (to the caregiver). This is not the way to proceed. Preventative care is.
well if you would rather have a herniated disc in trying to move someone that is too won't be doing anything with that herniated disc or something worse. don't worry if it is going to depress her, either get a lift or find a placement for her where you can visit without hurting yourself and/or the other aides. you can only do so much and to ask the aids to risk injury to themselves is not fair either. if they hurt themselves, then you won't have anyone to help and will have to find someone else, and if the company deems that she needs a lift so as to not injure their workers, then you will have no other choice. wishing you luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to wolflover451

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