From Close

Moving your loved one in safety and comfort – part 2

This guidance is about moving, handling and positioning your loved one in safety and comfort for both patient and caregiver. This guide is in two parts so you may want to start with part one before you continue here.

Watch the Video Read the Guide

How to move your loved one in safety and comfort

When moving your loved one, first check that there are no obstacles (e.g. a closed door, chair in the way), then check that the floor is uncluttered and dry. Wear clothing which allows you to move freely and shoes that keep your feet squarely and safely on the ground.

IMPORTANT

Check your path is clear before moving your loved one.

Watching the video above might help you achieve all of the following in safety and comfort, or if you’re at Cottage Hospice you can ask a volunteer to help:

  • Achieving the right height and ‘angling’ for all concerned
  • Judging speed – all bed movements need to be done very slowly and with care
  • How to roll your loved one within the bed, for example, for turning them over, washing them, changing their pads and/or bedding and using a slipper bedpan
  • Judging effort required, so that rolling your loved one gently, makes it easier and helps prevent damage to your back. Even if they are small and slight, you are moving someone who, as they decline, is less able to help move themselves. Moving your loved one may strain your back and limbs, causing strain, discomfort and possibly injury.
  • Moving your loved one around the bed. Using the electric bed as an aid to moving your loved one in comfort and safety. This covers moving them up and down when they are slipping, positioning pillows for support, using the ability of the bed to adjust patient profile and how these various positions can help with making them more comfortable (eg knee bracing, elevated foot / head etc.)

    TOP TIP

    Helping your loved one out of bed and onto a seat (that is a chair by the bed, a wheelchair or a portable commode) and back. First, get them to a sitting position on the bed. Use the bed controls to match the height of the bed to the height of the chair. Make sure their feet are safely and firmly on the ground before making the transfer from bed to chair.

  • Helping your loved one get to the bathroom – and back, with a walking frame or a wheelchair
  • Helping your loved one to take a shower
  • Hoists are available if you’re at Cottage Hospice to help move your loved one. Ask one of our volunteers to show you how to use the hoist should you need it.

When and how often to move your loved one in safety and comfort

With time, your loved one’s body will be slowing down, so moving them will be less necessary and less desirable.

Pressure sores, sometimes called ‘bed sores’, are a worry when someone’s in bed for some time. They are caused by contact between the body and the bed, and tend to appear on buttocks, elbows, the back, hips and so on. In the final weeks or days of life, care is mainly about providing comfort and helping to maintain dignity as well as a sense of who they are.

RESOURCE

Take a look at the topic Helping your loved one feel as clean, fresh and presentable as they would want for more information about identifying bed sores.