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Tips for moving the mobility impaired in bed

August 4, 2011
Use a slip sheet on the bed for adjusting the position of a quadraplegic.


A slip sheet is made of slippery material (in Australia it is called a ‘Slippery Sally’) and is placed between the normal bedsheet and the person. I have one that is 1.2 metres long and is placed under the heaviest part of the body i.e. the hips and upper back. If you cannot get slippery fabric a plastic sheet can be used but MUST BE REMOVED after the shift or move has been completed, as it will cause the body to sweat, which will lead to pressure issues.


It can be used to slide the person up the bed (by one carer grabbing the top corner and another carer the bottom corners – under the quadriplegics legs at the knee bend) and then on the count of 3 all people involved in the move breathe in and shift upwards in one smooth movement). You’ll find the movement is fairly weightless and easy.


A slip sheet is also handy when shifting the quadriplegics hips for turning them onto their side. It also helps to roll their shoulder onto the side and place a pillow under the shoulders to keep them propped up and lying on their side. Remember always to put a pillow between their knees and ankles to protect the boney bits from too much pressure.


I use a smaller slipsheet on the commode for bathing. This helps adjusting the seating position after they are transferred onto the commode. Pulling from side to side or leaning the quad forward and then pulling back into the commode – this helps if, when they spasm and their legs straighten, they can slip out of the chair and need to be pulled back in so that the shower can be done in a good sitting position and not a compromised one – which inevitably leads to more pain later in the day.


If you Google slipsheet, there are a couple of options that come up. They can be purchased and mailed from overseas or you can make one. I have both types and they work like a charm.


Remember sheepskins are great for protecting boney bum bones – using them on a wheelchair helps with alleviating dampness which causes pressure issues over time.


If anyone needs anymore information or advice please contact me, I’d be glad to help, if I have some experience in the field of enquiry. I have been caring for my C5 quadreplegic brother for over 3 years now, and he is almost twice the weight of what I am and about half again as tall …..:). He needs two carers and I have trained a couple over the years. ~ Tracey 082 6957736

Tracey works at Brave Recovery Warriors, bringing yoga and recovery to those who have encountered trauma in their lives.

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