As like most of us, 99.9% of the time I am on my own caring for my husband and, again like most of it , find it very to move him when he is

in bed to make him comfortable. I know that received wisdom is DON'T but we live in the real world so I have to. I have asked about sliding sheets before but has anybody had any real experience of them, do they actually work with just ONE person doing the moving and sliding, as all the YouTube videos I have seen show two people doing the handling.


17 Replies





    LOL jiLL


  • Hi Dorothy,

    I'm finding the same problem here with my husband, and he is down to a very low weight, still hard. I had the OT come the other day to show me how to lift and move Bob without injuring myself (because that was happening). She brought a strap for me to wrap around his chest to lift him with, rather than hauling him up by an arm or such. She said the closer to him, the less strain on me. We also have a hospital type bed with a pole from floor to ceiling with a couple of attachments for Bob to pull himself up to the pillow end of the bed. There are times when he doesn't have the strength though and I end up hoisting him. I did find the OT helpful, she showed us how to work together, and how I could lift on my own. The hard part is remembering to use these methods before going ahead and lifting. You could try contacting an OT or a physio therapist, have them come and show you in your home. Hope this helps =)


  • Gerry is a big man and I am not able to physically move him on my own. We have a wrought iron head board and two bedside supports that allows Gerry to grab on to the wrought iron whilst pushing on to the foot bedside support to help him get into bed. The OT was quite impressed how he manages. The OT at UBC says he should also sleep in the nude to allow for better movement in bed. He started out doing quite well with that idea but has since given it up. I do think it's a good idea tho. She also do not have memory foam on your mattress, you have maybe already heard of these ideas but if not they may be of some help.

  • i sleep in satin pajamas and have satin sheets - my husband can slide me around quite well and it helps me too not to be pulled too hard

  • silky or satin nightgowns and/or sheets help quite a bit and often allow the patient to move themselves in bed (turning over or changing position).


  • this very true jimbo ...

  • Dorothy - you are a saint!

    It is very difficult to manage someone physically. We looked at hoists for my mother and ended up purchasing a Rifton Tram which can be operated by one person, will lift the person in a sitting position from the bed, wheelchair, and onto toilet and visa versa. It can be rolled about the house to what ever location you need to get the person to. It was $3200. dollars without any extra attachments other than a harness. You can also purchase a walking harness which allows the person to use the machine to walk about although by the time I found the lift it was past the time that mom was able to walk. It runs on a battery that can be recharged. Although it seems expensive it is far less financially than one month in a care home of any kind. We had to work on some of the glitches as far as dressing her after toileting but we have done so.

    I tell you this - it is the only way that we would be able to keep mom in our home and saves my neck and back from strain. You can look at it on their website.

    Hang in there.


  • Kath, Thanks for sharing about the Rifton Tram. I checked out the video on-line and it looks marvelous. My wife and I aren't to that point yet but it's comforting to know that when we need lifting help Rifton can provide it.


  • would you recommend the purchase of a lift before u need it. my husband has just been told he has psp

  • I'd advise to not purchase until you need it. There are to many things that could happen before you get to that stage. Your loved one could get aspiration pnumonia of die of a head trauma due to a fall. Not trying to be grewsome just point out what could happen. I'd wait until you need a lift.


  • thanks I guess that is what I really needed hear. Do you know of any books that explain this diasese

  • I found satin sheets were a great help when moving my husband around and would definitely recommend them. I got mine from a company called "Between the Sheets".


  • Hello Dorothy, My husband is 16 stone and I am 5' 4" and have the same problem. It is worse when he needs to use a bottle at night, (several times) and then can't get back into bed. He wears satin pjs which do help but it is hard work and not good at 3 a.m. I told the hospice he goes to, that I was finding it very difficult to get him into bed and an appointment was made for us to see the physiotherapist. We went on Tuesday and it was the most helpful appointment we have had (I usually come out thinking, that was a waste of time). I was shown how to move him but he was encouraged to do most of the work himself, something he hasn't done for a long time. I realise now he is actually capable of a bit more than I thought. Last week I was really desperate and didn't know where to turn but now I feel we have been given more time to manage on our own. I know this will not last but am making the most of it while it does. I do hope you'll find help in some way soon before you become too exhausted.

    Best wishes,

    Nanna B

  • Dear Dorothy,

    Slide sheets work well in theory, for a little while. Decided they are great for use to change bedlinen, whilst someone remains in bed, that's about it. As if they are to be used over a couple of weeks - Let alone months/years you leave yourself wide open to injury. I was able to get some training through a nursing assistant course - using them alone v's with someone else to assist before trying them at home. Personally I don't think I ever got the hang of it and I seemed reliant on using lots of pillows to act as counter levers so John didn't topple over!

    I didn't do in my back, but those internal muscles took a dive and I went to hospital again and again.

    So as a previous carer for my husband (And I am close to 6', and those injuries aside am very physically fit!) please aim for every piece of equipment that you can afford or gets grants or buy second hand or hire to assist you without totally overcrowding and hospitalising your home (if there is such a thing!)

    John wore underwear boxer shorts and used a satin sheet tightly enveloped through the middle section of the bed - it helped enormously. An electric bed, and grapling hook over his head, along with some stretchy pull ropes from the hospital OT all aided at one time. The electric bed certainly made things easier, and when the side rail went up and an additonal half side rail (A bar loop) was made for the other side it made things easier too. There are different types of hoists so make sure you have enough access in the room and your door way is wide enough for one, likewise for use with a wheelchair in the barthroom and WC if required- our hospital OT was able to assist on what was reasonable for what lay ahead. Our home has some pretty tight turning spots in some areas so we had to make some changes - a couple of doorways needed alteration.


    Alana - Western Australia

  • Thank you all once again for your input. On balance I think will look into the satin sheets. I am reluctant to go down the "hospital bed, equipment" road, my view being that if we get to that stage, he should be in hospital anyway. But never say never.

    thank you again


  • Dear Dorothy,

    Before I purchased anything that had a hospital like atmosphere to it - I used what my grandmother had for inspiration and mentioned the following to the local hospital OT one day. (John was visiting a podiatrist who worked in the some area).

    "Gran had surgery when she was in her 60's to fuse together some vertebra in a couple areas So, in her bedoroom she used a side rail that slipped between the mattress and ensemble and a foam wedge under the mattress to elevate her head (instead of lots of pillows) and sometimes used a smaller one under the foot of her mattress. The lady had these things in place for at least 30 years".

    With that - we then were supplied with the same (have since found out they are standard issue from hospitals here for someone with mobility issues) and all three items were quite useful for some time for John. Perhaps it is something for you to also try if you have not done already?


    Alana - Western Australia

  • How true, I am in exactly the same position and get sore backs regularly...but what can you do. Last weekend our bed broke down then I was really stuffed. Have now borrowed hospital type bed from bluecare and it tilts backwards so much easier to pull him up the bed. I have also sewn satin onto the sheets apart from the knee to foot area...this helps me push him around but he can get his feet flat without slipping.

    to pull up the bed I get behind bedhead and take his hands and pull, easier on my back. to reposition in sitting position we use a v shape pillow and I lean in and grab him around the back of shoulders and stuff the v pillow in and down, then push it in more from each side till I get it comfy for him. he slumps over if not perfectly straight so this is a full time job for me . I have also designed a stretchy band(old kidney belt) to Velcro onto the bed side to help hold him in place. Good luck ..I just try anything no matter how silly it looks or sounds if it helps its okay

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