Make the bed

This is how you make the bed for a person at risk for pressure ulcers

Customize the bedding based on the care recipient’s needs

A guideline for bedding is to not use more material than necessary. Too many layers can affect the pressure-relieving and pressure-distributing properties of the surface and increase the burden on the skin (1). Before making the bed, it’s important to identify who you are making the bed for. Customize the bedding according to the care recipient’s condition and overall health. Also, consider personal comfort as it is important for the care recipient to sleep comfortably.

Hospital care

Before making the bed, find out the following:

  • Is the individual incontinent?
  • Is the incontinence protection properly fitted?
  • Are there any risk factors for pressure ulcers?
  • Are there existing pressure ulcers?
  • Does the individual require assistance with repositioning? (1)

Things to consider when making the bed:

  • Use a fitted sheet directly on the mattress.
  • Avoid/minimize the use of plastic-backed underpads as they can increase the risk of skin damage caused by moisture and maceration.
  • Only use incontinence products and protection if the care recipient needs them.
  • If the patient rests during the day, remove extra layers such as bedspreads and blankets as these do not contribute to pressure relief or pressure reduction.(1)

Making the bed is a great start, but it is also important to do regularly Mattress Auditings. 

Read more about mattress auditing

Pressure ulcer mattress

(1) European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline. The international Guideline. Emily Haesler (Ed.). EPUAP/NPIAP/PPPIA: 2019