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Taking care of yourself in bed

Taking Care Of Yourself In Bed Panel

Your bedroom should be a haven of comfort and support, promoting restful sleep and enabling you to manage your daily activities with ease. However, for older adults living independently, simple tasks like getting comfortable in bed, reaching for objects, or navigating around the room can become challenging.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Discomfort and difficulty sleeping: Poor sleep hygiene, uncomfortable mattresses or pillows, and temperature issues can disrupt sleep.

This can lead to fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and health problems.

Healthy sleep habits: Establish a regular sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure a comfortable sleep environment. 

Supportive bedding: Choose a mattress and pillows that provide optimal support and comfort.

Temperature regulation: Utilise appropriate bedding and room temperature control.

Difficulty getting in and out of bed: Low bed height, weak leg muscles, and a lack of proper support can pose challenges.

This can lead to back pain, falls, and decreased independence.

Bed height adjustment: Ensure the bed height allows for comfortable entry and exit. 

Strengthening exercises: Focus on core and leg muscle strength training. 

Assistive devices: Utilise grab bars, bed rails, or transfer benches for additional support.

Limited mobility and difficulty reaching objects: The inability to reach items within the bed space can lead to frustration and dependence on others.

This can lead to reduced independence and daily living challenges.

Assistive devices: Utilise long-handled reachers or grabbers. 

Strategic placement of items: Keep frequently used items within easy reach.

 

Common challenges faced in the bedroom

  • Discomfort and difficulty sleeping: Several factors can disrupt sleep quality, including poor sleep habits, an unsuitable sleep environment, and physical discomfort.
  • Difficulty getting in and out of bed: Low beds, high mattresses, or weak leg muscles can make transitioning from sitting to standing difficult and increase fall risk.
  • Limited mobility and difficulty reaching objects: Limited mobility can make it challenging to reach for items on shelves, dress independently, or navigate around furniture.

Strategies for promoting comfort and well-being in bed

  • Establish healthy sleep habits: Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, even on weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Invest in supportive bedding: Choose a mattress with the right firmness level for your comfort and sleeping style. Opt for pillows that provide proper neck support and alignment.
  • Maintain a comfortable sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool (ideally between 60 and 67°F). Invest in blackout curtains, earplugs, and a fan if needed.
  • Address pain and discomfort: If pain or discomfort disrupts your sleep, consult your doctor to investigate the cause and explore treatment options.

Equipment and aids to help you take care of yourself

  • Grab bars: Installing sturdy grab bars on either side of the bed can provide vital support when getting in and out of bed.
  • Bed rails: These offer a stable handhold for additional support while entering and exiting the bed.
  • Transfer benches: These benches provide a stable intermediate surface between the bed and the floor, facilitating safe and independent transfers.
  • Long-handled reachers: These tools can help you grab items placed on high shelves or in hard-to-reach areas, promoting independence and reducing the need to climb or bend excessively.

Additional tips for a comfortable and safe bedroom environment

  • Remove clutter: Keep walkways clear of unnecessary items to reduce tripping hazards.
  • Ensure adequate lighting: Install night lights or motion-activated lights to illuminate pathways and avoid fumbling in the dark.
  • Wear non-slip socks: These can help prevent slipping and falls, especially when getting out of bed at night.
  • Regular exercise: Maintaining physical activity can improve strength, flexibility, and overall well-being, making daily tasks like getting in and out of bed easier.

Where to buy equipment to help you take care of yourself in bed

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

 


 

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