Bed Making

The bed is one of the most important parts of the resident’s room, and probably one of the most used pieces of furniture in the facility.  Having a clean, well made bed actually serves several beneficial functions.  First, it helps to make the resident feel comfortable and safe in the facility.  Sleeping in a wrinkled bed can make the resident feel that the staff does not care.  If staff does not make the bed, and the resident cannot, it can also lead to feelings of helplessness and insecurity.

A clean, wrinkle-free bed also helps to keep the resident’s skin intact.  If the resident is laying on wrinkles or bunched-up linens, an area of pressure may be created.  This could lead to skin breakdown and decubitus ulcers (bed sores).  Lastly, if linens become soiled with urine or feces and are not promptly changed, infection could occur.

Preventing the Spread of Microorganisms

Microorganisms (germs that cause infection and illness) can be spread in the air. To prevent this spread do not shake linens or toss them into hampers. Linens should be carefully spread out across the bed and placed in the hamper.

Microorganisms can also be spread through contact.  To avoid spreading microorganisms when handling both soiled and clean linens, hold them away from the body.  This prevents the spread of microorganisms from the soiled linen to clothing, and from clothing to clean linen.  Always wear gloves when handling soiled linen.  Remember that hand washing removes most of the potential disease causing microorganisms.  Wash your hands before and after bed making.

Making the Resident’s Bed

  • Determine which items need to be replaced on the bed
  • Determine any special needs the resident may have, such as extra pillows, special quilts, etc.
    • Wash your hands.
    • Gather necessary equipment:
      • Plastic mattress liner (not in all facilities and not with all residents)
      • Bottom sheet
      • Drawsheet (if required)
      • Top Sheet
      • Blanket
      • Bedspread
      • Pillowcases (one for each pillow on the bed)
  • If using an electric bed, raise it to a comfortable working height.
  • It is more efficient and less strenuous to complete one side of the bed, and then the other
  • Remove any clean items to be reused.
  • Remove soiled linens and place in dirty laundry hamper.
  • Put on plastic mattress liner or mattress pad, if used.
  • Put on bottom sheet with the seam toward the mattress. If not using fitted sheets, use mitered corners. Tuck in the sheet along the sides of the mattress.
  • Place the draw sheet over the bottom sheet, tucking in the sides.
  • Place the top sheet on the bed, seam side up. Align the top of the sheet with the top of the mattress.
  • Place the blanket on the bed.
  • Finish the bedspread with the top edge several inches from the top of the mattress.
  • Tuck in the top sheet, blanket, and bedspread at the foot of the mattress and miter the corners.
  • Move to the other side of the bed and complete the same steps. Be sure that the linen is pulled tightly across the mattress; there should not be any wrinkles or folds that the resident will lay on.
  • Put clean pillowcases on the pillows.
  • Remember to add any special items such as quilts, etc.
  • Put the bed in the lowest possible position.
  • If your facility uses lights, place it in a appropriate and easily reached location.

One Response to “Bed Making”

  1. Ed, Good info thank you. Question: I had thought all mattresses had to have a plastic liner and a quilted pad over that so as not to sleep on the plastic and then the bottom sheet. There was a time when the LPA actually checked every bed in my community to see that it was so. Has this changed? Why do you say, “not in all facilities and not with all residents”? Susan

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