Case Study - Difficulty With Turning In Bed
Tom lives with his wife in a bungalow; he has been living with Parkinson’s disease for a number of years and feels he manages well. However, one issue that they have been unable to solve is turning and getting in and out of bed.
I asked Tom and his wife to demonstrate their difficulties. Tom is sleeping in a standard single bed and currently there is no equipment in place. Tom has what I would describe as a ‘rigid core’ which means when he is lying in bed he finds great difficulty in initiating movement and turning. His wife has been physically assisting him with turning during the night and standing from the bed putting them both at risk of injury. Tom was feeling frustrated and dependent because of this, and the lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll on his wife.
I recommended a specialist bed sheet with a central satin panel, a bed grab rail as well as checking that the height of the bed was suitable for his needs. Having a bed too low can mean that there is an additional struggle and effort to stand up and sit down, potentially putting you at risk of over balancing and falling. Equally having a bed that is too high means that you could struggle to position your bottom far enough into the middle of the bed when getting into bed.
Tom was able to hold on to the bed grab rail to lower himself on the bed and place himself in a good position when he first sat down on the bed. We discussed that the initial positioning when sitting on the bed side is important to ensure optimum positioning within the bed. He was then able to lift his legs up onto the bed whilst holding onto the bed grab rail for support. Once in bed, he was able with the use of the satin panel in the sheet and by holding on to the bed grab rail to initiate movement and because of decreased friction from the sheets he was able to turn himself and change his position independently. Both he and his wife were delighted that he was independent with his bed mobility; this was solved with the combination of equipment and advice on bed transfers and positioning.