Your care recipient may spend part of or all of the day in bed. As a result, many individuals are fed, bathed, and use the bedpan in bed. Making a bed properly is, therefore, very important. A clean, neat bed will make the care recipient comfortable. Wrinkles are uncomfortable and restrict the circulation, and can cause pressure sores (decubitus ulcers). Make the bed wherever your care recipient has decided to sleep, whether in bed or on the couch. Use whatever linens are in the house.

        There are three basic types of beds:
  • Closed bed – used when the bed will be empty for a while. It will stay clean, not exposing the linens.
  • Open bed – used when the care recipient is out of bed for a while but needs to get into it easily. The top sheet of the closed bed is fan-folded down.
  • Occupied bed – used when the bed is made with the care recipient in it and not able or permitted to get out of the bed.
        Tips for bed making:
  • Keep the bed dry and clean. Change linens when needed.
  • Keep the bed wrinkle-free.
  • Keep the bed free of food and crumbs.
  • Make the bed to suit your care recipient.
Following are some general rules to help you with bed making:
  • Never use torn or pinned linens.
  •  Never shake linens, as this spreads microorganisms.
  • Never allow linens to touch your clothing.
  • Never put dirty linen on the floor.
  • When using a flat bottom sheet instead of a fitted sheet, always miter the corners. These make the bed smooth, wrinkle-free, and give the bed an attractive appearance.
  • Fan-folding the top of the bed enables the care recipient to easily get in and out.
  •  A plastic ‘draw sheet’ protects the mattress. If you don’t have one, a plastic tablecloth makes a good substitute.
  • Plastic must never touch the care recipient’s skin. You must always cover the plastic draw sheet with one of cotton. (This is about half the size of a regular sheet and can be made by folding it in half width-ways. Place the fold towards the top of the bed.)
  •  When the care recipient is in bed all day, change the linen daily, or as often as necessary.
  •  Always use good body mechanics. Where there is a hospital bed, raise the bed to a good working height and lower it when done.
Making a Closed Bed
  1. Collect the linens needed
  • Bottom Sheet;
  • Top sheet;
  • Draw sheet;
  • Blanket;
  • Bedspread;
  • Pillowcase
  • Remove soiled linens and place in laundry.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Fold bottom sheet length-wise. Centerfold should be in center of mattress.
  • Open sheet. Should hang evenly over bed.
  • Tuck the sheet under at the head of the bed.
  • To miter the corner, pick up the edge of the sheet about 12” from the head of the bed and bring it to the top of the bed. Making a triangle. Tuck the bottom of the triangle (edge) under the mattress. Bring the top of the triangle down over the mattress and tuck it under.
  • Tuck in the sheet all the way to the foot of the bed.
  • Repeat the procedure on the opposite side of the bed.
  • Place the draw sheet, if used, about 14” from the top of the bed and tuck tightly under the mattress.
  • Place the top sheet on the bed, hanging evenly on both sides. Large hem should be even with the head of the bed.
  • Place blanket and bedspread on bed, hanging evenly on both sides, and about 4” below the top sheet.
  • Fold top sheet, blanket, and bedspread under at the foot of bed.
  • Miter both corners, but leaving the top triangle hanging free.
  • Fold the top sheet back over the bedspread and blanket.
  • Place the pillowcase on the pillow.
Making an Open Bed
  1. Collect linens (same as for closed bed).
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Make a closed bed.
  4. Fold the top of the covers (top sheet, blanket, spread) to the foot of the bed.
  5. Smooth the sides into the folds you have made.
  6. Place the pillow on the bed.
Making an Occupied Bed
  1. Collect the necessary linen
  • Bottom sheet;
  • Draw sheet;
  • Top sheet;
  • Blanket;
  • Bedspread;
  • Pillow case;
  • Bath Towel.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Explain to the care recipient what you are going to do.
  • Cover the care recipient with the bath towel and remove the top covers. Place linens in hamper.
  • Remember to use the safety or bed rails if the bed has them.
  • Ask, or help, the care recipient to move to one side of the bed or to turn onto side.
  • Untuck the bottom sheet and the draw sheet and fold them towards the care recipient, against the back.
  • Fold a clean bottom sheet in half, lengthwise. Place it on the bed, with the fold in the middle.
  • Roll the top part of the sheet towards the care recipient. (This part will be used on the other half of the bed.)
  • Tuck in the other half of the bottom sheet at the top of the bed. Miter the corner.

        Tuck in the bottom sheet along the side.