Turning schedule at night to prevent bed sores?

June99

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07/2019
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Hi everyone,

I am visiting my dad with ALS who is rapidly losing mobility. He can’t turn himself over in bed at night now. Yesterday I was alone with a visiting nurse who suggested that we need to start a turning schedule with him so that he is turned every two hours at night to prevent bed sores. This would be a massive change in caregiving for my mother (72) and brother who live with dad and who are poor sleepers. Also I’m concerned that waking dad up every two hours will disrupt his sleep.

Is this what other caregivers do once someone can’t move themselves at night? So far, dad has refused to use the alternating air mattress on his hospital bed. Could we just convince him to use that? If so, can any kind of foam overlays be put over an alternating air mattress? I think he would be more likely to stick with it with some soft support.

Thanks for any advice! Happy Thanksgiving!
 

lgelb

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Hi, June, sorry to hear that your dad is progressing quickly. Unless he has a history of pressure injury, currently smokes or has uncontrolled diabetes, I would not disrupt everyone's sleep for that reason. A foam overlay (latex, medical grade or furniture grade foam) has been sufficient for many of us here. If "sinking in" is not an issue for transfers, I would start with 2 or 3" "Pure Green" latex, available on Amazon. You can place a slip sheet with handles underneath the top sheet if needed, over a low-friction mattress pad. For liquid protection/temperature control, you can use a bamboo mattress pad between the top sheet and the overlay in any case.

I am assuming he already has a medical grade foam mattress.

Best,
Laurie
 

mytmouz

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Aug 17, 2019
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44
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PALS
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07/2019
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MS
I constantly elevate the feet and head portion of my hospital bed, as I can't turn either. I have never been a heavy sleeper, so it isn't a problem yet. This helps me avoid them so far. Interested in what others say, as I will lose my hand functions and not be able to control roller coaster by myself...
 

Jimi

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Sep 24, 2019
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17
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PALS
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02/2015
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US
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CA
I am pretty much paralyzed from my neck/shoulders down. Haven't been in a bed for 2 years . I live in my golden technology lift chair about 22 hours a day, sleeping comfortably in it . I have modified the chair to control it hands free from my computer . Any time that I need to move I can do it myself. I have the power headrest option and got the brisa fabric which breathes well and wipes clean easily . As a man, peeing is easy to do from the lift position . Re-positioning, if I get slumped, is easy with a tug from the caregiver because the chair goes into the Trendellenburg position and gravity does most of the work. The range of motion and ability to move at will has left me pain free and is less work for everyone . Arranging the sling for the lift is easy to do with the caregiver standing in front of me and the chair in the lift position as I can be leaned easily forward and the sling slid behind my back . It takes some getting used to , but I am comfortable , less trouble to others and I feel so much less paralyzed when I can adjust myself at any time with no help
 

Trixie80

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Jun 21, 2014
Messages
88
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
03/2014
Country
CA
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BC
i have not been able to turn over in bed for about three years. I have an adjustable bed with a temprapedic mattress.
I do not get turned at all at night but I do sometimes feel pressure on me shoulder blades and the bottom of my but. When that happens I use a folded pillowcase to add something where my muscel has disappeared. Usually right beside the sore spot.
if your father is cognitively all there he should feel when a sore spot is happening and you can adjust before a bedsore happens.
 
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