Help Getting Out of Bed for the Elderly: Products, How-To Videos & More - (2023)

Help Getting Out of Bed for the Elderly: Products, How-To Videos & More - (1)

Declining muscle strength, deteriorating balance and fading endurance is a natural part of the aging process. And perhaps the biggest concern for individuals living with elderly parents or patients is their safety and mobility.

But it becomes an even more important concern when seniors are either bed-ridden or are physically dependent. In that case, transporting the elderly person to and from the bed can be a challenge. However, there are several assistive products that can help you deal with this situation and make mobility comfortable.

In this post, we provide tips on how to handle your elderly parents or patients when transporting them to and from the bed. You can also find out links to some useful YouTube videos along with recommendations for assistive devices that seniors can use to get in and out of bed on their own. So without further delay, let’s get started.

Table Of Contents

How to Help the Elderly Get Out of Bed?

Good YouTube Videos: How to Help the Elderly Into and Out of Bed?

Products to Help the Elderly Get Out of Bed


How to Help the Elderly Get Out of Bed?

Helping someone to get into and out of the bed may seem like a simple task, but when it comes to dealing with seniors, the job is a tough one. You need to ensure that both you and your loved one remain safe and that can only happen if you are careful about following the instructions and know about the right aids that can provide most support. So here is how you can help your elderly parents or patients to get into and out of their bed.

How to Lift the Elderly from Bed?

Believe it or not, there is a lot that goes into lifting an elderly person from bed, and while individual circumstances may vary which can change the process slightly, here is what the generalized step-by-step process looks like:

(Video) Rotoflex rotating bed: getting out of bed safely with vertical lift functionality

  1. 1

    Proximity to the Edge of the Bed

The first step is to bring the person in bed close to the edge of the bed. However, make sure there is a safe distance between the person and edge of the bed.

  1. 2

    Roll onto the Side

Now that the patient is already close to the edge, assist them in rolling over onto their side. If a bed rail is attached to the edge of the bed, the patient can take assistance while rolling over. If there is no bed rail, the take care will need to physically assist the elderly person to turn towards their side. All you have to do is to support the shoulder that is furthest from the edge of the bed along with supporting the hip on the same side of the body.

  1. 3

    Getting into the Sitting Position

Once the person in the bed has moved to the side, now is the time to move the legs over the edge of the bed. If you are assisting in this process without the use of any aids, you need to support the shoulder that is on the edge along with helping the patient to bring the legs down to the ground.

  1. 4

    Continue to Cue Them

If the person in bed can understand and follow instructions, continue to cue them throughout the process. The more you communicate, the better the process will be for both of you. However, in case the patient cannot follow instructions, you as a care taker may require more support.

How to Transport an Elderly Person from Bed to Toilet?

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of dealing with an elderly person with limited mobility is to transfer them from bed to the toilet. Here are two possible scenarios and an explanation of how to deal with each situation.

For Partially Mobile Patients

Using the above steps, once the person in bed is sitting upright, you will need assistive devices to help partially mobile patients get to the toilet.

  • If a grab bar or a transfer pole is installed near the bed, the senior may use it to get into the standing position.
  • In case there is no grab bar, the patient can take assistance from a walker, rollateror gait aid. These assistive products will not only aid is standing up but will also assist as the patient walks towards the toilet.
  • Walking without assistive devices can be dangerous and can significantly increase the risk of falls.

For Completely Immobile Seniors

For completely dependent patients who cannot walk, there are three possible ways of transporting them to the toilet.

  • Either you can transport them over a wheelchair (refer to the next section), or,
  • You can transport them using advanced patient transfer devices. The use of such devices ensure that the patient and the caregiver are safely transported to and from the bed to the toilet. To get started, you will need to assist the person in bed to sit upright. Next, follow the instructions on the transfer devices and you will be in a better position to transport immobile seniors.

How to Transfer the Elderly from Wheelchair to Bed?

If you are using wheelchair to transport the elderly person, here is how to get the job done in the right manner.

  • Place the wheelchair next the bed (or any other surface from where the person needs to be transported). An angle of 30-45owould help but that is not always necessary.
  • Make sure you lock the brakes turn the footrest such that they don’t get in the way. In certain wheelchairs, you also get the option to moving the armrests on the side for a more comfortable transfer.
  • Don’t forget to communicate with the person being transferred. Continue to give cues on what to expect next and how the person in bed should cooperate for a smoother transition.
  • With the use of assistive devices such as a gait, or transfer pole, support the patient in standing upright. In case there are no assistive devices, ask the patient to use their hands to push from the surface.
  • It is best to use furniture risers because it is easier for dependent patients to stand up and sit down on elevated surfaces as it takes pressure off their joints.
  • And lastly, the standing patient need to swing their bottom to the adjoining wheelchair. Once the wheel chair is right under the hips, the senior need to gradually sit down.
  • Now return the footrest to their original place and your patient is ready to be transported.

Good YouTube Videos: How to Help the Elderly Into and Out of Bed?

If you are still not clear about how to help the elderly to get into and out of the bed, take a look at the following videos to get a better understanding of how to go about it.

Getting out of the Bed with Assistance (Without a Bed rail)

(Video) Changing an Absorbent Brief for a Bed bound Patient

Getting into the Bed with Assistance and Bedrail

Bed to Wheel Chair Transfer

Transporting from Wheelchair to Toilet (with Assistance)

Transporting from Wheelchair to Toilet (with Assistance and Lift)

Products to Help the Elderly Get Out of Bed

While transporting the seniors can be challenging, but there are several assistive devices that can help them get in and out of the safely and comfortably. Some of the products that can aid in safe mobility include the following.

Hospital Bed

A hospital bed is usually recommended for patients that have multiple medical conditions. The bed allows for repositioning and weight shifting for people who have difficulty in getting in and out of the bed.

The height of the hospital bed can be adjusted. Height of the bed is important because if the height is too low, it is be difficult for an individual to get up from the bed. Moreover, they will be sitting low that can strain different parts of the body.

Rising from beds that are too tall give adequate support and the person in bed feels more confident about standing upright. Moreover, hospital beds usually have bed rails and in case there are no bed rails, you can easily attach them on the sides.

Furthermore, the headrest can be raised to a comfortable angle where the patient is already partially sitting. This makes standing a lot more easier.

Adjustable Bed

Help Getting Out of Bed for the Elderly: Products, How-To Videos & More - (7)


(Video) The BEST methods to get out of bed

Unlike a hospital bed that gives flexibility of the upper and lower parts of the bed, an adjustable bed can transform into several positions that have genuine practical uses for the elderly. Adjustable bedsprovide support to all parts of the body so the patient can position comfortably in the bed. Moreover, an adjustable bed helps patients deal with various sleep conditions, chronic pain and heart burn.

Wedge Pillow

Help Getting Out of Bed for the Elderly: Products, How-To Videos & More - (8)

Similar to how an elevated headrest of a hospital bed works, a wedge pillow is designed to provide support to torso and upper body. For individuals who have difficulty in getting out of the bed, having a foam bed wedge under the pillow allows such patients to have their upper body partially elevated. This elevation aids in sitting upright. Moreover, the wedge pillow is inexpensive and portable means you can carry it from one room to another. However, foam wedge pillows need be replaced over time as they can deteriorate.

Bed Rail

Bed rail is one of the most commonly used assistive product. Seniors that are weak and immobile have difficulty in rolling from one side to another. Moreover, they may need assistance is sitting upright if they are in a lying position. However, your elderly parents or dependent patients can enjoy increased independence using bed rails.

The assistive product can be attached to the sides of the bed or to the floor and walls and allow the user in a lying position to sit upright with minimal or no assistance. The product not just aids in mobility but also adds to the safety of the patient. There is a wide variety of bed rails available on the market and you can easily find the one that is most suitable to your needs.

Transfer Pole

A transfer pole is a fixed supportive device that is positioned vertically a few inches away from the bed and aids in pulling patients up from the surface. It is attached to the ground and is braced between plates on the ceiling. A transfer pole is installed by a professional however, it is fixed so if you plan to relocate the bed, you will have to relocate the transfer pole as well.

Gait Aid

Many seniors rely on a gait aid for stability and balance. A gait aid can allow elderly people to stand easily from any surface while they are sitting. Moreover, it supports as they walk and even when they are not walking, a gait aid ensures that the individual gets constant support as they stand. You can find a variety of gait aid with varying support levels. Though a single point base provides support, it is best to invest in a tripod base, and quad base for better sustenance.


When a person’s physical ability is declining, a wheeled walker, also known as a rollator provides the required assistance. It is ideal for patients who have chronic conditions and have trouble lifting assistive devices such as gait aid. Since it is a walker with attached wheels, it provides support in getting out of the bed however, when used inadequately, the same assistive device can also lead to fall and injury. Therefore, it is best to invest in a rollator that has a larger base as it adds more to the stability of the equipment.

Grab Bar

Another assistive device that can help the elderly person stand up comfortably is a grab bar. It works similar to how a transfer pole works but it is placed horizontally. Moreover, it is much shorter in length compared to a transfer pole. A grab bar can be attached close to the bed, but they are equally effective when installed in the bathroom as they provide adequate support from getting off the toilet and returning to a standing position.

(Video) How to Get Up From the Floor After Falling, Safely!

Furniture Riser

When the bed is too low to the ground, it can be difficult for most seniors to get out of the bed. A surface that is too low can add a lot of pressure on the joints. Moreover, standing up from a low surface requires a lot of energy which the elderly people often lack. Ideally, a hospital or adjustable bed allows to elevate the surface but in case you are looking for a temporary and low cost solution, a furniture riser can be a great help. These are wooden blocks or plastic risers that can make you more capable of independently getting out of bed. And when you use furniture risers, you need minimal relocation or renovation in terms of furniture.


Reduced mobility is a natural and almost inevitable part of the aging process. And getting the elderly in and out of the bed safely remains one of the biggest concerns. However, if you are a care taker or are living with elderly parents, this guide will help you deal with the situation in a better manner.

There are easy steps that you can follow and a description of several assistive devices that can help you in the process. Make sure you use adequate support devices for a more comfortable transfer to and from the bed. Lastly, regardless of the equipment you are using, nothing can replace the human element. Continue to communicate with your loved ones as you transport them and when they are on board, you can surely expect a smoother transition.

Related articles...

Elderly Falling Out of Bed: Techniques and Devices for Stopping It

How to Change an Elderly Person’s Diaper in Bed: A Step-by-Step Guide

Best Bed Rails for Seniors (2022): Prevents Falls with These 6 Top Bed Rails

Best Bed Alarm for Elderly (2022): 9 Top-Rated Bed Alarms for Seniors.

(Video) How to give a Bed Bath in the Home - Tips for Caregivers


How can I help my elderly stand up from bed? ›

The best way to get the elderly out of bed and sitting up:
  1. From the lying down position, raise the elderly's knees.
  2. From here you can roll the user onto their side.
  3. Swing the user's feet down from the bed.
  4. Lift the user up their shoulders and hips, rather than their neck.
Aug 3, 2020

What equipment helps you out of bed? ›

A bed hoist or a rope ladder mobility aid, depending on the assistance needed, can be a simple addition to the bedroom which allows the user to independently pull themselves out of bed.

What do you do when your elderly won't get out of bed? ›

Below are a few strategies that you can try to help motivate your elderly loved one to get up and out of bed.
  1. Have a plan for the day. ...
  2. Have them talk to their doctor about depression. ...
  3. Have an honest conversation with them. ...
  4. Hire professional elder care.
Jul 25, 2014

What two positions are not recommended for the elderly while in bed? ›

It's best to avoid stomach sleeping because the head is twisted to the side, which puts pressure on nerves in the neck. For hip pain, sleep on the “good” side with knees bent. Use the side sleeping tips in #1 above to keep the hips, pelvis, and spine aligned.

How long can an elderly person be bedridden? ›

The bedridden period can last from 2 weeks up to 6 weeks, depending on the cause of their illness and their companion's age.

How do you help someone who is bedridden out of bed? ›

Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Count to three out loud and slowly stand up. Use your legs to lift. At the same time, the patient should place their hands by their sides and help push off the bed.

Is there a condition where you can't get out of bed? ›

If you have a really hard time, you could have something called dysania. This means you simply can't get out of bed for about 1 to 2 hours after you wake up. Doctors don't recognize it as a medical condition, as it is not an official diagnosis.

How can I make my bed mobility easier? ›

Various exercises that you can do to improve your bed mobility may include:
  1. Glute sets.
  2. Straight leg raises.
  3. Bridges.
  4. Short arc quads.
  5. Ankle pumps.
  6. Lower trunk rotation.
  7. Upper extremity exercises.
May 19, 2020

How do you keep a dementia patient out of bed? ›

Using a pool noodle under the sheet or adding bolsters on the sides of the bed to emphasize the edge of the bed can support residents who accidentally fall out of bed. Using perimeter mattress for those that roll out of bed. Removing nightstands or other hazards from the bedside.

How do you get a dementia patient out of bed? ›

How To Lift Your Loved One Safely
  1. If you have a hospital bed, raise the head of the bed. ...
  2. Ease your loved one around to face the edge of the bed. ...
  3. Put your arms under the calves, then lift and pull your loved one toward you at least a couple of inches. ...
  4. Using the transfer belt, lift and pull your loved one to you.
Mar 12, 2020

How do you get a dementia patient to stand up? ›

Tell them that you're going to help them stand now. Then ask them to lean forward and place their nose over their toes and look forward. Give clear instructions that give them time to get ready for movement, like “Ready, Steady, Stand” or something like “1, 2, 3, stand.”

What to do when an elderly person can no longer take care of themselves? ›

What to Do If You Have Elderly Parents Unable to Care for Themselves
  1. Move Your Parents Into Assisted Living. ...
  2. Move Your Parents In With You. ...
  3. Keep Your Parents at Home. ...
  4. Contact a Geriatric Care Manager.
Nov 7, 2022

How much sleep does an 85 year old need? ›

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger.

What time do most seniors go to bed? ›

According to their internal body clock, most older adults need to go to sleep around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and wake up at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. Many people fight their natural inclination to sleep and choose to go to bed several hours later instead.

What seniors should do before bedtime? ›

Dr. M.K. Rasmussen agrees that you need to try and unwind in the evening by avoiding technology: “Wind down and unplug from technology in dim light approximately two hours before bedtime with calm activities OUTSIDE the bedroom. This primes the body for sleep, i.e., read, bath, stretch, breathing techniques.

What happens when an elderly person sits all day? ›

The dangers of sitting and an overly sedentary lifestyle include increased risk for heart disease, Type II diabetes, and even certain cancers. Additionally, sitting too much over time initially causes smaller problems, like decreased flexibility and mobility, which can lead to much larger issues as we age.

How do you know when an elderly person is nearing the end? ›

You may notice their:
  1. Eyes tear or glaze over.
  2. Pulse and heartbeat are irregular or hard to feel or hear.
  3. Body temperature drops.
  4. Skin on their knees, feet, and hands turns a mottled bluish-purple (often in the last 24 hours)
  5. Breathing is interrupted by gasping and slows until it stops entirely.
Aug 3, 2022

What is end of life behavior in elderly? ›

They'll move and talk less and may not respond to conversation or commotion. Their sense of hearing is most likely unchanged, but vision may be impaired. Other signs in the final days may include: drop in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature.

How do you change a heavy bedridden patient by yourself? ›

How to turn a patient in bed alone
  1. Raise the bed to at least waist height;
  2. Cross the patient's arms over their chest;
  3. Bend the leg towards you;
  4. Push gently across the hip and the shoulder so that the patient rolls away from you;
Aug 1, 2017

How do you lift someone off the floor by yourself? ›

Always lift the person by their hips.

Never pull or grab under their arms as this can cause extreme pain. The muscles in the arms do not handle force well. Consider the use of a transfer belt if you are not able to hold your loved one by their hips.

How do I change a bedridden patient by myself? ›

With one hand on the hip and the other on the shoulder, roll your loved one away from you onto their side. If you tucked the diaper far enough under the hip, you should be able to pull the diaper out from under them. Roll the soiled diaper inward as you remove it to contain any mess.

Why is it so hard for me to get out of bed and do things? ›

The inability to get out of bed is a common symptom of someone suffering from a mental health disorder or substance use disorder. Often people who struggle with depression, anxiety, or any type of substance abuse may find it challenging to face the day each morning by getting out of bed.

What part of the brain is responsible for getting out of bed? ›

The brain stem, at the base of the brain, communicates with the hypothalamus to control the transitions between wake and sleep. (The brain stem includes structures called the pons, medulla, and midbrain.)

What happens when you lie in bed all day? ›

Prolonged bed rest affects the amount of fluid in your body and the pressure at which blood is pumped, making it difficult for the body to adapt to activity again. It causes changes in the size of the heart, too, and the body's ability to replenish blood.

How can I strengthen my legs when bedridden? ›

Leg exercises
  1. Lie on your back and have your feet straight.
  2. Slowly bend your knees by sliding your ankle upwards.
  3. Slowly straighten your leg out, sliding your ankle downwards.
  4. Repeat this 10 times for each leg.

What are bed mobility exercises? ›

Bend your knees up so your feet are flat on the bed. Using your bottom and leg muscles, raise your buttocks up off the bed, pushing equally through both legs. Keep your pelvis level and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower back to the bed and repeat.

How do you prevent elderly from getting out of bed with dementia? ›

Using a pool noodle under the sheet or adding bolsters on the sides of the bed to emphasize the edge of the bed can support residents who accidentally fall out of bed. Using perimeter mattress for those that roll out of bed. Removing nightstands or other hazards from the bedside.

Why can't my elderly parent get out of bed? ›

The elderly may refuse to get out of bed due to common reasons like the feeling of hopelessness and dementia. Older adults may need to rest more in the comfort of their beds. However, remaining in bed could indicate depression or other issues in some cases.

Why is it hard for elderly to get up? ›

Of course, it's not uncommon for seniors to find themselves unable to get up. It might be due to injury, stiff joints, weak muscles, or a number of other factors. But in any case, knowing what to do after a fall is just as important as learning how to get up safely.

Why is it so hard to get out of bed in the AM? ›

It's called sleep inertia. Biologically speaking, sleep inertia is caused by adenosine, an organic compound that causes feelings of sleepiness. Adenosine builds up in your brain during the day and gets flushed out during sleep. But the chemical residue doesn't completely disappear the moment you wake up.

What stage of dementia is bedridden? ›

A person with late-stage Alzheimer's disease can become bedridden or chair-bound. This inability to move around can cause skin breakdown, pressure sores and "freezing" of joints.

What stage of dementia is sleeping a lot? ›

Sleeping more and more is a common feature of later-stage dementia. As the disease progresses, the damage to a person's brain becomes more extensive and they gradually become weaker and frailer over time.

What is the life expectancy of dementia? ›

The average life expectancy figures for the most common types of dementia are as follows: Alzheimer's disease – around eight to 10 years. Life expectancy is less if the person is diagnosed in their 80s or 90s. A few people with Alzheimer's live for longer, sometimes for 15 or even 20 years.

What is senior Sundowning? ›

They may experience sundowning—restlessness, agitation, irritability, or confusion that can begin or worsen as daylight begins to fade—often just when tired caregivers need a break. Sundowning can continue into the night, making it hard for people with Alzheimer's to fall asleep and stay in bed.

How can I help my elderly stubborn parent? ›

What to Do When an Elderly Parent Refuses Help
  1. Make a rational diagnosis of the problem. ...
  2. Understand their fears and anxieties. ...
  3. Give them back some control. ...
  4. Be aware of stigmatising effects of elderly care. ...
  5. Be realistic about the risks. ...
  6. Accept that some carers may not be appropriate.
Aug 3, 2021


1. How to Get out of Bed with Back Pain and Sciatica
(SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center)
2. How to Install and Use Bed Rails for Seniors
3. Take Just One Spoon, And You'll Fall Asleep In a Minute
4. Ch. 4: Bathing & Dressing (Caregiver College Video Series)
(Family Caregiver Alliance)
5. iMOVE Patient Lift and Transfer Chair. an ideal lifting device or equipment for bedridden patients.
(Senior Care)
6. How to Pick a Wiping Aid
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated: 02/27/2023

Views: 6494

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.