Supported Lying Positions
People need to rest in different lying positions so that they do not put too much pressure on any single body part or skin area. People can sit up, lay down or lay on their sides as they normally do for sleeping.
The head should be raised about 45 to 60° with small pillows under their head, lower back and under their knees (or raise the foot portion of the bed). This position is helpful for eating, using a bedpan or urinal and helps improve how the person’s heart and lungs work. If the person likes a large pillow, place it lengthwise to support their upper back, shoulders and head. It may help to have a footboard at the bottom of their feet to allow them to push up a little as they will naturally slide down in bed over time.
With the person in the centre of the bed, put a pillow under their shoulders, neck and head. Another pillow can go under their lower back for extra support and a rolled up towel or smaller pillow under their ankles and knees. The person may also enjoy pillows under the upper arms and hands. Follow the person’s wishes and change pillow positions as requested.
Lying on the Side
When you look at a person lying on their side you should see the same body position as if they were standing with one leg bent up. The back is in line with the straight leg with pillows under the head, top arm and bent leg. Pillows can also be rolled along the person’s back for extra support to prevent them from rolling onto their back when they are sleeping.
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Click here for Harry’s previous article on Taking Care Of Someone’s Back.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or are considering any recommendations, please consult your health practitioner.