Roll a quadriplegic

No, this isn’t about wheelchairs…  It’s about rolling a quad. I have had to teach numerous aides how to do this and still, do not understand why they do not have the training.  So, as a start into tips and training, here is my first training.

How to roll a quadriplegic

First, find a quad.  ha!  kidding…  kind of…

I start my husband on his back.  Always, ALWAYS have a sheet or some other piece of material like it under the person you are moving to help.  I always place a sheet under my husband since it helps me move his hips left and right AND may perhaps help keep the bed cleaner…  ahem…  yes, waterproof pads are a good idea too.

ANYWAY, when getting ready in the morning, I initially take out all pillows from under my husband.  He’ll spasm quite a bit so I help him stretch out and work out the spasms.  Once he’s done, I adjust the sheet under him so that he’s lying flat on his back.

Always roll AWAY from you and the edge of the bed (roll towards the middle if it’s a big bed like ours or put up the railing if rolling on a smaller bed, if available) and NEVER use the patient’s arms to roll.

When ready, pull the sheet towards you slightly to move the patient’s hips towards you (not too much but enough so that they look a bit cockeyed).  Bend the leg closest to you so that the foot is flat on the bed and the knee is up.  Put the patient’s arm closest to you across his or her body (again, DO NOT USE THE ARM TO ROLL THE PATIENT!).

When ready, put one hand under the patient’s leg, in the crook of the knee and the other just under the patient’s shoulder on his or her back.  Then push the patient’s knee across the body towards the other side of the bed.  This will help pull the hips over and allow you to roll the patient with minimal effort.  Push gently on the back (near the shoulders) while rolling the patient.  Most of your effort should center around pushing over the patient’s knee.

The first few times will be tough but once you figure out how much to pull the patient’s hips towards you to get enough leverage to help roll, it will be a piece of cake.  I have no problem rolling my 230 lb, 6′ 1″ husband this way (and I’m not a big girl….).

To roll to the other side, just ensure that the hips are pulled enough to the other side to help you leverage the opposite knee when pushing it back across the body.

Practice on yourself a few times…  Lie in bed, flat on your back.  Shimmy your hips slightly to the right.  Bend your right knee so that your foot is flat on the bed.  Then bring your knee across your body to the left side and see how easily your hip lifts.  THIS is how you want to roll your patient.  Use the hips, not the shoulders and arms.

Send me your questions through my contact page.

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