1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How To Lift a Person Safely


Updated June 30, 2014

If you're caring for someone who is bed bound or is otherwise unable to move themselves, you'll find that you need to lift them often. Lifting a person can be hard work and you want to make sure you're protecting yourself, and your loved one, from any injury. Always have a "lift buddy" to help you when you're lifting.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1-5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Get your lift buddy! Always use the help of at least one other person to lift. This will help protect your back from injury and help protect your loved one from injury to their skin that can occur as a result of friction.
  2. Use a drawsheet to assist you. To make a drawsheet, fold a flat sheet in half lengthwise twice. Position the sheet under the person being lifted so that their entire bottom and lower to mid back are on the sheet. (See "How to Change a Diaper or Bed Sheet" for tips on getting the drawsheet under the person easily.)
  3. Grab one side of the draw sheet as close to the persons body as possible and have your lift buddy do the same on the opposite side. If you have more than one person to help you, first thank your lucky stars, then ask one to hold the persons ankles and one to hold their head.
  4. Designate one person to count to three. On the count of three, lift the patient off of the bed and up towards the top. Try to lift the person completely off the bed to prevent injury to their skin as a result of friction.
  5. Position them properly to prevent them from sliding down in bed. See "How to Position a Person in Bed" for tips on proper positioning.


  1. Always use a "lift buddy".
  2. Always use a drawsheet.

What You Need

  • Your lift buddy!
  • A flat sheet.
  • Pillows for positioning.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Dying, Funerals & Grief
  4. Caring for the Dying
  5. How to Lift a Bed Bound Person Safely

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.