How To Lift an Elderly Person Out of Bed

Caring for our loved ones as they age is a role we step into with love and concern. It’s a role that requires patience, understanding, and, most importantly, a knowledge of the proper ways to assist them, particularly when it comes to daily routines such as lifting them out of bed.

This is not a task we can underestimate, as improper techniques could pose risks to both you and the elderly individual. The key is to ensure safety and promote independence while providing the assistance they need. The right tools and knowledge can support you in this role.

What Are the Risks of Incorrect Lifting Techniques?

As caregivers, whether you are caring for an aging parent or a dear friend, the last thing you want is to inadvertently cause injury to your loved ones when helping them out of bed. However, the truth is that improper lifting techniques can result in such unintended accidents.

The risk is two-fold. First, the elderly individual, whose bones may be frail, may suffer from sprains, fractures, or even serious conditions like a slipped disc. Equally important is the risk to the caregiver. Incorrect lifting can lead to back pain, muscle strain, and, in the worst cases, long-term musculoskeletal injuries.

It’s a common misconception that only the elderly are at risk in these situations — anyone can suffer from these injuries, irrespective of their age or physical strength. This is why understanding proper lifting techniques is so crucial.

We understand this might be overwhelming, but don’t worry. Your intent to provide the best care is a great starting point, and with the right knowledge, you can ensure safety for both you and your loved one.

How Can You Prepare To Lift?

Before attempting to lift your loved one out of bed, there are certain preparations you should consider. These simple steps are essential to ensure a safe and comfortable transition for them from bed to wheelchair or from lying down to standing.


As a caregiver, open communication is vital. Always inform the person before you’re about to move them. It allows them to prepare mentally and physically, potentially reducing any anxiety or discomfort they may feel.

Consider the Environment

While easy to overlook, the physical environment matters. Ensure the bed is at the right height for lifting. A bed too high or too low can increase strain during lifting. Similarly, a clutter-free room reduces the risk of trips and falls. Keep the path from the bed to their destination clear of obstacles.

Remember, every small detail can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety and comfort of your loved one. As a caregiver, you’re not just offering physical support — you’re also providing a sense of security, independence, and dignity for your loved ones. With careful preparation and the right techniques, you can ensure they start each day safely and comfortably.

What Are Proper Lifting Techniques for Caregivers?

Lifting an elderly person from their bed safely and comfortably is a skill that comes with understanding, practice, and care. Let’s delve a little deeper into each step of this process to ensure you’re well-equipped to take on this responsibility.

Establish a Secure Footing

Start by positioning your feet shoulder-width apart. This stable stance forms your base, allowing you to balance your weight evenly. It’s not only the first step but the foundation of the rest of your lifting movement.

Engage Your Legs

When you start to lift, remember to use your legs, not your back. This is critical to avoid injuries to your back muscles. Lower yourself into a squatting position, keeping your back straight. Think of it like lifting a heavy box — your legs are your power source.

Ensure They Are Ready

Communication continues to be crucial even during the lifting process. Make sure the person is prepared and, if possible, have them hold onto you for added security and participation in the process.

Lift Gradually

When you’re both ready, lift by gradually straightening your legs. Keeping your movements smooth will prevent any sudden jerks that could be harmful.

Keep Them Close

During the lift, keep the person as close to your body as possible. This is not just a comforting gesture — it’s a practical approach that reduces the strain on your back and provides better control during the lift.

Avoid Twisting Your Body

If you need to change direction, remember to pivot by moving your feet rather than twisting your body. This small yet essential step can go a long way in preventing possible back injuries.

By following these detailed steps, you can create a safer and more comfortable environment for your loved ones, where they feel secure and respected.

The Role of Adjustable Hospital Beds

While manual lifting techniques are essential, wouldn’t it be comforting to know that there is a solution that can help reduce the need for physical lifting, thereby minimizing potential risks? That’s where our electric adjustable hospital beds come in.

Our adjustable home hospital beds are specifically designed to promote safe transfers and independence among the elderly. With the press of a button, the bed can be adjusted to the right height, reducing the effort needed to get in and out of bed. The controls are simple and intuitive, allowing those with limited mobility to operate them easily.

We also understand that transitioning to using a hospital bed at home can be emotionally challenging, which is why our beds are designed to look like typical beds. This seemingly small detail can have a profound impact on a person’s sense of dignity and self-esteem.

In short, Transfer Master’s electric adjustable hospital beds are a significant step forward in ensuring safe and comfortable care for your loved ones right at home.

The Bottom Line

Taking care of our loved ones as they age is a responsibility that demands both emotional sensitivity and physical knowledge. It’s about ensuring their comfort and dignity while also protecting ourselves as caregivers. Mastering safe lifting techniques is undoubtedly a critical aspect of this care.

Our range of adjustable home hospital beds at Transfer Master can support you in this role. These beds have been designed with a keen understanding of the needs and challenges of the elderly. They offer a practical, simple, and respectful way to help loved ones transition in and out of bed while minimizing the physical strain on caregivers.

Ready to find the perfect next bed for you or your elderly loved one? Reach out to us today to speak to a bed expert who is ready to assist and support you. Your care is our commitment, and together we can make the aging process safer, more comfortable, and dignified.


Caregivers | CDC

Osteoporosis: What You Need to Know as You Age | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Preventing Falls at Home: Room by Room | National Institute on Aging

Preventing Back Injuries Among Caregivers | Minnesota Hospital Association


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About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Thirty years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.