talley_sue_nyc

DIY "bedsheet sleeping bag" for my elderly dad.

Bedsheet sleeping bag, for my elderly dad.

My elderly dad can’t wrestle the sheets on and off his thick queen-size mattress anymore. I need to create something that he can easily take off for washing.

It occurred to me that I could make a sleeping-bag-type thing, but out of bedsheets. And that he could lay that on top of the existing bedsheets, but sleep inside it, instead of between his existing sheets.

  • It needs to be able to lie on the existing bedsheets without sliding all around and getting him tangled. (since he won’t be able to tuck it in),
  • It needs to be waterproof so that sweat and odor don’t transfer to the existing bedsheets, so he doesn’t have to wash them often
  • It needs to be comfortable to sleep on
  • Twin size, since it's only him, and he needs to be able to wrestle it around.

Will you look at my plans and tell me what you think?

THE SANDWICH FOR THE BOTTOM
Nonskid Layer
option 1: There is a high-chair splat mat that has little rubber dots on the underside, and the top is a polyester that’s touted as waterproof.
It’s 51” x 51”; the twin bed size is 38X80. I could get two of them , or I could just leave the bottom part out, or I could cut off the extra 12” or so from the side, and sew it on at the bottom.
Possible downside: will the little rubber dots be uncomfortable?

https://www.amazon.com/Wo-Baby-Washable-Waterproof-Anti-slip/dp/B07DC75RS9?th=1


option 2: Would flannel sheets resist moving when laid on top of an existing bedsheet? I seem to remember flannel boards from Sunday School as a kid.

Cushioning Layer

Mattress pad: I thought I might get a mattress pad, which would provide a certain amount of stiffening, and would perhaps cushion from the nonskid dots.
It would also allow some ventilation and maybe some waterproofing.


Sleeping Layer

A flat bedsheet. This would be the layer Dad would sleep on.


I’d stitch these together all around the outside.


TOP SHEET:

Another flat bedsheet. I could sew this to the bottom sandwich at the bottom edge, and maybe partway up the sides.

Dad could then use his existing blankets over the top of this.

I was hoping this would be simple enough to lay out on top of his bed, and still get into.


What am I missing? All advice* wanted.




(*except the advice to have someone else change his bed for him; we need something he can do himself)

Comments (25)

  • maifleur01
    last year

    If you stitch them together have you given any thought to how he would get out of them? He would have to climb out of the top which could be difficult or scrunch his knees up to get out of the ones that are only sewn halfway. Almost a guarantee that he will end up on the floor with his feet tangled in the sheets. While it sounds interesting if it takes the place of his sheets why lay on top of them?


    Keep it simple and if you or he can afford it have a cleaning service come in and as one of the duties change the bedding once a week. You would need two complete sets of sheets for this. One for on. One in the wash. If he is not capable of changing his bedding how do you think he is capable of doing the normal household cores without help.

  • wednesday morning
    last year

    I recently bought for my bed wetting grandson a couple of waterproof pads that are pretty much the same size as his twin mattress. They make changing the bed much easier because only the top sheet needs changing. They just lay right on top of the bottom sheet and he sleeps right on top of them.

    I realize that it is not really bed wetting that you are dealing with, but I am impressed with how well these lay on top of his sheet and stay in place.

    I got them off of Amazon. They are the ones that are called Gorilla Grip. They really work well and really do stay in place. They also launder up well and ours have been washed plenty and are still in good shape.

    Any kind of sewn together piece is going to be somewhat convoluted to get in and out of.

    This way, the bottom sheet will rarely need changing and these are easy to change out because they don't tuck in.

    talley_sue_nyc thanked wednesday morning
  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I was only going to stitch the top sheet in place along the very bottom edge, and maybe about 8 inches up the side.



    (the bottom "sandwich" of layers, that I would stitch all the way around--but he's not supposed to get inside that; that's supposed to be like a mattress pad.)


    I guess I didn't describe this very well at all.

  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    wednesday morning, those Gorilla Grip sheets sound like a great idea! I'll have to look into them.


    But I can't have him changing the queen-size top sheet either. So maybe I'll fold that back.


    Any kind of sewn together piece is going to be somewhat convoluted to get in and out of.

    I guess I REALLY didn't describe this well--I hadn't intended to sew his top sheet to the bottom sheet the way most sleeping bags are sewn; just "at the bottom edge and partway up the sides" (I was thinking about 8 inches--just enough to sort of start the top sheet in the right direction--I guess I left that out--I'll add it for anyone who might read it later).


    If people are reacting to that as something that would be tangled, then maybe I should just leave the top sheet free, and go for a pad on the bottom like the one you're talking, and then switch his top sheet out to a twin size, even if it is being laid on the queen-size bed.



  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    If you or he can afford it have a cleaning service come in and as one of the duties change the bedding once a week.

    I did say this was not advice I was looking for--didn't I?

    His bed is a queen-size with an 18"-thick mattress. *I* have trouble changing the whole thing, and I'm younger than he is.



  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    wednesday morning: I'm not finding those Gorilla Grip sheets in a twin size.
    Is there any chance you can find a link?

  • sushipup1
    last year

    Talley Sue, have you tried using king-sized sheets? I wonder if that would help.

  • wednesday morning
    last year

    It must be the 34x52 size that I bought. They go from just under his pillow to beyond his feet and work very well for him. I have never seen them bunched up.

    There may be other brands that make one to cover the whole bed and there are the kind that they call a "saddle" sheet with extended sides that tuck in.

    If you can't find the exact dimensions that you seek, you can join them. If you were to join them, I would suggest that you use a technique much like you would use to join two ends of elastic. You sew each end flat to a piece of fabric under neath it to create a join that is flat and without bulk. You can google joining elastic. It sounds like you sew, so this may not be new to you.


    It seems that your objective is to have an easily removed bottom sheet or to have a complete package that just gets pulled off and a new one laid on. A complete ensemble with a pad and sheets might be a bit heavy to wash. Maybe I am not understanding your objective entirely.


    Our top sheets do not get the kind of wear and require the same level of washing as do the surfaces that we actually sleep on. Really, it is the main portion of the bed where the body lays that needs the most refreshing most often.


    Have you looked at the likes of travel bed sheets? I don't think you will find anything there that you would want to use on a daily basis, but some of the designs of these seem similar to what you are trying to do. I decided against them because most of them were sewn at some point like a sleeping bag. I am not elderly and I think that I would still have to think about it to get out from between those sheets.


    Your best bet is to use a regular bottom sheet and then place one of these types of mattress pads on top of that. The pad is really not uncomfortable to sleep on directly. I know because grandson sometimes sleeps with me and we put his pad on the bed.

    If you do feel the need to have a percale sheet to sleep on, I would suggest that you create a saddle type of sheet that straddles the sleeping area of the bed, with or without a pad underneath it.

    When my mom was still living I would engineer all manner of specially made things for her.



  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    Wednesday morning, you’ve got it exactly!


    ive thought of just leaving the top sheet unattached but switching to a twin size so it’s not so large. He only disturbs one side of the bed now, but he would have to wrestle all the covers on AND off from to change the top sheet, so having him fold back the covers to expose a twin sheet that he can lift off and replace seems easier for him.


    i might start off with a couple of those pads and a couple of twin flat sheets

  • pennydesign
    last year

    What about something like this? https://www.rei.com/product/627255/cocoon-cotton-bag-linertravel-sheet?CAWELAID=120217890000844688&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=15724606120&CATCI=pla-347097913339&cm_mmc=PLA_Google|404_87693|6272550010|none|c424b71c-e340-4f4e-9a4b-a1d3258eca1b|pla-347097913339&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_87693|6272550010|none|c424b71c-e340-4f4e-9a4b-a1d3258eca1b&kclid=c424b71c-e340-4f4e-9a4b-a1d3258eca1b&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyc_89pTG3gIVxYWzCh03zAc0EAQYBCABEgLzAPD_BwE

    They came out with them a few years ago as protection against bed bugs in hotels...I searched "hotel sleeping bag" and this one came up...it has velcro on one side, but others are sewn so you might have to undo one side to the length you want. Also, a full size might be better so that he doesn't get tangled up in it and have a mini panic attack...I know I would.

    Anyway, google hotel sleeping bag and see if any of them fit the bill.

    talley_sue_nyc thanked pennydesign
  • wednesday morning
    last year

    Talley, you might be on to a part of a solution to your problem to use the top sheet and blanket in a twin size. Since there is only one person in the bed, it is a good idea. It is more important that the items be easy to handle than that they drape over the side of the bed.

    I use a twin sized blanket of a full bed at my house. I appreciate the abbreviated style and function of it.

    talley_sue_nyc thanked wednesday morning
  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    That's really useful input, Wednesday Morning!

  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    and pennydesign, thanks for that link and that idea.

  • shivece
    last year
    Have you looked at any of the tools that are available to help seniors change sheets? I haven’t studied them, but I recall that I saw one I thought I might like for myself to make sheet changing easier.
  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    I think most of them still require the lifting of the mattress, and I just don't see him being able to do that. *I* can't do that.

    One thought is to get him a different, smaller bed (like, a full instead of a double)

  • iread15
    last year

    What about zippered sheets? I'm thinking about them for myself.

  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    They might work--but I think I'd want to combine them with a smaller bed.

  • miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)
    last year

    In the meantime, change the way you or he folds his sheets. Fold them in half the long way first. Do that twice so you have a long narrow strip. Then fold this strip in half and in half so you have a rectangle. Now when he wants to put on a new top sheet he doesn't have to shake it off and wrestle it into place; he simply needs to align the folded sheet with the top corner of the bed with the fold side toward the center and unfold until it is laying on the bed. This method revolutionized my mom's life when she had carpal tunnel syndrome and couldn't grasp the sheet and shake it open.


    Also, it might be too simple but make sure he is tucking in the most difficult corner first!

  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    that's a GREAT idea! Though it might be hard for him to fold them that way in the first place. He's a short guy. I'm going for a visit soon, and I'll get him to try that out.


  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    actually, he doesn't really fold them at all--he takes them out of the dryer and puts them in a shopping bag in the bottom of the closet or else straight back onto the bed.


  • pennydesign
    last year

    What about something like this:https://www.amazon.com/Speedy-Sheets-Hypoallergenic-Micorfiber-Resistant/dp/B075LPWK5C


    The top sheet is attached to the bottom sheet....it would be a lot of "sheet" but there wouldn't be much aligning to do. Especially if he switches to a full size...

  • wednesday morning
    last year

    Recently I slept on a queen sized bed that had a top sheet spread across the mattress rather than a fitted sheet. Why? Well, that is a long story.

    I was amazed at how well it actually worked and stayed in place!

    The mattress was covered with a topper that had a somewhat rough textured material on the top. I think that if this surface were slick, such as a microfiber, it would not have worked so well. This was probably cotton.

    Anyway, this would not have to be tucked in and would simply spread over the mattress and hang down. If you used a top sheet of a size bigger than the bed it would provide a lot of hang on the sides and probably stay in place really well without a lot of manipulation, tugging and tucking.

    talley_sue_nyc thanked wednesday morning
  • talley_sue_nyc
    Original Author
    last year

    ooh, wednesday morning, that's really helpful to know! Thanks for coming back and sharing that.


    I'm going to see my dad in mid-December, and I want to get my hands on some possible solutions before I go.


    Some mattress pads are slightly rougher on the top; that might be a solution, to get one of those types of mattress pads, and then just have him lay the regular flat sheet on it.


    If it gets a big dislodged, he can straighten it out each day.

  • Kathy Yata
    last year

    That's a great idea. In the olden days I understand there wasn't any such thing as fitted sheets, one tucked the edges of a flat sheet under the mattress and I was planning to suggest that but having that special pad is brilliant.

  • wednesday morning
    last year

    I used to work in a hospital and learned to do square mattress corners with flat sheets, since that was all that was used back in those days. Maybe things have changed.


    Anyway, the flat sheet worked quite well on the bed that I used recently.

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