Slide Sheets

Make nice sheets slidey to aid moving and handling

Problem

Nylon slide sheets are institutional and depressing, and have to be removed so good positioning is very hard work

Solution

Make normal sheets slidey on the back and leave them on the bed

Recipe

  1. Take a good quality single flat sheet, 3m of liquid satin 150cm/60” wide, and scissors, thread, pins, sewing machine.

  2. Spread out the sheet on a large table or floor. Cut the satin to the length of the sheet plus about 6cm to allow for hem.

  3. Line up the non-shiny side of the satin against the sheet, short side to short side, shiny side out. Turn a hem (approx 2cm) along the cut edge of the satin and pin it along the top of the sheet. Turning a hem means folding the edge of the material back on itself, in this case 2cm. This doesn’t need to be right at the top edge of the sheet, but it does need to be centred on the width of the sheet.

  4. Pin the two fabrics together along the long edge of the sheet. There’s no need to turn a hem on the satin as the selvedge will not fray and a hem adds unnecessary extra bulk to the sheet. Sew along this edge to about 3cm from the bottom.

  5. Sew a horizontal line across the middle of the sheets. To do this they can be folded in half to find the centre point.

  6. Fold the remaining satin fabric at the bottom of the sheet to create a hem, pin and sew along this line.

  7. Sew along the remaining long side.

  8. Finally sew two horizontal lines, one each equidistant from the middle line of stitches to the top/bottom line of stitches.

  9. The lines of your sewing should resemble this:

More

We’ve made several versions of this sheet (the first was using no sew magic wonder web and completely fell apart on the first boil wash, lol), and there’s clearly some further improvement to go, but for now this solves a lot of our problems.

Disability equipment is so relentlessly grim, and it mainly doesn’t even work well for the actual user, the disabled person. Nylon slide sheets are a classic example. You have to remove them after use (turning), so it’s impossible to use them to get someone to their “final” position, because obviously you move the person when removing the sheet. Further, it’s a solution only required by the single hospital bed turning methods which require “ratcheting” the turnee round within a narrow space. These methods are completely unnecessary on an ordinary double bed, as you can simply turn the person from one side of the bed to another. Get rid of the stupid bed, designed entirely for the convenience of nurses who aren’t actually present (that pesky reality again) anyway, and the whole rigmarole is completely avoided. In fact, the sheet is not necessary to safely complete such a turn (side to side, side to back, back to side are all easily executed by one person and no aids on a 4’0 wide, 28” high bed), but a slidey sheet is useful anyway to aid more complex repositioning challenges.

Further-futhermore, they are just completely horrible things! They rustle and rasp and put your teeth on edge. They are like bin bags, or old, cheap waterproofs. Nobody wants to sleep on or near such things. You can tell this by the way they are completely unavailable in any mainstream bedlinen supplier. Bed, Bath, and Binbags! :P

With profound disability, one may regularly be living in bed for sustained periods. The nylon slide sheet is clearly used as a temporary aid, but actually one uses slide-positioning multiple times a day. It’s like using a pair of bin bags strapped to your feet as your work shoes every single day. The cumulative effect of all these horrible things is very depressing, and unnecessarily so. Slide sheets can be, if you want them to be, positively luxurious. Which matters more than you might think.