Helping patients with their daily activities is a part of healthcare especially, for those who have had a stroke or limited mobility on one side of their body. Activities like getting dressed need to be done with care to ensure the patients comfort, dignity and safety. In this lesson we will focus on the approach to assisting a patient with mobility in dressing while in bed. By following these guidelines healthcare professionals and caregivers can provide care. Improve the overall well being of their patients.

Recognizing the Importance of Technique

When working with patients who have limited mobility on one side, such as stroke survivors it is crucial to approach every task. Using technique not ensures the patients comfort but also helps prevent potential issues like skin irritation, pressure sores and discomfort. Assisting a patient with mobility in getting dressed requires following a step, by step process that minimizes strain on their body and maximizes their participation.

What is Required to Move a Patient with a Weak Side

Before starting the process of helping a patient with mobility get dressed it is important to gather all the necessary supplies. To ensure a process and minimize any discomfort, for the patient it is important to have everything prepared in advance. The following items will be needed:

  • Towel: Use a towel to cover the patient’s body and respect their privacy while they change clothes.
  • 2 Shirts: Opt for shirts that are easy to put on and take off. Look for shirts that fully open in the front as it makes the dressing process easier.
  • 2 Pairs of Pants: Similar to shirts, choose pants with waistbands or those that open on the sides for convenience.
  • 1 Pair of Socks: Select socks that can be easily worn. Consider socks with slip grips on the soles to prevent slipping accidents.
  • Gloves: It is essential to wear disposable gloves during the dressing process to maintain cleanliness and prevent the spread of germs.

Step by Step Guide for Dressing a Bedridden Patient

Follow these steps carefully when dressing a patient who has weakness on one side:

Step 1: Ensure Privacy and Effective Communication

Start by explaining each step of the dressing process to the patient ensuring their comfort and understanding. Use the towel as a cover, for areas not currently being dressed respecting their privacy.

Step 2: Helping the Patient to Get in Position

Assist the patient in finding a lying position making sure that their weaker side is accessible for dressing. Use. Cushions to provide support and maintain alignment of their body.

Step 3: Dressing the Stronger Side

Begin by dressing the side of the patient’s body that’s stronger. This approach helps maintain balance and stability while minimizing any discomfort. Gently guide their arm through the sleeve of the shirt ensuring it slides on smoothly. Repeat this process for the pants carefully helping them extend their leg through the pant leg.

Step 4: Dressing the Weaker Side

Move on to dressing their side. Guide their arm through the shirt sleeve. Gently pull it over their torso. When putting on pants, lift their leg while supporting the ankle and slide them over that leg with care. Pay attention to any signs of discomfort.

Step 5: Ensuring Patient Comfort

Throughout this dressing process communicate with the patient and keep an eye on how comfortable they’re feeling. Make any adjustments to both their position and clothing to ensure they remain at ease.

Step 6: Putting on Socks

If socks are needed gently roll one onto their foot being mindful not to cause any friction or discomfort. Make sure the sock fits snugly but isn’t too tight.

Step 7: Adjustments and Finishing Touches

After helping the patient get dressed ensure that all their clothing items fit comfortably and are positioned properly. Remove the privacy towel. Dispose of gloves appropriately. If necessary, assist the patient in finding a position and offer any support they may need.

Precautions and Considerations: What to Keep in Mind

When dressing a patient who is confined to bed with limited mobility there are important precautions and considerations to be mindful of:

  • Patient Comfort: Always prioritize the comfort and dignity of the patient throughout the dressing process. Be gentle. Maintain communication to ensure they feel at ease.
  • Skin Care: Check for any signs of skin irritation or redness before dressing. Avoid pulling or tugging on their skin to prevent any damage.
  • Hygiene: Maintain hygiene by wearing gloves to prevent the spread of germs. Remember to wash your hands after assisting with dressing.
  • Body Mechanics: Pay attention to your own body mechanics to avoid strain or injury. Use lifting techniques. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.
  • Clothing Selection: Choose fitting clothing, with closures (such as buttons or snaps) that make it easier for both you and the patient, during dressing.
  • Personalized Approach: Every patient is unique. Their individual needs may differ. It’s important to adjust the dressing technique according to the patient’s preferences and limitations.


Assisting patients who have weakness on one side with dressing requires a skilled approach. By following the step, by step process described in this lesson, healthcare professionals and caregivers can ensure that the patient feels comfortable maintaining their dignity and preventing complications. Dressing is more than a task: it presents an opportunity to provide personalized care and contribute to the overall well being of the patient. With patience, communication and proper techniques caregivers can make an impact on the lives of those they are caring for.