How do I keep my Dad's blankets on his bed?

My Dad suffers from neuropathy in his hands & feet. Yes, we’ve seen doctors. LOTS of doctors. It’s not diabetes-related or anything fixable like that. We’ve tried all the things, and nothing is helping, so he’s living with it. Not fun, but seeing as he has no other options, he makes do.

One of his primary issues is that his feet get really cold at night. We’ve tried special heat-retaining socks, they help, but not a ton. One thing that definitely doesn’t help is that as he turns in his sleep, his blankets get loose and uncover his feet. If someone is around to make his bed really well every morning, we can get the blankets to stay by tucking them in really tight. Problem is, he can’t do that by himself (neuropathy also makes his hands weak & not very dextrous) so I’m trying to figure out what we might be able to do to keep his blankets on his bed at night. It has to be something he can manage to do in the morning when he makes his bed, or something we can install that only needs taking off when it’s laundry day (he has folks to help him with that.)

I gotta think this isn’t a unique problem. Anyone got any ideas?

http://www.pnhelp.org/files/8813/2858/3847/PVC_Support.pdf

I use these down booties to keep my feet toasty at night when backpacking. They are like little sleeping bags for your feet.

I’ve seen a wide variety of supports similar to Omar’s first link. Amazon sells a number of them an it’s not difficult to fabricate one. It’s worth looking into one.

It may be worth investigating why your father tosses and turns so badly. In general, does he find his sleep to be restful? It’s not impossible that tossing and turning could be indicative of generally poor quality sleep which may be able to be addressed. I know that when I got by bipap mask, my sleep improved dramatically and I tossed much less.

You need longer sheets so you can tuck them in all the way.

Sleeping bag?

Does he wear a sock hat in bed? That may sound like a strange question, but the fact is that body heat is lost primarily through the extremities, and the head is one of those extremities.

Making sure his head is covered will help his body retain more heat and thus indirectly help with the issue of his cold feet, which are cold because his body is reducing circulation to those extremities in order to retain heat.

Get another blanket. The larger the better.
Turn it 90 degrees so the long way goes across the bed.
Tuck it in really good on the sides and bottom. Be content that it is only going to cover half the bed at most.

I think this is going to be your simplest solution.

Thanks for all the responses.

  • He does wear big heavy wool socks to bed. They don’t help (enough)

  • For the “tuck in really good” suggestions: YES, that works, IF someone is there every day to make his bed for him and “tuck in really good.” Problem is, there isn’t, and I’m loathe to pay an aide to come in just to make his bed every day. He can make it himself; he does not have the dexterity or hand strength to really tuck the sheets & blankets in to the level they need to be.

  • For the “sleeping bag” suggestions: Yes, again, I think that would work. But I don’t think he could get into or out of the sleeping bag on his own, much less pull up a zipper.

  • Sock hat is an interesting idea. I’ll mention it to him, but I’m guessing that it’s not gonna work for a combination of being uncomfortable to sleep with a hat on / he almost certainly can’t get one on snug enough to stay all night by himself / he won’t believe me and thus won’t even want to try it.

Truly, his limited mobility is as much of a factor here as the cold feet themselves. He does fine with most day-to-day things and can live by himself with the occasional family help. But having someone run over every day to make his bed is proving to be an issue, thus my question.

I do see some hope with the PVC idea; I’ll look into that more. If it’s something a family member can do for him a couple times a week, that’s no problem, and that’s what that thing sort of looks like.

Could you sew the bottom end of the blanket so it fits over the toe of the mattress, somewhat like a fitted under-sheet does?

I think you may have misunderstood. Think of a double-extra-large blanket that is turned sideways, so when you tuck it under, it’s so long that it just about comes out the other side again. Something that it would take weeks if ever to come untucked.

There are zipperless sleeping bags, some that are just open at the top like a big sock, and others that look kind of like fabric kayaks; you just slip into the hole.

You’ll eventually tear up the blanket and mattress, but what about using blanket pins? You’ll need hand-strength yourself to do this, but pin the blanket to the mattress.

Would just an old fashioned electric heated mattress pad and or blanket work?

Have you considered a heated mattress pad for him? Or a heating pad just at the bottom of the bed? As far as I know they’re all going to auto shut off, with different levels of programming.

I kind of feel like if his problem isn’t rectified by heavy socks, no manner of keeping his feet covered will help him. But keeping the rest of his body warmer might help.

I got Pops a heated mattress pad once. He loved it but I made him get rid of it after several years for fear that the wires inside might get worn out and cause a fire. I never found a replacement for it. Wasn’t active on the web at the time.

In the winter, I like to have a folded blanket over my feet. I keep it in place with big binder clips. I fold a bit of the blanket in with the blankets or sheets below it and clip it all together. Two one each side should be enough. It probably would be too hard for your father to do this on his own but whoever changes his sheets should be able to.

Hope this helps.

What about a weighted blanket? They sound utterly terrifying to me, but some people really love 'em.

Anything electrically heated is not recommended by his docs; part of nephropathy is you can’t tell when it gets TOO hot so even with auto shut-off, there’s some danger of burning.

The binder clips or what DavidwithanR suggests (yes, I didn’t get what you meant in your first post) could work.

What ZipperJJ says about socks is a good point, and one I’ve raised with him. I don’t know why the socks alone don’t help; the whole issue could very well be in his head and he equates “no blankets” with “cold feet.” Either way, I’d like to do my best to help.

I’ll be exploring all of these.

I understand if he doesn’t want to try a hat, but a warm hat can make a huge difference in comfort. That, and clean dry socks. I’ve forgotten plenty from Boy Scouts over the years, but “If your feet get cold, put your hat on” while sleeping isn’t one of them. I generally used a balaclava, as it stayed on much better.