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How to Change an Elderly Person’s Diaper in Bed: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Maurice

How to Change an Elderly Person's Diaper in Bed

Taking care of an elderly parent can be challenging, especially when it comes to things like diaper changes. If your parent is unable to get up and walk to the bathroom, you may need to change their diaper in bed.

Fortunately, changing a senior’s diaper isn’t difficult to do with a little preparation, and you’ll be able to make the process a painless experience for both of you. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change an elderly person’s diaper in bed.

Things you’ll need to change an elderly person’s diaper

Incontinence is a common side-effect of aging, so it’s highly likely that, at some point, your elderly parent will need assistance with using the restroom or may need a diaper to prevent accidents. This can be a daunting reality, but with the right tools and know-how, diaper changes can be done quickly and easily. Here are the things you’ll need to get the job done.

  • A changing pad or clean towel
  • Baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • A fresh diaper
  • A trash can or bag for the dirty diaper
  • Disposable gloves (optional)
  • Diaper rash cream (optional)
  • Sanitary pads or liners (optional)

Now that you know what you’ll need, changing your elderly parent’s diaper in bed will be a breeze. Make sure to have everything nearby so you’re not running around looking for supplies in the middle of the changing session.

How to Change an Elderly Person’s Diaper in Bed: Step-by-Step


Now that you have all of your supplies together, it’s time to actually begin the process of changing the diaper.

  1. 1Start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or put on a pair of disposable gloves. It’s important to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds in order to kill any bacteria that may be on your skin.
  2. 2Lay your parent down on the changing pad or clean towel. If they are unable to lie down, you can prop them up with pillows. Now is a good time to talk with them to ensure they’re comfortable, so the experience can be as positive for both parties as possible.
  3. 3Lift up their clothing so you can access the diaper area. Keep an eye out for any draping or loose-fitting clothing that could dip into the diaper region and secure it out of the way so it doesn’t risk getting dirty.
  4. 4Remove the dirty diaper, being careful not to spill any feces or urine. Fold the diaper in half so the contaminated side is facing in, and if you’re concerned about smell or leakage, you can double-bag the diaper before disposing of it. If any waste material gets spilled, make sure to clean it up quickly to prevent the spread of germs.
  5. 5Clean the diaper area with baby wipes or other wet wipes. If your parent is male, you will need to carefully clean around the testicles. Do so with a light touch, as the skin in that area is very sensitive.
  6. 6Apply diaper rash cream if necessary. Keep an eye out for any redness, bumps, or sores on the skin, as these could be signs of a rash. If you see any of these symptoms, apply a generous amount of diaper rash cream to the area.
  7. 7Place a fresh diaper under your parent, making sure the adhesive strips are facing the right way. Then, secure the diaper by fastening the adhesive strips.
  8. 8If your parent is wearing disposable underwear, pull them up over the diaper. You should also help your parent sit up or stand so they can get dressed again.
  9. 9If you’re using sanitary pads or liners, now is the time to apply them. Place the pad or liner in the center of the diaper, making sure it’s positioned correctly before securing the diaper in place.
  10. 10Wash your hands again and dispose of the dirty diaper in a trash can or bag.
  11. 11Make sure your parent is comfortable and has everything they need before you leave the room.

Changing an elderly person’s diaper in bed doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With a little preparation and know-how, you can make it quick and easy for both of you. Just follow the steps above and you’ll have no problem at all!

Best Videos to Learn How to Change an Adult Diaper

When you’re taking care of a senior, it’s only natural to want to do the best you can while helping to change their diaper, and it can be hard to know if you’re doing it correctly. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful videos out there that can show you how to change an adult diaper in bed. Here are a few of our favorites:

Diaper Changing – Eldercare Training Video by CFS

This video on how to change an elder’s diaper in bed was created by the Centre for Seniors (CFS) in Singapore. As a voluntary welfare organization committed to preserving the wellbeing of elders, their insight is invaluable in learning how to change your elder parent’s diapers unassisted.

Changing an Absorbent Brief for a Bed bound Patient

Here’s another video showing the professional care of a bedridden senior throughout the process of changing a soiled diaper. This team takes pains to discuss their process to help you understand the best strategy for changing your elderly parent’s diaper with ease.

Perineal Care and Brief Change

And lastly, here’s a guide from the University of Manitoba’s nursing department on care tips to change a bedridden senior’s diaper. This video is unique from the others in that it utilizes a mannequin in order to go over the nuances of proper cleaning during the changing process, in addition to providing other useful tips and strategies for the process.


Now that you know how to change an elderly person’s diaper, it’s time for the real test — actually doing so. Changing a diaper in bed can be tricky, but with our step-by-step guide and helpful videos, you’ll be able to do it like a pro. Remember, prepare beforehand and keep a cool head, and you shouldn’t have any problem changing a bedridden senior’s diaper. Once you’ve got this down pat, changing a diaper will be a breeze.

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