Caring for plus size people

The bariatric person can often be referred to as a ‘plus size’ person, as the term ‘plus size’ is known to be the preferred terminology. The word ‘bariatric’ focuses on the ‘medical’ management of obesity and its associated co-morbidities, and does not encompass an individual’s needs.1


Based on the current global demographics, care environments are having to adapt to support the care needs of the plus size person,1  especially as hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity among people of all ages has risen from 1,019 to 11,763 in a decade.2

Equipped with the right solutions and educational support, care facilities have the ability to improve the quality and safety of patients during patient handling procedures whilst also ensuring the safety of their caregivers and the efficiency of their care. Overweight, obese and morbidly obese people have a right to safe, dignified care, and caregivers have a right to a safe working environment.1

A complete care package considers factors such as weight, body shape, weight distribution, skin management, functional mobility and related health problems. The principles of good care are the same in the management of a plus size person as they are in any other resident / patient demographic. With the right solutions, plus size patients can experience comfortable and dignified care – through every step of their journey.

The Mobility Gallery™, which includes a bariatric gallery, is a mobility classification tool based on an individuals’ level of functional mobility; ranging from completely mobile and independent, to those who are dependent. Named in alphabetic order from Albert to Emma, the Mobility Gallery™ can aid caregivers to tailor bespoke care packages based on an individual persons needs.3

Arjo can provide equipment solutions and educational resources for practitioners to promote best practice, demonstrating that a plus size person can be managed effectively in a suitable environment with appropriate equipment whilst maintaining their personal dignity.

Learn about the Management of Plus Size People educational programme

1. Muir, M A and Rush, J A (2013) Moving and Handling of Plus Size People an illustrated guide, Towcester: National Back Exchange, 9
2. Public Health England [Accessed January 2019]

3. Arjo Bariatric Mobility Gallery (2005) Body Shape and Weight Distribution [Accessed January 2019]