What you should know about helping residents with incontinence

Facing the loss or reduction of bladder control can be a difficult time for a resident. They may experience embarrassment or depression for needing assistance with a deeply personal condition. That is why it is vitally important that long-term caregivers not only provide incontinence care but give residents a personalized experience that will help them improve or maintain bladder function.

Not normal

Although getting older affects the urinary system, incontinence is not a normal part of aging as many people believe. Involuntary loss or leakage of urine is the sign of a problem. Incontinence can be caused by a number of issues such as skin breakdown, urinary tract infections, mobility issues, dementia or certain medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Incontinence is a treatable condition that can occur at any stage in a person’s life and should not be seen as simply a side effect of getting older.

Remove the stigma

Incontinence problems can negatively impact a resident’s quality of life so it’s important to be compassionate and supportive in helping to address the issues. Residents may feel shame, embarrassment or guilt, but care providers can work to remove any stigma. Address incontinence as part of routine discussions about their health or well-being. Without giving the issue any special emphasis or undue attention, talk about the subject regularly with all residents and educate them about the signs of incontinence so they will know when they may be experiencing a problem. Having the right information can help residents cope with the development of bladder problems. When incontinence does happen, reassure residents by offering them a hopeful perspective. Remind them that they have a very treatable medical condition and there are a number of solutions to help them maintain or increase bladder function.

Pay attention

Caregivers like Certified Nursing Assistants are on the frontline of providing residents with dignified personal care. They can be the residents’ best ally in getting appropriate care and managing bladder issues. CNAs can help by monitoring and documenting areas of a resident’s bladder function such as level of bladder control, liquid intake, urine odor changes, presence of skin breakdown, level of need for toileting assistance and ability to let caregivers know about their need to use the toilet. Documenting this information and other observations can help in care planning.

Choose wisely

The care plan for an incontinent resident can include a number of interventions including bladder rehabilitation, medication, toileting devices and personal care supplies such as incontinence pads and briefs. However, when choosing personal care products, the needs and wishes of the resident should be considered as well. Make sure to select the appropriate option for the level of the resident’s incontinence and activity. Absorbent pads and shields that fit into the underwear are good for occasional accidental leakage. Pull-up briefs used instead of underwear are ideal for residents that have no ability to manage their continence and are ambulatory. Adult briefs are used in the place of underwear for complete incontinence and work well for non-ambulatory and bedridden residents.

For more information about how Turenne PharMedCo can help you provide the right, dignified options to your residents, call 1-866-710-7626.


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