A reduction in the provision of long-term hospital care over recent years has ultimately led to an increase in residential nursing home care that is provided for the elderly.
A great deal, if not the majority, of people in residential care have varying forms of incontinence. Providing nursing home incontinence care and choosing the best incontinence pads and nappies is therefore vital.
Urinary Incontinence Treatment for Elderly Patients
Not all elderly people have incontinence so each patient should be treated as an individual. Bed wetting and pant wetting could be caused by loss of memory, for example forgetting to make regular trips to the toilet, and not loss of bladder function. In this example prevention is totally possible, although accidents will happen. For example, if you remind your patients to go to the toilet at regular intervals and especially after mealtimes and tea breaks this can hugely improve urinary incontinence treatment for elderly people and reduce costs and wastage. Not only will this save costs on urinary incontinence treatment for elderly people but it will also, improve their quality of life through independence from nappies.
Urinary Incontinence Management Assessment
If you think that your patients incontinence could be a symptom of another underlying problem such as memory loss, depression, loss of confidence or simply giving up then a simple urinary incontinence management assessment can be carried out. A medical assessment by a doctor is also, necessary first of course. Any future management can be used alongside this and the nursing home incontinence care provided can be greatly improved.
Here are some ideas that carers providing urinary incontinence treatment for elderly can implement to help manage incontinence for each individual patient. However, prior to carrying out any assessment it is crucial that you rule out any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney infections, infections around upper groin and around groin area and of course if the patient has a learning disability or has had a stroke.
-How easily can the patient get to the toilet and are they willing to go frequently to help manage incontinence? If they find it painful and difficult to get to the toilet then you may decide to use pull up incontinence nappies. This decision should ideally be made in conjunction with your patient. In some cases, it may well be that loss of bladder function is so severe that it’s not realistic to expect your patient to be able to make it to the toilet on time.
-How has the incontinence been managed in the past, has the patient been allowed to gain independence or has the patient been forced to wear incontinence products?
-Identify when incontinence is most likely to occur and focus on these areas to provide extra support to get to the toilet.
-How much fluid is the patient taking? Is there a concerted effort to maximise toilet visits before and after mealtimes?
Once the assessment is carried out it is vital it is documented and shared with all staff to maintain the highest levels of care for your patient.
Choosing the Best incontinence Pads and Nappies for your Patient
Your incontinence management assessment may conclude that incontinence products are not required in the day, only required at night or that a combination of incontinence products are used dependent on time of day and any change in routine. Either way, choosing the best incontinence pads and nappies for your patient is key.
Incontinence pads can be very bulky and uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time. They also, take up a lot of space. If you can cut down on these through a carefully implemented incontinence care assessment and plan then you’ll save costs too. However, there will be patients who require incontinence pads so what are the best incontinence pads? Shaped incontinence pads are the comfiest for your more mobile patients. Large shaped incontinence pads are designed for sufferers of moderate to heavy incontinence and night time incontinence. The large shaped pads are designed to offer superior levels of absorbency, medium less absorbency and so forth. They are best used with incontinence stretch support pants which hold them close to the body for a secure, comfortable fit.
Incontinence pads help maintain a patients’ dignity too but make sure that your patient needs then and is not just using them out of habit or a desire to stay seated and avoid more frequent trips to the toilet.
The main difference between adult nappies and adult pull ups is whether they have side panels or not. Adult nappies have the bit on the side that can be opened and closed during nappy changes whereas pull ups can be used similarly to underwear the side panels are not re-usable so once opened cannot be re-used. Pull ups can be used by the patient to offer more independence and dignity, clearly nappies cannot be used in the same way as you cannot put on and take off your own nappy very easily.
The incontinence product used really depends on the level of care being given, the patient and how much care they need and independence they desire. However, providing urinary incontinence care for elderly patients is first and foremost about understanding the level of care a patient requires before deciding upon the treatment. Deciding upon the level of incontinence care a patient requires relies on a thorough assessment.