If the care recipient does not have control of bowel and bladder functions, the family caregiver will need to assist with changing and cleaning. It is important to provide this help in such a way as to preserve the loved one’s dignity as much as possible. Requiring this kind of help will probably be embarrassing to the care recipient. You can do much to alleviate those feelings. Incontinence is defined as the lack of ability to control the bladder and/or bowels. There are a number of things that can cause such a condition, including: physical disorders, medications, immobility, distance and difficulty getting to the toilet, stress, amount and type of fluid and food intake, and changes due to aging itself. Check the care recipient often to see if changing is needed. Every two hours is the common practice. Follow the procedure for the proper technique of changing and cleaning the care recipient. It is important to use the correct techniques to help control odors and maintain good skin condition. When changing pads or briefs, observe the care recipient’s skin condition. Report significant changes to the physician. Apply powder or lotion as directed. NEVER show anger or disapproval when the care recipient wets or soils. Be matter-of-fact and show respect towards the care recipient. NEVER refer to the incontinence pad or brief as a ‘diaper.’ You can help care recipients feel better about themselves by handling the situation properly.
- Assemble necessary supplies
- Pad or brief;
- Wash cloth;
- Powder or lotion;
- Provide for privacy.
- Wash your hands and put on gloves.
- Use correct positioning techniques when moving care recipient.
- Remove soiled pad, brief, or clothing.
- Clean and dry area. With peri cares, you always cleanse from front to back and turn washcloth with each wipe.
- Remove gloves.
- Observe for unusual skin conditions.
- Apply appropriate lotions/powder, if necessary.
- Apply clean pad or brief, and clothing.
- Properly dispose of soiled items and other supplies.
- Wash your hands.