Team Approach Necessary To Treat Urinary Incontinence In Nursing Home Patients

incontinenceBy some accounts, more than 66% of nursing home patients are currently being treated for a complete or partial loss of bladder control.  Unknown to many, patients with a loss of bladder control suffer serious physical and psychological consequences.  Emotionally, patients may withdraw due to embarrassment of having an accident in public.

Physically, nursing home patients suffering form incontinence tend to suffer higher rates of medical complications than their peers due to the fact that they may suffer from more rapid de-conditioning, dehydration (because they are scared to increase their fluid intake), higher rates of falls (rushing to get to the toilet) and perhaps most problematic– an increase in the rate in development of bed sores.

Bed sores, also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are wounds that develop when a nursing home or hospital patient remains in one position for an extended period of time.  Patients suffering from bowel or bladder incontinence are at a heightened risk for developing bed sores due to the caustic nature of feces and urine.  When the urine and feces remains in contact with the skin, the skin breaks-down faster than under ‘normal’ conditions.

I was happy to read about a new approach to treat urinary incontinence currently being implemented at Golden Living at Phoenixvile, a Pennsylvania nursing home.  The nursing facility utilizes a team-approach to analyze and implement an treatment plan for each patient according to their physical and cognitive abilities.

Typical urinary incontinence treatment plans include:

  • Strengthening exercises for the pelvic region, hips and abdomen
  • Behavior modification programs to help patients relax
  • Modifying medication dosages and types
  • Simple, practical methods such as: scheduling bathroom trips, modifying clothing to make removal easier and changes in eating routines

The urinary incontinence program appears to be working. “Loss of bladder control is not just a condition of the aging process,” according to Roxanne Higgins, Rehabilitation Coordinator at Golden Living at Phoenixville.  “Our UI programs can help successfully treat many patients and help them enjoy more active lives.”

For laws related to Pennsylvania nursing homes, look here.

Related:

In order to prevent pressure sores, it is important to analyze the factors that make a person susceptible to developing them.

6 Most Common Causes Of Bed Sores & How Caregivers Can Help

Lack Of Cleanliness & Incontinence Contributes To Development Of Bed Sores In Nursing Home Patients

Incontinence Amongst The Nursing Home Population

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric