Thursday, December 29, 2005

Caregiving: incontinence care

Incontinence care may be an awkward topic for some. Yet incontinence for a totally dependent person is just another caregiving reality. This is one of those reasons in our recent discussion about Christmas at home that Patti remarked about being ‘spoiled’ by the level of a professional care facility.


Wednesday I was in awe as two staff members with a “sit/stand lift” took literally just over one minute to change Patti, and she was rolling down the hall happy to begin the day’s outing.


The sit/stand lift is used for performing perineal care/changing incontinent briefs. At Patti’s care facility two attendants usually are used versus just one as pictured in the advertisement.


At home the process involves me physically pulling her up from her wheelchair to a standing position while she hangs on me, then pivoting her onto a bed, struggling to undress her and change Depends while she lays flat, then redressing and picking her up and again getting her back to a standing position while she clutches her arms around my neck, and finally pivoting her back to her wheelchair. Both Patti and I are at risk throughout all the associated transfers. … If lucky, it takes me 15 minutes.


If real lucky I don’t have to immediately start abusing ibuprofen until my back pain subsides. … Now if only I had a spare $2,500, I too could have such a machine <grin>

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