Incontinence - Dignity

Your loved one’s time in a nursing home should not be uncomfortable or painful, to either body or mind. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, our experienced Nursing Home Neglect attorneys believe that dignity and respect are as important as physical health. We will fight to make sure that your loved one is not made to endure situations that are excessively harmful to their self-respect and dignity.

Receiving care for incontinence can be embarrassing and humiliating for people and many feel that they are losing control. Many people have a hard time admitting they trouble with incontinence and need toileting care and often experience a loss of dignity and self-esteem. Incontinence is a distressing problem that can contribute to sleep deprivation, social withdrawal, depression, and stress. Maintaining one’s dignity in a nursing care setting can be especially challenging because of the practicalities of providing incontinence care.

When accidents happen due to incontinence problems, nursing staff should change the soiled garments and clean the residents’ skin immediately with gentleness and thoughtfulness. This means that when a call light is pressed to seek nursing assistance, there must be sufficient staff on duty to ensure that care is provided immediately. It is important to nursing home residents that nursing staff recognize and acknowledge that the residents are not at fault. It also helps emotionally if nursing staff spend few minutes with the residents to reassure them. Nursing homes should provide training to their staff members in the proper procedures for care and cleaning, as well as bedside manner.

For nursing home residents who use incontinence aids, the nursing staff should build a relationship with them so that the residents can feel security in their everyday routine. Especially when receiving intimate personal care, such as continence care, having the same caregiver is important for the residents. If a new caregiver starts providing care, introducing himself or herself briefly before starting the routine would help the residents feel less embarrassed.

Explanation of routine procedures in continence care can also help the nursing home residents to anticipate what is happening and enable them to participate in the procedures. This way, residents feel less of a burden on their caregivers and appreciate caregivers’ sensitivity. As such, different ways or strategies may need to be used to protect residents’ dignity. An individual care plan for each resident deal with incontinence issues needs to be developed, taking into account the patient’s specific desires and preferences, in order to best maintain his or her dignity and comfort.

To preserve its residents’ hygiene and dignity, a skilled nursing facility should provide adequate staffing levels to effectively implement its incontinence treatment measures and to meet the needs of each resident in a timely fashion. If a facility lacks the necessary staff to maintain the hygiene of every patient and does not promptly clean them after any incidents, incontinence can lead to the development of infections, pressure sores, and severe skin irritation.

If you believe your loved one has suffered complications, such as bedsores, due to inadequate incontinence care in a skilled nursing facility, contact us immediately. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are experts in nursing home neglect. We believe that no institution should be allowed to abuse or misuse the elderly in their care, and we will fight on your behalf to make sure your loved one is not made to suffer further. Call us today to see how we can help to ensure that your loved one is treated with they dignity and respect that he or she deserves, as is set out in the Patients’ Bill of Rights.