Our attorneys specialize in nursing home neglect and elder abuse litigation, so we have the experience and training necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. Our attorneys are dedicated to pursuing justice for those wronged in nursing facilities. Whether the injury is a pressure sore or the failure to properly treat incontinence, we are prepared to fight on your behalf.
Once the underlying causes and type of a resident’s incontinence are determined, a skilled nursing facility should implement appropriate management and treatment protocols to reduce or cure the symptoms. Mere changes in diet or the elimination of the medications that may have caused the incontinence can sometimes improve the residents’ symptoms. Noninvasive behavioral intervention, such as prompted voiding can help manage daytime urinary incontinence in 25% to one third of incontinent residents. Other treatment methods include a combination of changes in behavior, medications, use of absorbent products, and surgery. Incontinence resulting from fecal impaction or drug side effects is also a reversible condition that can effectively be managed and treated by an adequately trained and qualified nursing home staff.
Dietary Changes and Fluid Management
Dietary changes and fluid management involve monitoring daily food and fluid intake to see if there are certain foods and beverages that contribute to bladder control problems (such as caffeine, alcohol, high acid, high sugar content, or highly spiced food) and eliminating them. Eating foods that are high in fiber and drinking plenty of fluids can help reduce incontinence caused by severe constipation.
Following a schedule of voiding, with a combination of diet and fluid intake changes, is often a successful method to reduce the symptoms of bladder or bowel control problems. Voiding treatment for elderly can lead up to a 50% reduction in the frequency of incontinence episodes. A voiding schedule usually requires a person to go to the toilet about 9 times a day, including when the person first wakes up, within 30 minutes before and after meals, after a nap, and before bed. Alarms on watches or a written schedule are useful reminders for successful voiding treatment. Fecal incontinence may also be managed by using a systematic bowel-training protocol.
Pelvic Muscle Exercises
Urinary or bowel incontinence sometimes results from weakened pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic muscle exercises (PMEs), usually referred as to “Kegel exercises,” can be helpful in such case to increase bladder control and decrease bladder leakage. These techniques can be very effective but also require conscious effort and consistent participation.
If certain medications have been causing or contributing to a resident’s incontinence, nursing home staff should consult with a doctor. Overactive bladder, which involves urinary urgency and/or frequency, may be treated with medications, but adverse side effects exist so its use should be carefully considered and based on individual circumstances.
If all appropriate non-surgical treatment options are exhausted, surgical treatment is also an option to consider after a thorough diagnosis from a healthcare provider. The type of surgical procedure recommended depends on the type and cause of incontinence.
Because incontinence management requires routine cleansing and behavioral interventions, it is imperative to have adequate number of the nursing staff at the facility. Nursing homes should provide adequate staffing levels so that systematic incontinence care is implemented and protocols are properly followed 24 hours a day.
Preserving nursing home residents’ hygiene and dignity in the process are also important for those who suffer from incontinence. Improper incontinence care, due to deficient personnel levels at the nursing facility, does not only result in great discomfort for the resident but can also lead to serious complications like sever skin degradation leading to decubitus ulcers and increased susceptibility to infection.
If a nursing home has failed to properly treat your loved one’s incontinence, leading them to develop pressure sores or other harmful side effects, please contact us today. We will discuss your situation in a free consultation to see how we can best help to end the suffering of your loved one and fight to ensure that his or her rights are honored and respected.