As people age, many of their bodily systems are affected. A good example is a nervous system that controls eliminating wastes such as stools and urine. They tend to also decrease in control with age, making older residents sometimes defecate or urinate in their pants without realizing it.
Although they may not pose a great threat in health especially cleaning and changing of clothes is done each time, they may create a problem in patient safety. Urine or stool that may be on the floor may cause accidents such as falls. This is also embarrassing to the residents thus may affect them emotionally. The problem of elimination control along with the decrease of fluid intake and lesser appetite gives rise to many problems in elimination.
There are many other factors that can hinder in the elimination process such as too little fluid intake, problem with the absorption of water in the intestines, diseases and even effects of medication.
There is a possibility that residents may be having trouble with feces that might become hard to eliminate due to little fluid intake.
Aging and diseases such as diarrhea or constipation can also affect the resident’s toileting habits. With diarrhea, a brown watery stool is pushed out due to inadequate reabsorbing of water from the intestine.
Because of this, wastes go through the system too fast, making the residents go to the toilet many times. The constant elimination of wastes may endanger the resident as this may lead to dehydration.
This disease requires reporting to the nurses and doctors so that early intervention and treatment can be done before leading to other complications.
As advocates of health, it is our role to assist the residents in their daily toileting routines. This is to maintain the pattern of toileting and keeping them away from harm.
It is important to be observant and alert in providing the necessary help that residents need in order to avoid accidents. When handling wastes such as feces and urine, precautionary measures should be done such as using gloves when in possible contact.
For residents who cannot maintain their toileting routine due to some inability, bedpans and urinals should be used. After voiding and or defecating, proper hygiene should be exercised.