What can you do to provide the best care?

Some practical tips for working with incontinent residents

We hope this resource can help you with continence care. Here you can find advice on how to talk about incontinence with residents, guidelines on how to assess and treat residents, tips and ideas on how to get the best routines in professional care, and a resource of useful downloads.

In nursing homes, TENA can work with you directly to help train staff and implement best-practice routines in your workplace. Click to find out about TENA Clinical Support Services.

How to discuss the topic

Incontinence can be a difficult subject for all of us, not just your residents. Here are some tips on how to handle it.

How to find the best practice

Some tips for continence care based on our experience


How to tackle a tricky subject

Incontinence can be a difficult subject for all of us, not just your residents. Here are some tips on how to handle it.

Incontinence is not only uncomfortable to discuss for residents, it can also be so for healthcare professionals. The associations of shame and guilt mean many residents can deny the condition even when it is apparent. You might feel it is too difficult a subject to tackle head-on.

But you can help residents a great deal by removing the stigma of embarassment, making them feel less awkward and more ready to accept treatment of their condition. Here are some pointers:

Make it a routine issue

Treat incontinence as just another part of your discussion about the residents’s health. There’s no reason to treat it in a special way – because bladder control problems are common and treatment is often available.

Keep talking about it

Bring up the subject regularly to all residents. Incontinence can affect people of all ages, not just the frail elderly. Prostate conditions, pregnancy and menopause can all bring bladder weakness issues.

Offer hope

The condition is often treatable, but too many residents believe it’s a natural sign of aging or simply can’t be cured. By telling them that the majority of incontinence cases can be significantly improved, it is far easier for these residents to face their condition and start discussing treatment.

Don’t delay

It’s important to address the subject and start any treatment as early as possible. Of course this helps residents avoid continued emotional and physical strain from their condition, but it also can prevent some even more severe social consequences. Incontinence is an all-too-frequent reason for admission into a nursing home – a drastic step for residents, their families and society as a whole. By talking about it early and offering hope for the future through effective management, you can help residents stay in their own homes longer.

See the warning signs

Tell residents such as men with prostate problems, young mothers and menopausal women that incontinence might occur. Similarly, residents with mobility difficulties can experience incontinence problems that can often be helped by making access to the bathroom easier. In all cases, by preparing at-risk residents, you help them quickly come to terms with any eventual problem and make it easier to ask for treatment.


Practical care and support

Diagnosing and helping residents in acute care

Incontinence and the resident provides useful guidelines to assist in effective assessment and initial management of incontinence. With these, you can give your residents an informed choice of what treatment options are available to address their symptoms.

Additionally, you can direct residents and caregiving relatives to the appropriate areas on this site: TENA Women, Men and Looking after loved ones. Once there, residents and their relatives can find a great deal of useful information that helps them understand what they can do themselves.

Caring for nursing home residents

Continence care is critical to residents' well-being. As such, it is one of the most important tasks performed by nursing home staff. But it is also one of the most time consuming and often one of the most physically demanding.

With the right care, incontinence can be better managed so the resident has more comfort, dignity and independence. And it can also make life easier for nursing staff.

TENA Clinical Support Services can help with training sessions that explore good practice individualized care, based on our working experience from over 20,000 healthcare institutions around the world during the past 40 years. This can help you achieve the following:

  • Improved resident well-being

Residents get the right care and protection around the clock to maintain their independence, dignity, security and comfort. This enhances their physical comfort, social functioning and psychological well-being.

  • Reduced staff workload

Individualized care helps minimize the workload for nursing staff. It frees up precious time for more rewarding, face-to-face contact with residents – and, of course, for more job satisfaction.

  • Lower total costs

Finally, individualized care based on accurate resident assessments leads to lower product consumption, less leakage and laundry, and fewer incontinence-related skin conditions. Of course, this means lower total costs for the nursing home.

If you are interested in more detailed information or your own training program, please contact us.