Is Your Care Facility Mismanaging Your Loved Ones Product Needs?

Your care facility may be mismanaging your loved one's product needs.
Are you seeing inconsistency in product usage from month to month? Are your absorbent product costs higher than you expect? Are you unsure of how products are managed, tracked, and accounted for? Your care facility may be mismanaging your loved one’s product needs.

There are warning signs you can look for:

1. Inconsistent usage from month to month.

While day-to-day usage may vary slightly, there should never be significant changes in how many products are used from month to month. This should act as a red flag warning sign. If you notice the number of products used from month to month are not consistent, and the care facility can not give you a logical reason why, it is time to look into it more deeply.

2. No efforts made to treat the underlying causes.
Mismanagement of products is not just about products going missing, or too many being used. It also includes unnecessary use of products. Care facilities should be seeking treatment options beyond absorbent products. Absorbent products should not be the long-term plan. Rather, a plan for treating the underlying causes, and help to manage symptoms with other methods besides absorbent products, such as bladder training and biofeedback, should be put in place. Do you see these efforts being made? If not, why not? Is the facility willing to start implementing a treatment plan?

3. No evaluation done to determine proper absorbent needs.

Every individual has different incontinence needs. And if the wrong products, ill fitting products, or improper products are used, the cost could be far higher than it needs to be. Is the facility taking the proper course to determine the beset size, fit, and absorbency needs for your loved one? Or are they approaching incontinence with a one-size-fits-all mentality? According to research done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over half of a care facility’s patients experience some degree of incontinence. Therefore, each resident should be evaluated to determine which products suit their needs best.

4. Lack of a plan for waste avoidance.

Ask the care facility what measures or standards they have put in place to avoid product waste. If they can’t give you a satisfactory answer, question further.

5. Improper monitoring, storing, and tracking.

Disposable incontinence management products can account for as much as 10% of a care facility’s total budget. Because it is such a huge number, they should have a concrete plan and system for monitoring, storing, and tracking product use. If this is lacking, that is a red flag.

If your care facility is mismanaging your loved one’s product needs, it is time to stand up, demand a change, or change facilities.

Further Reading: 
The Use of Incontinence Products in Elder Care

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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