Your Guide to Making Sure the Care Facility Doesn't Mismanage Your Loved One's Products

A step by step guide
to make sure your loved one's products aren't mismanaged.
Because long-term care facilities have a high percentage of residents with some degree of incontinence, it is important to recognize there is a potential for mismanagement of incontinence products and supplies. 

Incontinence supplies, on a national average, make up about 8% of the care facility’s spending each year. As residents are the ones who pay for those expenditures, it is worth knowing how to monitor and insure your care facility is not mismanaging your loved one’s products. Here is your guide for doing so:

Step one: Ask Questions.

The very best way to make sure products are not being mismanaged is to ask key questions that can identify problem areas and help you know how and what the facility is doing to manage products. Some of these questions include:
  • How are absorbent needs determined? If the wrong, size, style, or fit of product is used, it could fail, causing further cost to the individual. The right products are key to keeping costs in control and providing adequate protection. 
  • How are products stored? Can any employee, visitor, or resident access the products? Is there potential for theft? 
  • How are products managed and tracked? With products of this nature comprising such a large percentage of the budget, there should be some kind of tracking system in place. 
  • Can I see records of product use? Individual records of product use are very telling, especially if there are inconsistencies from month to month in numbers. 
  • What steps are taken to avoid waste? Are employees trained? What protocols and tactics are in place for waste management? 
  • Are additional treatment options used? One of the best ways to reduce the costs of incontinence products is to treat the underlying problems. Are steps being taken to do more than manage the symptoms? 

Second, Follow Up:
Getting questions answered is one thing, checking to make sure the practice is consistent with the answers is another. If you want to insure your care facility is not mismanaging products take time monthly to check records, and follow-up on the questions you asked previously.

Third, Keep Communication Open:

Make sure if you have a concern, if you notice differences between monthly usage, or feel like there is a concern, you bring it up. Ask for explanations. Ask for further info. Ask for change if you feel it is needed. No system is perfect, but if you work together, you can help the facility to better manage product use and keep costs low while still providing the quality of care you want for your loved ones.

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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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