Improper Incontinence Management can Lead to Health Complications

These complications can drive up costs and put staff and care communities at risk



Seniors struggling with incontinence not only face physical challenges, but increased health risks and having to live with a condition that interferes with their quality of life.


Health Complications


UTI’s – According to the CDC, the urinary tract is the most common site of healthcare associated infections, and accounts for 20-30% of infections in long term care facilities. UTI’s are usually caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract via the urethra and many times are a result of inappropriate cleaning. UTI’s account for 23% of hospitalizations, second only to Pneumonia.

FALLS – Numerous studies have linked incontinence with an increased risk of falling. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. One-third of adults over the age of 65 will have some issues with falling. For elders in nursing homes, these falls can cost as much as $35,000.

SKIN RASHES – Prolonged exposure to wetness leads to skin breakdown and infections. Managing skin damage creates numerous concerns for senior living communities and staff, as caring for these patients requires more time and can be more costly. Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD) is skin damage that is associated with exposure to body fluids. It is often overlooked, not treated properly and is a precursor to pressure injuries. And, the wet briefs and pull-ons that can lead to ulcerations and can cost up to $45,000 per patient ulcer.


Managing skin damage creates numerous concerns for senior living communities and staff, as caring for these patients requires more time and can be more costly.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS – Urinary incontinence is often underreported and feared due to loss of independence and quality of life. There’s fear of embarrassment and hygiene issues, and there can be withdrawal from normal social behavior. Leakage and odor are outcomes which can lead to anger, depression and/or low self-esteem. For many, fear of accidents becomes a barrier to everyday living.



Cost is a Major Factor


Cost is a major factor that people consider when selecting an independent living community, assisted living community or memory care facility. Most families prefer a community that structures their care packages and fees based on the individual needs of each resident. For a resident with full-time incontinence that requires multiple changes per day, the cost can easily exceed $200-$300 per month.

In addition, mismanaged incontinence can be very costly for a facility. It leads to more expensive health complications which frustrate families, threaten the facility’s reputation and can create occupancy challenges. Inadequate incontinence care also increases facility expenses – the cost of laundry as well as the cleaning and care burden on the staff.


Contact our care specialists to introduce the TIM program to your community.

TIMCare@totaldry.com