Incontinence Care and Infection Control in the Era of Covid-19

To keep residents safe and healthy during the pandemic, infection control has become a critical priority.


Even prior to Covid-19, communities faced serious infection threats every year. Three of the most common include urinary tract infections, diarrheal diseases and antibiotic-resistant staph infections. Infections increase hospitalization risks and death; as many as 380,000 people die of the infections in long-term care facilities each year. Incontinence is a condition that is a key contributor to these infections and increase risk for other significant health issues.


Up to 3 million serious infections happen annually in senior living settings – before the pandemic.

Mismanaged incontinence can be very costly for a facility. It can lead to more expensive health complications, including urinary tract infections. The urinary tract is the most common site of healthcare associated infections (CDC), 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. If left untreated, a UTI can cause acute or chronic kidney infections and UTIs are also a leading cause of sepsis.


UTI’s account for 20-30% of infections in senior care facilities and 23% of hospitalizations.

Managing incontinence is an essential part of an effective infection control plan. Infections resulting from incontinence not only cost and frustrate families; they also increases a community’s expenses – the cost of laundry as well as the cleaning and care burden on the staff. Today, with the pandemic and upcoming flu season, communities face even greater incontinence management and infection control challenges, including:


Health Complications - Infections increase hospitalization risks and death.


Untrained Staff - Poor or inadequately trained staff hinders efforts to mitigate or avoid the spread of infectious viruses and bacteria.


Hygiene Issues - Not having the access to, or not having appropriate, personal care and personal protective essentials creates health risks.


Care Requirements - Covid-19 is adding new pressures, requiring more resources, time and money to keep residents safe.


Infection prevention and control saves lives when properly established and utilized. At TotalDry, we have developed a clinically-proven, comprehensive Total Incontinence Management (TIM) program that combines high-absorbency products, staff education and years of incontinence research. Implementing TIM can help your community:


Proper care of any incontinence event is important to minimize the risk of infection and spread of bacteria.


Appropriate hygiene protocols and high-absorbency products are essential infection prevention and control techniques.

Education is key to an infection control plan. Proper staff training strengthens efforts to mitigate or avoid the spread of infectious viruses and bacteria across resident populations.


Not sure if your community needs help?


To determine if you need to establish incontinence management as part of your infection control plan, ask yourself these questions:


Do you have education or training for staff, residents and family on incontinence and infection issues?

  • Do your residents have high-quality incontinence and personal care products available?

  • Does your staff know how to assist incontinence residents and properly dispose of products?

  • Do you provide infection prevention education, specifically UTI’s and skin infections?

  • Does your staff know how to diagnose and properly assess levels of incontinence?

  • Does your staff have the proper assessment tools and resources to create an effective incontinence care plan?


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

TIMCare@totaldry.com