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How to take care of a patient suffering from colostomy and dementia?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9400 Questions
Mom who is 85 has a colostomy and dementia. At this point she is having a problem taking care of it as she takes off her back every few minutes to empty it and rinses it. She is not only creating a mess but her stoma gets very irritated is there a gadget that can be used so that she will not be able to empty it all the time. She has a caregiver plus one of us children with her all the time. But her caregiver wants to give up all she does all day is follow her to the bathroom where an argument starts. I feel terrible for mom who simply doesn't know what she is doing wrong . Please help
Posted Thu, 20 Mar 2014 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 52 minutes later
Brief Answer: No gadget unfortunately; suggest a 2-piece bag Detailed Answer: Hello sir/ma'am and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. I completely understand your predicament, and I should rightfully start by asking you to always support your mother in whatever she is doing, no matter how she does it. It is important to note that her dementia might also kick in, and interfere with better understanding of the situation. Do not let her fell inadequate or less intellectual in comparison to others surrounding her. Now coming to your query sir/ma'am, unfortunately there is no such bag or gadget that would prevent the user from wanting to empty the bag all the time. The colostomy bag in itself is designed to allow the user to empty it as frequently or infrequently as possible. Unfortunately no gadget has been invented yet to help with emptying of the bag without having the user to do so. But there are different types of colostomy bags available and may be you can choose from them the one that would suit her requirements best. I feel you should try the two-piece pouch, if that is not what she is using already. The advantages of this pouch is that it causes less irritation to the skin and also tolerates frequent emptying which in my opinion would be safe for your mom, and not harm her in any way or irritate her stoma or skin. I hope you find my response helpful. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
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