Q: Can a nursing home resident with a colostomy use the rehabilitation swimming pool? 

A: This depends on several factors, including the individual’s specific medical condition, the policies and regulations (state and federal) of the facility, and the guidance of the medical or IP team.

Here are some considerations:

They can use the swimming pool if their colostomy is well-managed and they are stable.  However, it’s important to consult with their physician or nurse practitioner to assess any potential risks or concerns.

Proper care of the colostomy bag and stoma is crucial when using a pool. Waterproof ostomy pouch covers may be necessary to prevent water from compromising the seal of the colostomy bag. A nurse can provide guidance on maintaining a secure seal.

The facility should have specific policies regarding the use of any pool by residents with medical conditions like a colostomy. These may include requirements for medical clearance, supervision or precautions. 

The facility should supervise and assist residents in the pool area to ensure safety, especially if the resident requires assistance with their colostomy. It’s important that staff members are adequately trained and available to provide support in situations like these. Maintaining proper hygiene and infection control measures in the pool area also is crucial. 

Each resident’s situation is unique, and  his or her ability to use the swimming pool should be assessed on an individual basis.

Factors such as mobility, balance and any other medical conditions should be considered with this assessment. Keep in mind, too, that the above factors are liable to evolve over time for long-time residents. Staff clinicians should make a point of regularly re-evaluating each patient’s conditions and abilities.