Ask the Care Expert about ... preparedness and supplies

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Sherrie Dornberger, RN, CDONA, FACDONA Executive Director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RN, CDONA, FACDONA Executive Director, NADONA

We have a group of residents we are taking to visit a large garden near our facility for the day. Two of the residents attending have colostomies. Besides an extra colostomy bag/appliance, should I take any other supplies along with us to be prepared for leaks?

Absolutely, YES!

Take the colostomy bags the residents use, and if the appliance needs to be cut to a certain size opening, cut them ahead of time, to be prepared. More than likely, you won't have a lot of time to change the appliance.

Take plastic bags for clothes, and zip-locked bags for the garbage or smelly items, as well as room spray to help with odors. Take extra clothes that can be laundered, paper towels and wet wipes to clean up any skin that may need cleaning. Also have hand sanitizer for yourself and the residents, in case soap and water are not available.

Also, if the resident uses paste around the opening of the appliance, in the event they have a non-level opening, bring paste, skin prep and a belt to hold the bag on, or T-tape pieces to secure the bag. You want to have all of this available.

If it is very hot or cold there, do not leave the extra supplies in the vehicle. Place supplies in backpacks. You can hang the backpacks over the back of wheelchairs. If there are no wheelchairs, someone can wear the backpack.

If you put soiled clothes in a trash bag, be sure to mark it with the resident's name so the trash bags don't accidently get tossed out. If it is cold out, perhaps pack a small blow dryer. Warming up the skin and the appliance a bit helps adherence to one another and will assist you with getting good attachment to the skin.

Being prepared will help you all have a great time.

Please send your resident care-related questions to Sherri Dornberger at ltcnews@mcknights.com.