West Lake Terrace residents also experience fewer incidents of incontinence

June 5, 2013 — Jeanne Pengelly

There’s something encouraging and inspiring about simple solutions, says West Lake Terrace’s clinical care co-ordinator.

For example, the solution the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s team found to help significantly reduce urinary tract infections in residents was a simple as a new cleaning cloth.

Neil Peterson hadn’t been long at the 47-bed OMNI Health Care home when he did a little research on products that might help reduce the high rate of infection among residents.

“I was surprised, myself, that there was something as readily available as a disposable cloth that would make such an impact,” Peterson says.

In conjunction with the toileting program in the home, the use of the new cloths is credited with dropping the rate of UTIs at West Lake Terrace from 88, to 62 per cent in the matter of three months.

The new cloths are small so they can be carried at all times. They’re a dry cloth that expands when soaked in water.  By having them available at all times, Peterson says full perineal care was done more often, and more proactively. In essence, it became a simpler care routine that could be done as the opportunity, rather than the need, arose.

Furthermore, not only did the UTI incidence decrease, but episodes of incontinence also dropped.
“The residents were feeling clean and more secure,” Peterson says. “The PSWs using these cloths has really enhanced the quality of lives of our residents.”

Urinary tract infection is considered the most frequent bacterial infection in long-term care residents, and one that health-care workers constantly work to head off. UTIs are particularly difficult to diagnose as the symptoms vary and can be hard to pinpoint.

West Lake Terrace was recognized with an award at the recent retreat at Fern Resort in Orillia, for its work implementing the change to disposable cloths for perineal care.

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