By Fara Gold McLaughlin

As a teacher, almost four decades ago, I remember often when a struggling child would shrug his or her shoulders and say, “Who cares?” It was an interesting response to a challenging situation. They were just simply trying to figure out a problem or figure out if another student was picking on them for answering slowly. I remember saying, “I care. And you do too. Let’s figure this problem out together.”

Also, I would make a game or a challenge for the whole class to “figure out the problem.” And someone would always gleefully shout out loudly, “I got it!” 

Today in senior housing we have many challenges facing our residents, staff, investors, and management trying to figure out better and different ways to deliver services or care for residents with discreet and intimate needs.

Continence care is the one very personal and intimate “job” caregivers understand can be trying for residents with memory, mobility, or dexterity challenges — remembering to toilet, geting to a bathroom, and managing all the nuances of their own hygiene. The big problem for our caregivers is this is often the most time-intensive and intimate caregiving task for them to complete. Being patient, present, and respectful is their challenge when residents are often in need of reminders and ashamed or embarrassed to toilet in front of another person or within a certain period of time. But, most challenging for both caregivers and residents is the final act of cleaning and drying the most private and intimate parts of resident’s bodies.

The understated quote from the Captain of the NASA Apollo 13 space mission, “Houston, we have a problem!” could also be said about catastrophic failures to address continence care effectively. Today, as with Apollo 13, crashing is not an option for any senior in need of continence care. The quick succession of cascading challenges from privacy, dignity, body odors, clean clothing, isolation, and catastrophic skin breakdown all require the right answers.

The Brondell Bidet Toilet Seat (a Senior Living Foresight partner) allows a caregiver to provide standby assistance while a resident privately sits on their heated toilet seat, in comfort, while a warm oscillating spray of water from a sterilized stainless-steel nozzle washes their perineum, as well as being dried and deodorized. As a caregiver steps away from the toilet to allow privacy, they can easily assist simply at the push of a button on the remote control to adjust the water or air, allowing the resident more privacy and dignity. Both residents and the caregivers gain greater control, making living and thriving in senior living communities more fun.

Who cares?  Brondell cares, prompting caregivers and residents to shout out loud, “Brondell’s got it!”  

For more information about Brondell, please visit their website.