This email was sent by a family member who wishes to remain anonymous. It needs no further introduction.

A while back, staff were called into a meeting, where staff were told that invalid/high care patients are to only have a maximum of 3 incontinence pad changes in a 24 hour period.

The pads are locked away other than the allocated amounts so the staff cannot change a pad when required if the daily limit has been reached.

To dedicated nurses, this is a failure of duty of care, that they have no say in.... Patients are forced to wear the wet pads back to front to maintain absorbancy.

One elderly male patient had requested a new pad from the staff after showering, he told them he had not had a clean pad for 3 days and was forced to turn them back to front and inside out during the 3 days prior.

The nurse was forced to "borrow" one from another patients daily allowance, which in turn left that patient without.

The nurse urged the patient to report this to the facility manager, but unsure of the outcome as the three a day rule was reinforced recently. Some patients have suffered rashes and scalding due to this.

One patient had not had a change in the time between two staff length shifts - - - so as well as the restrictions on the allocated amount of pads, there are also nurses who are ignoring wet patients.

I find this totally unacceptable treatment of our valued elderly citizens.

If parents limited their childrens nappies to 3 a day the child would probably be removed from their care.

How can staff complain about these types of work practices when they have been explicitly directed to perform their duties with such specific instruction?


#3 Rosie Hodson 2017-09-09 18:12
I saw this at first hand yesterday. Mum had a very dark wet and smelly pad, which I removed after waiting over 5 mins for a carer to come. Because of the smell, I asked for a new pad and was told that she had already had 3 that day (4.30pm) and she couldn't have a change. I insisted that it was changed and it was done, but I now know that if I'm not there she will be put back in dirty pads! It disgusts me - particularly as the care home has just spent a vast amount on doubling its size and building a cinema, chapel, gym and spa room ( which my mum cannot access without me or a carer and rarely does!)
#2 Julie 2015-04-25 17:55
Mum has been living in aged care hostel for 5.8 years. Her facility are the same - only handed out 2-day &1-night pad and LOCK pads in store room. Nurses told that they should only change if pad more 75% wet. The problem is, mum often sits permanently with wet pad (due to little fluid intake even regular remind nurse). Good nurse would ask RN to get extra pad but need details documented - & often nurse doesn't like to deal with paperwork or have time to wait for RN to unlock the store for clean pad. Aged facilities management sending out very bad policy & culture - how can they choose to lock up incontinent pads to make poor/difficult access for nurses to do the right things for residents? Have they thought 3-pads a day is encouraging the nurse not to bother to check & change the residents?! For goodness sake - its only incontinence pads not money or gold, why do they choose to lock them up!!! I wonder - would they limit 3 pads a day for their kids? Isn't it obvious an extra pad is needed because the old one is either wet or soiled! My last regular visit I usually check mum if she needed change pad after I've fed her dinner, I found mum soiled a bit on pad and obvious she needs a replacement pad but there weren't any available (for the day due to 'rationing'), so I went to ask nurse - she told me to ask RN (who has the key of store room), finally found her and told me mum about to go to bed it would wasteful to use another day pad so they changed mum to night-pad @7:15pm & put her straight to bed instead of usual 8pm! I feel really bad by not standing up for mum for an extra pad. I rang up care home later & advised I was disappointed a new pad wasn't given to mum and this RN told me over the phone that they need to have a meeting to discuss what to do if a resident is needed a new pad @7:15pm! I wanted to yell inside me but cannot because it is not her fault either. 3-pads a day! I am very upset how come costs overruled good care!
#1 Zac Hitchcock 2015-04-25 17:36
I too have been witness to some poor practices in continence management in facilities. Our precious older generation need strong advocacy. Can YOU imagine being in these folks same shoes in your future and not thinking you could demand better care? Things may not change fast enough for this generation of our people, but I can assure you that the next gen and gens hereafter are NOT going to tolerate some of these conditions. I know for a fact I wont.