Incontinence is something that many elderly people have to live with. Parents who suffer from incontinence also suffer from lost dignity when they find it difficult to take care of their own toilet needs and require intensive care from their children. They become dependent on caregivers, whether family members or otherwise. They feel helpless and useless. They often get rashes and skin irritations, have difficulty sleeping and become stressed.
“That was the starting point,” says Daniel Huang, regional director for incontinence care at SCA in Shanghai. “We offered education to hospital nurses who were dealing with elderly people to help them improve the lives of their patients.”
Very positive response
Some 6,500 nurses from more than 1,000 hospitals in 12 Chinese cities have benefited from the education scheme since the project started in 2009. The responses have been very positive.
After educating nurses for three years, SCA decided in 2012 to broaden the scope of the training program in China.
“This year we are aiming to educate around 1,000 professional caregivers in 55 hospitals in three Chinese cities—Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai,” Huang says.
Caregivers at hospitals work as assistants to the nurses. It is often the caregivers who do the hands-on work, such as changing the patient’s clothes and diapers and helping them with washing and other hygiene matters.
Increase the skills and knowledge
“The concept is the same as for the nurses program,” Huang says. “We want to increase the caregivers’ skills and knowledge about the patients’ personal hygiene, such as preventive treatment and available solutions.”