The Challenges of Pericare in Long-Term Care

The Challenges of Pericare in Long-Term Care

When it comes to proper hygiene in the Long-Term Care environment, pericare can often present a substantial challenge. It can be intimidating and labor intensive to the caregiver, while uncomfortable and/or embarrassing for the cared for. Regardless, it is part of the cleaning process that must be performed effectively as the perineal area, when not cleaned properly, is prone to odor and infection (Infection Prevention is a significant part of the QAPI directives of the Requirements of Participation for Long-Term Care. I highlighted this in a previous blog). All this while maintaining as much dignity as possible for caregiver and care for.

The following link contains valuable information on proper pericare:

The Fundamentals of Peri-care – What Every Caregiver Needs to Know

In addition to following guidelines listed, keep in mind, you are performing as task. And with any task, not only is proper knowledge required, but proper tools and equipment. The requirement of proper tools is predicated on the physical and mental health of the cared for. For instance, if our individual is ambulatory or minimal assist, a basic shower chair, possibly shower bench can be used since the individual can assist. However, as the physical ability of the cared for diminishes, a standard chair can make the process difficult and quite often, unsafe for cared for and caregiver. Features designed to assist with the more dependent include:

  • Chairs integrating with a bedpan
  • Tilt-in-space chairs to improve access to the perineal area
  • Height-adjustable chairs that elevate the perineal area
  • Height-adjustable chairs with a tilt-in-space feature for even easier access to the perineal area
  • Supine shower tables/trolleys, both fixed height and height-adjustable
  • Bathing systems with pericare designed into them

This equipment for quality hygiene care pays proper attention to ease of cleaning and at the same time, creates a much safer working environment for the caregiver. Hence, a valuable part of a ergonomic approach and your Safe Patient Handling efforts. Below are pictures of a tilt-in-space chair, a height-adjustable, tilt-in-space chair and a shower trolley.

These types of products can be purchased from companies such as ProCare Medical, Pioneer Medical, Lopital and Arjo to name a few. While cost can be perceived as prohibitive compared to the more conventional products on the market, i.e., PVC chairs, the benefits and return on investment are considerable. I encourage you to reach out to these companies to learn more, and more importantly, how you can significantly improve hygiene care in your facility.


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