Author: Tiffany Stockton
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Yes, you can have a catheter in assisted living if you have a medical need for one. Assisted living facilities provide various levels of care and support, including accommodating minor medical devices, such as catheters. Staff can monitor use and help with swapping the drainage bags as needed.

Understanding Catheter Use

Catheters drain urine from the bladder when a person can’t urinate naturally. Their use commonly occurs in cases of urinary retention and incontinence or certain medical procedures. Catheter types include indwelling (Foley), intermittent and external (condom). Each one serves a different purpose and satisfies different needs. Residents requiring catheters sometimes experience physical discomfort and increased risk of urinary tract infections, so assisted living staff prioritizes resident-centered care, addressing comfort levels regarding catheter use.

Ongoing education empowers residents to actively participate in their care. Health care professionals in assisted living facilities undergo specialized training to provide competent and compassionate care for residents with catheters. This includes instruction in catheter insertion, maintenance and troubleshooting common issues. Routine assessments of residents’ urinary status and catheter function help identify and mitigate potential complications promptly.

Catheter Monitoring and Maintenance Training

When a resident requires a catheter, a licensed nurse or doctor performs the catheter insertion procedure. Once inserted, the catheter requires regular maintenance, including emptying the drainage bag, cleaning the catheter site and ensuring proper positioning to prevent discomfort or injury. Trained staff closely monitors residents with catheters for any signs of UTIs or skin irritation around the catheter site. If they can’t resolve an issue, they notify the resident’s health care provider for further assessment and treatment.

Residents and their families also receive education and support regarding catheter use and management as part of the process. This includes information about proper hygiene practices and potential complications. Open communication between residents, families and staff members helps address any concerns or questions related to catheter care. The ultimate goal remains autonomy for the catheterized resident, and facility staff strives to empower the resident while also ensuring safe and proper care of the catheter.