My wife is incontinent and has had several wounds. Would it help if we had Wick?

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P.S. to my previous response on this -- re bedsores, those are often the result of marinating in wet conditions (clothing, bedding, etc), which breaks down the skin and makes it vulnerable to infection. Prior to using the wick system, my wife had developed a stage 1 bedsore; she always sleeps on her side, so keeping pressure off the affected area and using a system such as external catheter wick greatly helped to clear up the bedsore.
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Reply to Duardo49

All of the above answers offer good points. My wife recently started using the PureWick system, as she has been uncontrollably incontinent for some time, and was having to get up 3-5 times a night to use the bathroom, often not making it in time. When she got to a point where she was unstable on her feet at night, we put a bedside commode in place to make it easier, but eventually that also became difficult. We learned about the PureWick system from a home health nurse, and though there are upfront and ongoing costs, we decided it was worth a try; she has been using it now for a few weeks, and after learning the routine, it has become a godsend. No more getting up at night, and both she and I can sleep peacefully through the night. However, it is critical to learn the correct placement of the external catheter (wick). There are good instructional videos and information on their website. Done correctly, we found that she and the bedding were able to stay dry all night; we also discovered that having her also wear an incontinent diaper did not interfere with the system but greatly helped hold the catheter in place, no matter what position she sleeps in. She lays on her back to place the catheter, but then, in her usual habit, rolls on her side to sleep, and doesn't move all night. With the diaper on, the catheter stays in place; there is occasionally a very small bit of leakage, but the diaper absorbs that and helps keep the wick functioning properly. And that is also the key to preventing a UTI, keeping the body and surrounding bedding dry; some who have experienced less success with the system may not be insuring correct placement and dryness. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Duardo49

Me, I could never use one because I can't sleep on my back because it causes pain in my lower back.

What do you mean by several wounds? Are these bedsores? If so they need to be tended to. Not treating them correctly could mean infection setting in and becoming septic which can kill. If your wife is bedbound, ask if her doctor if he has a Nurse Practioner he can send out or order "in home care" where a woundcare nurse will be sent out. If she is bedridden, maybe a catheter will be a good option. The problem would be, they can contribute to a UTI.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I love Alva’s suggestions. I would do exactly as she suggests.

When my mother was in her end of life hospice care home she had a catheter inserted.

I have no idea what kind Mom had, but it was extremely helpful for her since she was incontinent and bed bound.

Best wishes to you and your wife.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

IF these work, they are a godsend! However, there is a bit of a learning curve.

I had a procedure done on my heart and had to lie flat for 6 hrs. I needed to use the restroom, but they wouldn't let me get up. A bedpan just didn't work at all, so the nurses brought out the purewick.

I REALLY wanted it to work so I could report back to y'all about how amazing it is.

Maybe I was too awake and too aware to be able to release my bladder but I just..couldn't.

There is a 'breeze' for lack of a better word that 'sucks' the urine away from the body. But you have to be able to 'let it go'.

It's also a little bulky and I found it very lacking. Luckily for me, my Dr came in and said "Oh, for pete's sake, get up and use the bathroom! I'll guard the door from the nurses." Thank goodness.

It is quite expensive. It also has some concerns that it can cause or make UTI's more common. IDK--I think the design is great, but to work? I think your LO needs to be able to let her bladder relax.

IS she currently in an incontinence brief? If that's working, I wouldn't make a fuss. The purewick is NOT silent and you are pretty much tethered to the bed.

Certainly a trial for your wife wouldn't be amiss. Maybe you'll really like it, IDK.

Don't know if it's covered under Medicare.
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Reply to Midkid58
AlvaDeer Apr 12, 2024
Midkid, all your points are EXCELLENT, and yes, position is a factor, but the worst one is what you mention, must being able, when we are continent, to let it go. Almost impossible given our toilet training all that time ago. A deep deep breath in and slowly letting it all the way out, and then out some more, running water, and some few things might help but that is a huge problem. A friend used this after hip surgery. She has two fallen arches so bad she has to walk with foot braces and could not get them on fast enough with IVs adding fluid, to make it to the bathroom, and pans too painful. She loved it ONCE SHE LEARNED TO LET IT GO, but it was an issue.
And there are more than a few "issues" with the "purewick."
If you are speaking about purewick they have a good website.

You can also ask your doctor, and should. Some doctors don't like them and think that they may contribute to UTIs. You will want to clear this with your MD.

Do know that talking to someone who has used the system helps also, as certain positioning concerns affect how well the system works. Always look on youtube because they have great use-videos for help with such systems and today, almost all things medical.

Good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

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