Catheter Care at Home in Singapore
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An Introduction to Urinary Catheters
A urinary catheter is a hollow, partially flexible tube inserted into the bladder through the genital opening, in order to collect or drain urine into a bag attached at the other end of the tube.
There are 3 types of urinary catheters and it’s important to know which type you are using so that you can properly care for it. The 3 types of urinary catheters are:
- Indwelling or Foley Catheters
- Intermittent or Short-Term Urinary Catheters
- External or Condom Catheters
When does someone need a urinary catheter?
Some individuals may need a urinary catheter only over a short term until the condition affecting their bladder resolves. Meanwhile, others may require long-term catheter use.
Regardless, proper catheter care is important to prevent complications such as infections, bladder stones and injury to the urethra.
Why individuals may need a catheter:
- Neurological conditions (e.g. multiple sclerosis and dementia)
- Critical conditions that require accurate urine output monitoring
- Urinary retention or incontinence
- Bladder outlet obstruction
- End-of-life care
- Kidney failure
- Lower urinary tract symptoms
- Bladder calculi
Need support with catheter care at home? We can help.
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Top questions about Catheter Care
Is a catheter painful?
Catheter insertion may be uncomfortable, but anaesthetic gel is usually used to reduce any pain. You may also experience slight discomfort while the catheter is in place, but most people get used to it over time.
Can I shower with a catheter?
It is ok to shower with a catheter in. In fact, having a catheter should not change your living habits drastically.
If you are not able to shower, make sure to wash the area where the catheter enters your body at least twice a day to keep it clean. Wash it using downward strokes to prevent infection.
If you need support with showering or mobility, Homage caregivers can help you with that.
How often should I empty my catheter bag?
You should empty your catheter bag every 2 to 3 hours or when the bag is about half to three-quarters full. This prevents your leg bag from becoming too full or heavy, which may tug on your catheter.
Most people are able to change the drainage bags on their own, but if you are worried about proper hygiene or infection, you can also hire a home nurse to help you with it.
How long can you leave a catheter in?
Catheters can usually be left in for 2 to 12 weeks, depending on a variety of factors including the type of catheter, the material it is made of, and the individual’s condition and situation.
However, it is best to follow your doctor’s or nurse’s advice, and be sure to check in with your healthcare team if in doubt.
Can a catheter fall out?
Indwelling urinary catheters do not usually fall out because it is held in place with a small inflated balloon filled with sterile water.
However, if you accidentally pull the catheter out or if the balloon is faulty and deflates, it is important to contact your doctor or nurse immediately and get it re-inserted.
Who are the Homage Care Professionals?
Homage Care Professionals are Singaporeans (and permanent residents) who are passionate and dedicated to delivering care to families and care recipients. 100% local, they are trained caregivers, qualified nurses, certified therapists and licensed doctors, each with a unique set of skills, experiences and specialisations.
Are there subsidies available for Homage catheter care services?
Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for financial subsidy under the Home Caregiving Grant to defray the cost of caregiving services.
Learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process via the Agency for Integrated Care website.
How fast can I receive catheter care service by Homage?
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