From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Oct 2003:

Should my Family Help with Care of my Ostomy?

by Mary Bawn, LPN, ET; via Solano (CA) Ostomy News

Not if you are able to care for yourself. Make yours a "do it yourself" family. I am sure any normal person will not ask a member of the family to accompany them in the bathroom to help with the elimination process. Why should you? Unless, of course, you are not physically able to care for yourself.

Too many ostomates never like to view their stomas, so use the well-known crutch of "I can't do it myself," and for years have had someone to come in and perform daily tasks of personal hygiene that could have been done without any problems or aid from another person. This ostomate is handicapped indeed, mentally, not physically.

If you cannot tolerate your own body, how can you expect someone else to tolerate you? Be independent and lead a normal life. Having an ostomy does not mean a life of being unable to function as a whole person.

A family member should be aware of needs and care in case of illness or stress. Help can then be given if it is necessary. Including family members in teaching care of the ostomy is part of the ET's function.

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Content last revised 2003-10-19