Adjusting to life with an ostomy isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, it’s far from impossible. Whether you’re new to using one or you’ve had an ostomy for years, you can always learn something to help make things easier. That’s why we’re here to give you some tips and tricks to make your ostomy care much easier.
Best Disposal Methods
Whether you use a closed-end bag or a drainable one, finding the best way to dispose of the pouch contents is sometimes a challenge. Closed-end bags are a bit easier since you just need to throw them out once they fill up. However, that’s hard to do with no one noticing. A non-see-through, disposable bag will fix this issue since it will conceal the contents.
Drainable pouches don’t have this issue since you empty them into the toilet, but you do have to worry about backsplash. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to empty your ostomy bag without a mess, so you’ll just need to find the one that works best for you.
When You Should Change Your Ostomy
One thing that many ostomy users struggle with is figuring out the best time to change out their old bag for a new one. Obviously, you’ll want to change it if your closed-end bag is full, but there will be times in which you’ll want to change them regardless of usage.
Before taking a shower is one of those times. That way, you can clean yourself without the bag getting in the way. Plus, when you finish, your stoma will be clean and ready for a new pouch. If you can’t wait for your next shower, try to do it when your stomach is empty. This will help ensure you don’t immediately refill your bag right after switching it.
Taking Care of Your Stoma
While showering is a great way to keep your stoma clean, you’ll need to do more to ensure it stays healthy and cared for. Regularly using saline wipes will help kill any bacteria that might try forming in that area. Plus, they’ll remove any dirt or sweat that will make attaching the applicator more difficult than it needs to be.
If you keep that area clean and still have trouble sticking your ostomy pouch, try removing any hair that might be around the stoma. Anyone who has put a bandage on a hairy arm knows they don’t stick well in those areas. The same applies in this scenario, so be sure to shave gently around your stoma if necessary.
How To Try New Products
One thing that makes life with a stoma difficult is finding the right ostomy products for you. Most come in large bundles, so if you don’t end up liking it, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of extras. That’s why our final tip to make ostomy care easier is to look for free samples of products.
Most companies have some kind of program that allows you to sample their products. All you have to do is either call or email them and ask. Or check their website to see if these free products are readily available.