Support for a Blind Ostomate

March 2017 – “Ask the Ostomy Lifestyle Expert”

Question:

I am a CCAC care coordinator and one of my clients is losing their vision due to macular degeneration. I am wondering if there are resources to allow her to learn how to do her own colostomy care at home. She has had the ostomy for years but is now going blind. I am able to provide nursing support to change the flange but am wondering about emptying the pouch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Response:

Thank you for your question on behalf of your client. There are number of resources that may provide ostomy information and support for a blind ostomate. It would be important for your patient to meet with an Enterostomal Therapy Nurse. (E.T.), these specialized nurses are the front line experts with the experience to guide your patient. (Enterosomal Therapy Nurse, (E.T. Nurse). Are specialized nurses experienced in assessing/diagnosing stoma problems, providing proper equipment and stoma care solutions, and because they deal with ostomates of all ages, genders and physical status, they would be the professionals most likely able to provide your patient with the individual attention and training for the ostomy equipment management required.)

To find E.T. Nurses in your area:

Ostomy Canada website

At top of page there will be a bar menu, click “Support”, another menu will drop down, click “Find an E.T. Nurse”, click on this and follow the instructions.

In addition, there are Ostomy Support Groups located in many urban and rural locations. (Ostomy Canada Society chapters, satellites, and peer support groups have been organized, and are meant to provide an opportunity for persons who have had or may have ostomy surgery and their families, partners, caregivers and friends to meet, provide support and understanding and share information. Chapters often invite a health care professional, such as an Enterostomal Therapist Nurse, a physician, pharmacist, or dietician to speak at the chapter meeting. There may also be a presentation from a representative of one of the manufacturers or suppliers of ostomy products.)

To locate a Support Group in your area:

Ostomy Canada website:

At top of page there will be a bar menu, click “Support”, another menu will drop down, click “Find your local ostomy group”, click on this and follow the instructions.