Colostomy Care – A Self Care Guide to Ostomy Bag Care 2022

Colostomy Care - A Self Care Guide for Home Care

Colostomy Care at Home

Are you looking for colostomy care for your seniors? But, you don’t have enough time for providing 24/7 care due to your personal needs or busy office schedule. In such circumstances, family members prefer to choose home health care services for seniors or colostomy nursing care plans and management for getting proper assistance for their loved ones. Even a recent report said that there are an estimated 4.5 million caregivers in the state of California. 

And, the California Task Force on Family Caregiving says, “Caregivers provide billions of dollars in care each year, care that allows individuals with a disability and older adults to remain in the community.

So, taking advantage of such services for your older adults who require Colostomy bag care can obtain several advantages. However, a caregiver sometimes requires a short-term break, where you have to handle everything, from emptying the pouch to changing it. 

Don’t panic! We bring this write-up for beginners who want to know in detail about colostomy care such as What is it, Why you need it, How to change the pouch, and some tips for appropriate colostomy care. So, let’s get started!

What is Colostomy Care?

Source – saltshealthcare

Before knowing in detail about colostomy care, you must first understand – what is a colostomy? A colostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening and redirects the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. This opening is called “Stoma“. The colon, where food waste forms, will now remove food waste through your stoma instead of your anus. In such a scenario, you need to wear a colostomy bag (pouch) to collect the food waste. Some people must wear a colostomy for only a few months, while others need one for the rest of their lives. 

And, colostomy care is all about changing, emptying, and cleaning the pouch system. The overall purpose of colostomy bag care is to protect the skin and take care of patients to prevent stoma-related difficulties. A family member or a hired caregiver is instructed about colostomy care before leaving the hospital. 

What Causes a Person to Have a Colostomy Bag?


reasons a person to have a colostomy bag



You may require a colostomy bag if you’re suffering from medical conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, cancer of the colon, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, a blockage, or injury to the colon, ulcerative colitis, and fecal incontinence.

The following conditions may require a temporary colostomy:

  • Acute injury to your colon.
  • An obstruction (or blockage) in your colon or anus.
  • Anal fistula (a tunnel leading from your anal cavity through to your skin or another organ).
  • Serious infection, such as diverticulitis.
  • Partial colectomies (when the remaining ends of the bowels can be reattached later).
  • Acute inflammation from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The following conditions that may require a permanent colostomy include:

  • Incontinence due to feces.
  • Diagnosis of advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Surgically removing the rectum and/or anus.

But, you can take care of the patient with a colostomy bag by being aware of simple and strategic things if you don’t have a healthcare provider or a caregiver.

What Should I Know About Colostomy Care?

Being a family member, you can also do colostomy bag care at home for your seniors. However, there are some things you must be aware of before that.

Generally, the skin around your stoma should always appear the same as any other skin on your abdomen when it comes to colostomy care. Otherwise, it results in making this skin tender or sore. 

Here are some things you should consider and be aware of colostomy bag care:

  • Determine if the client has a 1 piece or 2 piece pouch system.
  • Gather your supplies, including a new pouch, a pouch clip or Velcro, scissors, clean towels or paper towels, stoma powder, stoma paste or a ring seal, skin wipes, a measuring card, and pen.
  • Wash your hands Before/After Colostomy Care: Wash your hands with soap and water, plus use clean medical gloves each time you care for your colostomy.
  • Use the Right Size Pouch & Skin Barrier Opening: The stoma may swell if the opening is too small. Using a too large opening may irritate the skin. In both cases, make sure you’re changing the pouch and replacing it with one that fits well.
  • Be Careful While Removing the Pouch: We suggest all family members – while removing the pouching system from the skin, be careful not to pull it off more than once a day unless you have a problem. Gently remove the skin barrier by pushing the sticky barrier away from the skin rather than pulling it away.
  • Put the old colostomy pouch in a plastic bag and put it in the trash.
  • Clean the Skin: Keep the skin dry around the stoma and regularly keep it clean with water before replacing the skin barrier or pouch.
  • Change the Pouching System Regularly: To avoid leaks and skin irritation, we recommend changing the colostomy bay regularly. Don’t wait for leaks or other signs of problems, such as itching and burning.
  • Watch For Sensitivities and Allergies: Don’t forget to take a look at sensitivities and allergies from the adhesive, skin barrier, paste, tape, or pouch material. Such problems can even appear after weeks, months, or even years as you become sensitized over time. You could try a pouch cover or try a different pouch brand if the plastic pouch is only irritating your skin where it touches it.

To know more about colostomy bags, you can contact us to get professional caregiver help by calling at (310) 594-5963.

When Should You Empty a Colostomy Bag?

How often should an ostomy pouch be emptied

Often, people don’t know how to care for or empty a colostomy bag at home, so they can assist their elderly parents. 

While maintaining the healthy well-being of your parents, it’s necessary to empty the colostomy bag when it’s about 1/3 to 1/2 full. This will keep the bag from bulging and leaking. 

In the following section, we’ll mention some effective tips on – how to empty the pouch.

  • Wash your Hands: Before changing the pouch, don’t forget to wash your hands and then put on clean medical gloves.
  • Empty the Pouch: When the pouch is 1/3 to 1/2 full, you need to empty it. Don’t wait until it’s completely full. In the alternative, this could create pressure on the seal, resulting in leaks or spills.
  • Hold The Pouch Properly: The right way to hold the pouch is to remove the clamp if it has one. In order to prevent the end from becoming soiled, you may need to roll it back.
  • Drain the Pouch: You can place the toilet paper while draining the pouch in the toilet.
  • Clean the End of the Pouch: For cleaning the end of the pouch, you can use toilet paper or a moist paper towel. You can also rinse the pouch or keep the end of the pouch clean. You can clean the outside and inside of the pouch tail with toilet paper.
  • Close the End of the Pouch: You’ll need to unroll the pouch at one end. Replace the clamp or close the end of the pouch according to the directions.
  • Wash Your Hands: Now, take off your gloves and put the gloves in the trash.

Changing Colostomy or Ostomy Bag – Explained

Before leaving the hospitals, the healthcare provider instructs the family members on how to change the pouching system. Even caregivers are also well-trained for this.

Here we give some detailed colostomy bag care instructions for patients that explain how to change your 1 piece/2 piece colostomy bag.

  • Wash your Hands: Before changing the colostomy bag, you need to wash your hands and then put on clean medical gloves.
  • Remove the Pouch: Remove the pouch now by gently pushing the skin down and away from the adhesive skin barrier. Pull the pouch away from the stoma with the other hand.
  • Gently Clean the Skin Around Stoma: For cleaning the skin, use mild soap and water. However, avoid using soaps that have oil or perfumes. Pat your skin dry.
  • Use a Pouch With the Right Size Opening: Make sure the opening is ⅛ inch larger than your stoma. To fit around your stoma, you may need to cut the opening. A large opening can cause bowel movements to leak onto your skin and cause irritation.
  • Use Skin Barrier Products to Avoid Irritation: Using skin barrier products will reduce irritation. This will also protect your skin and keep it dry.
  • Use Slight Pressure To Place your Pouch: The pouch should be positioned over the stoma and firmly pressed into place on clean, dry skin. Holding your hand over the new pouch for 30 seconds may be helpful. The warmth from your hand can assist in sticking the skin barrier into place.
  • Dispose of the Used Pouch: The used pouch can be placed in another plastic bag and thrown away if it is a disposable pouch. Consult our professional caregiver of your healthcare provider if your pouch is reusable.
  • Take Off Your Gloves: Dispose of your gloves also and clean your hands afterward.

Talk to our representative to know more about this! One of the best ways to avoid further problems, including irritations, allergies, or rashes, we advise doing a regular cleaning is a safe alternative. Adopting a regular changing schedule will keep the stoma area clean and hygienic. 

You must know that pouching systems are made of different materials and have different lengths. Some doctors prefer to change the pouching system every day,  some prefer to change every 3 days, while others once a week, depending on the pouch type. 

At certain times, there may be less bowel activity in the day. Hence, it’s quite easy to change the pouching system during such times. Colostomy output might be thin and watery right after surgery. As the food waste gets thicker, it becomes easy to find a suitable time for changing the pouching system. 

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver will handle and manage all such activities easily. However, if you want to know in more detail about the pouching system, you can reach us at any time. We’re available 24/7 for our clients.

What Do You Wear When You Have a Colostomy Bag?

Well, you won’t have to spend money on special clothing for everyday wear if you’re carrying a colostomy bag. Certain types of ostomy pouches are relatively flat and hard to see under most clothing. Using elastic underwear won’t cause problems with your stoma or prevent you from bowel movement.

If you were sick before surgery, you may now be able to eat normally for the first time in years. You may gain weight as your appetite returns. This will affect your clothes more than the pouch system itself.

Undergarments such as cotton stretch underpants, t-shirts, and camisoles provide support, security, and concealment of pouches. By absorbing body sweat, a pouch cover adds comfort and prevents the plastic pouch from resting against the skin. Men can wear jockey shorts or boxers. 

Considerations When Caring for an Elderly With a Colostomy Bag

You might be thinking about how to care for a colostomy bag at home. Don’t worry! In the following section, we’ll mention some effective tips that are handy for caregivers. These are professionals who help your loved ones, plus change their colostomy bag/pouch regularly.

So, how do you care for the patient with a colostomy? In this section, we’ll mention a detailed colostomy care procedure checklist for all family members, patients, and healthcare providers. Let’s take a look.

  • When applying the pouch, the skin should be wrinkle-free. Otherwise, a pouch will loosen and the seal will break as soon as the skin stretches.
  • While changing the pouch, don’t forget to mention a date on it. So, you can easily remember the last date you changed your pouch.
  • Make sure the stoma area is clean and dry. 
  • Empty and clean and empty the pouch when it’s 1/3 or 1/2 full. Don’t wait for the pouch to fill up completely. Otherwise, it’ll cause problems, including the risk of leakage and odors.
  • After emptying the pouch, clean it using soap and water. This will freshen up and lubricate the pouch.
  • Make sure that you cover the pouch inside the underwear. This will make it more supportive.
  • When the weather is humid or hot, your elderly should wear a cover over the pouch. This will prevent water from irritating the skin.
  • Most pouches are odor-proof. They are equipped with an inbuilt carbon filter, which filters out the gas to prevent an odor buildup. However, if the odor bothers your elderly, you can use deodorants.

These above-mentioned colostomy care instructions for patients are necessary to keep everything well-managed and hygienic. The more you care, the more likely you’ll get better results in recovery. 

Where to Get Colostomy Bag Help, Information, and Support?

Sometimes, it becomes more challenging even for families to take care of their seniors in between office work and other scheduling tasks. Neither is it a simple role nor one for which many of us are well prepared. 

That’s why most people have questions about how to cope with their caregivers’ about illnesses or disabilities. So, if you have to go to work daily and your seniors need colostomy nursing care and other assistance & you are looking for caregiving services for seniors in Los Angeles county CA, you are at the right place. 

Justin Villa Care is a licensed Home caregiver agency for seniors in California.. We have various services and resources to assist you in caring for your aging loved ones. In order to understand more about our services and determine how well they fulfill your needs, please contact us today at (310) 594-5963.  

How Justin Villa Care LLC Assist in Colostomy Bag Care?

Well, not everyone has adequate knowledge to handle the needs of seniors who have undergone colostomy care procedures. Such elders require caregivers who are trained in a colostomy and personal care. Even family members don’t have proper knowledge regarding handling and managing a patient who has undergone a colostomy procedure. That’s why you need to trust us. We have a team of experts and trained staff to guarantee the most reliable possible colostomy care at home.

If you have questions or FAQs about Senior home Care, we are here to help and support you in a best possible way.  

Justin Villa Care LLC offers experienced and supportive care to help seniors who carry a colostomy bag. Our in-home caregivers visit patients’ homes to take care of them, so they can live, walk, and sit comfortably. Being in-home caregivers, we regularly help seniors, from emptying to changing the colostomy bag. 

So, rely on our colostomy bag care services and let your loved one recover in comfort to live a healthy life.

ostomy care at home - get quote



Doha Isleta, L.V.N. has been the Client Care Manager at Justin Villa Care, LLC for over 10 years. She oversees each client case and makes sure that families are confident in the caregiver that they choose. She looks forward to helping you or your loved one live at home safely and independently.

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Justin Villa Care is dedicated to implementing proactive measures during this difficult time to support our caregivers, clients and families. Here are some of the measures we are implementing to help your loved ones to stay home and stay safe.

Caregiver and Staff Education

Our caregivers and staff have received communication and training in:

  • Symptoms
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Caregiver and Staff Monitoring

We will not place any caregiver with a client for a minimum of 14 days or until cleared by a medical provider if the caregiver has:

  • Been exposed to a facility where COVID- 19 is being treated
  • Traveled to a location on the CDC advisory list in the past two months
  • Started showing symptoms of the illness
  • We will not place any caregiver who has symptoms of illness on assignment or accept new clients who demonstrate symptoms that are highly consistent with the COVID-19 diagnosis or who have traveled to Level 1-3 areas in the most recent 14 days.

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