How to Take Care of a Foley Catheter

Today I am going to give you tips about taking care of a Foley catheter. Foley catheters are used to drain urine from the bladder in a critically sick patient, surgical patient or long-term care patient especially the elderly.


Since the elderly tend to use the Foley catheters for a longer time than the rest of the groups, I will give you tips on how to take care of a Foley catheter and how to prevent developing infections like urinary tract infections (UTI)


  1. A Foley catheter should always be inserted using a sterile procedure by either a registered nurse of qualified vocational nurse.
  2. Foley catheter should be done at least once daily. This includes washing the penis with warm soapy water, and the vagina in females.
  3. Foley catheters should be changed at least once every 28 days and where contamination is suspected, should be changed sooner.
  4. Patient with Foley catheters should be given urine-acidifying foods like cranberry juice. This acidity prevents bacteria colonization causing UTI.
  5. Keep elderly patient with Foley catheters well hydrated. Elderly tend to loose third drive, making them not to crave for water or other fluids. This dehydration is attractive to bacteria.
  6. Urine culture is recommended atleast every 2-4 weeks on patient who are chronically on Foley Catheters.

Here are some of tips about general Foley catheter care.

  1. Never put a Foley catheter on a patient suspected or already diagnosed with UTI. This could push the infection into the bladder
  2. Always use a sterile technique when inserting a Foley catheter.
  3. Never take the patient to operating room without a Foley catheter. You need to monitor urine output every hour during surgery.

Call the doctor immediately if an elderly patient becomes confused with falls or likelihood to fall. These are the earliest signs of UTI in elderly patient.

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