Tips and Products That Can Help Your Loved Ones Remain in Their Home While Dealing with Incontinence
As we age, we face new challenges. One common effect of aging is incontinence or the inability to make it to or recognize the need to use the toilet. This issue hits many around age 60, which is much younger than they ever thought they’d have to deal with it. Incontinence often can lead to embarrassment or other health issues. In this post, we’ll cover some easy tips on how to live with incontinence while retaining independence.
Depending on the cause of the incontinence, and the individual’s physical and mental health, many can be cured of their incontinence. Speaking with a healthcare provide can help to determine whether it can be cured, or how to safely live with this condition. For example, your doctor may recommend pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control bladder function, suggest the use of a medical device, or even identify a surgical correction.
After seeking the advice and treatment of your doctor or healthcare provider, you might try some of the tips and products recommended here in this post. Remember that this can be a very sensitive topic for your loved ones, approaching it gently is highly recommended. And for loved ones with dementia, we may not know what they remember and forget, so demonstrating some of these aids can be very helpful.
The first tip is to become aware of the condition and make adjustments to individual’s lifestyles that can help to avoid accidents or leaks.
Recognizing that you might not know when you have to use the bathroom can help put into place scheduled bathroom visits. These visits can avoid the need for incontinence products like disposable underwear, and multiple clothing changes.
Also, using the bathroom before leaving the home or traveling to another location is a great habit to get into. This can help to mitigate the number of accidents and potential embarrassing situations which can make treating incontinence more difficult.
Another potential cause for accidents can sometimes be your loved one’s clothing. Buttons, belts, or clasps might take additional time to undo and risk missing the window for safely using the toilet. Opt for clothing that is easy to remove instead.
Aids for Navigation
Physically making it to the toilet and recognizing it can also be a challenge for our loved ones suffering from physical or memory impairments. Leaving the light on in the bathroom can help your loved one make it to the bathroom. If they are using a portable commode, ensure that it is well lit or install a motion sensing light.
When leaving the house, pack a small bag that can be stashed in the car, filled with a spare change of clothes, incontinence products, and a few plastic bags in which to place soiled garments or products until they can be disposed of or cleaned. It’s also convenient to include a package of wipes or spare roll of toilet paper. Many choose to pack this type of bag and leave it in their vehicle or the vehicle of a loved one so that they are always prepared.
Changing Their Diet:
Some foods and beverages can affect our ability to urinate or control our urination. Substances like caffeine are particularly troublesome. Consider cutting out caffeinated drinks by switching to decaf coffee for example. Overly spicy dishes or a diet high in fruit can also be troublesome.
Disposable absorbent underwear or pads can help protect your loved one, their clothing and furniture against leaks and accidents. It can also help to prevent embarrassing situations outside of the home as well. Many options are now discrete enough that others won’t be able to detect their use.
An important note with these products is to make sure the wearer understands that they need to be changed as soon as they are soiled to protect sensitive skin from irritation and infections.
On top of disposable pads to collect and wick away moisture, investing in a waterproof mattress protector can ensure that your loved one is not sleeping in a dirty bed. It can also save money in the long run because it safeguards against having to purchase a new mattress earlier than planned.
For those with limited mobility, making it to the bathroom in time could be a real challenge. Portable commodes are a great solution and can be placed almost anywhere. One downside is that due to the same mobility issues, your loved one might need help emptying these commodes frequently enough.
Padded or Pillow Toilet Seats:
For other adults, emptying their bladder regularly can be an issue. While it’s important to encourage them to take their time and make frequent trips to the bathroom, using an aid like a plush toilet seat can actually help them to empty their bladder and avoid leaks later on.