If you’re trying to care for a loved one who is suffering from incontinence problems, it’s a difficult subject to discuss. They will likely be embarrassed but nonetheless may welcome any assistance or suggestions that you can provide.
t’s a question of gauging where advice or assistance will be helpful versus them rejecting it out of hand due to a concern of looking bad. When you live with them, they’re likely to be more receptive than a son or daughter who only visits occasionally. Bear this in mind if you fall into the latter category.
Here are some suggestions on how to care for someone with occasional incontinence issues.
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Get the Causes Assessed by a Doctor
It’s worth their discussing the matter with their doctor, either in-person or over a video call.
Their doctor will benefit from an understanding of the frequency, type, and quantity involved.
Over-the-counter medications, herbal medicine, and supplements all play a factor. It’s possible that something new that’s been recently introduced is causing or increasing the problem.
Also, if they are suffering from new health difficulties, this could be a contributing factor too. The doctor will need to consider these facts to determine what the cause is, and whether it will become more severe or subside given time to do so.
Urinary Incontinence Can Be Caused by Health Factors
Over 30 million Americans have some degree of urinary incontinence. So, it’s not as uncommon as you’d think; it’s just not talked about much.
Women who have had multiple children are more likely to have urinary incontinence versus women who are child-free. Also, reduced estrogen or post-menopausal women can get it too.
For men, any prostate issues can be linked to urinary difficulties. Obesity and high blood pressure don’t help either.
Getting older is a common cause of an overactive bladder. Also, losing weight for all genders helps to reduce pressure on the bladder, resulting in fewer trips to the washroom and less accidental discharges.
Use Products That Make the Sufferer Feel Better
It’s helpful to set up the home for incontinence difficulties, so they’re less troublesome when they’re particularly bad at the time.
Do use the necessary incontinence products to make it less unsetting and easier to clean up later. These help to minimize any leakage onto beds, armchairs, sofas, or the carpet that’s harder to clean up than clothing.
Plan Trips More Thoroughly
When going on trips, plan ahead for access to washroom facilities.
If going to the mall, check if the mall has bathroom facilities and what times of day they’re open. Verify if they’re being closed for any reason including health and safety, due to a toilet blockage, or for upgrades. Don’t assume they’ll be accessible, check first.
For larger places, learn where the facilities are in relation to where you’ll be going together. Get a map on your phone to help get them to the washroom sooner without making wrong turns.
Also, carry spare clothes for them, and ways to clean more easily in a bathroom stall away from prying eyes.
When a loved one has incontinence issues, it’s best to approach it pragmatically and politely. See what they’d let you to do to help them. They may be unaware of products that can make their life easier but will use them if they’re provided. Also, assisting them with planning for outings avoids unfortunate accidents too far from a place for them to clean up and change clothes.