It’s not something most people would feel comfortable sharing with others. The truth is, the awkwardness of even discussing incontinence is generally enough to keep the issue hidden. Not only that, but there’s a common misconception that it’s simply a standard part of aging and needs to be silently accepted and dealt with. Yet the reality is, 50% of all older adults struggle with incontinence to some degree for a number of reasons, many of which are treatable. This makes it important to bring the subject to light in order to manage or even conquer it.
How Can You Help a Loved One With Incontinence?
As a family caregiver for a loved one with incontinence, there are a number of steps you can take to help, starting with scheduling a visit to the doctor’s office. The physician can test for a urinary tract infection or any other conditions that, once treated, can eradicate the issue. The following are some additional ways to support the individual:
- Try mattress and furniture protectors. Absorbent padding on the bed and waterproof covers for other furniture will make cleanup much simpler.
- Modify the menu. Some foods are known to trigger or worsen incontinence symptoms. Reduce or remove alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated and carbonated drinks, acidic fruits, tomatoes, sugar, and spicy foods from the individual’s diet.
- Make sure the person stays hydrated. Surprisingly, not drinking enough fluids can aggravate complications with incontinence. Scheduling trips to the bathroom every one or two hours, whether they feel the urge to urinate or not, is an effective way to regulate the intake of sufficient fluids.
- Think about clothing choices. Think through which kinds of clothing allow for easy accessibility to use the restroom, including pants with elastic waistbands instead of those with zippers and buttons. Clothing made of materials that are easier to clean and less likely to stain is essential as well.
- Keep your cool. It is common to feel frustrated by the extra work incontinence causes a family caregiver. Nevertheless, remember that it’s not in the person’s control, and they likely already feel distressed about the condition. A calm, kind response to an accident could go a long way towards alleviating a stressful event for you both.
How Home Care Can Help
An in-home caregiver from Morning Glory Home Care is a fantastic addition to your incontinence care toolbox! All of our caregivers are well trained in providing discreet, respectful care for those struggling with incontinence, always protecting the person’s dignity. We can help with:
- Personal hygiene
- Laundry and light housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Meal preparation that is ideal for someone with incontinence
- Compassionate, friendly, and understanding companionship
- And more
Give us a call at 618-667-8400 or contact us online to learn more about how our home care services in Alton, Edwardsville, Granite City, and the surrounding areas can help a person you love better manage incontinence or any other issues.