It is not something most people would feel comfortable sharing with others. The awkwardness of even talking about incontinence is often enough to keep the issue hidden. Not just that, but there’s a common misunderstanding that it’s simply a normal aspect of the aging process and needs to be discreetly accepted and handled. Yet the truth is, half of all older adults struggle with incontinence to some degree for a variety of reasons, many of which are treatable. This makes it important to bring this issue to light in order to better manage or even overcome it. Our caregiver’s guide to incontinence care below can help.
How Can You Help a Loved One Who Has Incontinence?
As a caregiver, there are a number of actions you can take to help, beginning with scheduling a visit to the physician’s office. The doctor can test for a urinary tract infection or other conditions that, once treated, can eliminate the problem. The following are some other tips to support the person:
- Purchase mattress and furniture protectors. Absorbent padding on the bed and waterproof covers for other furniture will make cleanup easier.
- Adjust the menu. Certain foods often trigger or worsen symptoms of incontinence. Reduce or remove spicy foods, tomatoes, acidic fruits, sugar, chocolate, carbonated and caffeinated drinks and alcohol from the individual’s diet.
- Ensure hydration. Interestingly, not drinking enough fluids can exacerbate complications with incontinence. Scheduling trips to the bathroom every one or two hours, whether they have the urge to urinate or not, is an excellent way to regulate the intake of sufficient fluids.
- Consider clothing choices. Think through which styles of clothing allow for easy accessibility to use the bathroom, including pants with elastic waistbands rather than those with buttons and zippers. Apparel made from materials that are easier to clean and less inclined to stain is essential as well.
- Stay calm. It’s normal to feel annoyed by the additional work incontinence can cause a family caregiver. Nevertheless, remember that it’s not within the person’s control, and they likely already feel stressed over the condition. A calm, kind reaction to an accident will go a long way towards alleviating a stressful event for you both.
How Home Care Can Help
An in-home caregiver from Hearts at Home In-Home Care is an excellent addition to your incontinence care toolbox! All of our caregivers are thoroughly trained in providing discreet, respectful care for older adults struggling with incontinence, always maintaining the person’s dignity. We can help with:
- Personal hygiene
- Laundry and light housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Meal preparation that’s suitable for someone with incontinence
- Friendly, understanding, and compassionate companionship
- And more
Call us today at 913-440-4209 or contact us online for more information about how our home care services in Kansas City Missouri, Leawood, Mission Hills, and the surrounding areas can help a person you love better manage incontinence or any other issues.