It is common to encounter new challenges as your loved one progresses in age, and incontinence issues are a delicate subject in many households. Over time, weakening muscles, nerve damage, or memory loss can all lead to your loved one having bowel or bladder incontinence that must be addressed. Once your loved one has been assessed by their medical team to treat any underlying causes, it will be up to you to help them manage their incontinence at home. Add these tips to your care plan so that you can treat your loved one with dignity by discreetly helping them handle their incontinence issues.
Simplify Clothing Changes
For many older adults, being helped with things such as clothing changes is embarrassing. Help your loved one to feel more comfortable by making it easier for them to change clothes. For instance, your loved one may find it easier to get their pants on and off if they have an elastic waistband. Side-opening underwear also allows your loved one to easily remove their soiled undergarments without worrying about getting urine or feces on their skin or clothing. This helps to reduce some of the anxiety seniors feel about having to change their clothes in public.
Plan Ahead for Restroom Breaks
It helps to establish a schedule for toileting that reduces the incidences of incontinence. As you spend time with your loved one, take note of how soon they need to use the restroom after they eat or drink. Usually, this falls within a half hour to an hour. Taking your loved one to the restroom during these windows of time helps them avoid having an accident. You can also plan ahead of going out in public by researching where nearby restrooms are and making sure that you have enough space in the stalls to assist your loved one as it is needed.
It is normal for seniors to feel a loss of control when they are struggling with incontinence. For this reason, encouraging them to do as much as they can on their own is important for preserving their dignity. Explore options such as side-opening women's underwear that allows your loved one to manage their clothing changes so that they have more control over how their incontinence is handled.
As time passes, many older adults will deal with some type of incontinence issues, and it is important for caregivers to be aware that there are many options for treating the condition with discretion and respect. By giving your loved one more control over how their condition is handled, you can ensure that they feel confident with receiving your care and enjoying activities such as going out in public.