How to Manage Elderly Incontinence at Home

December 21, 2017

How to Manage Elderly Incontinence at Home

Incontinence is a difficult and emotionally, fraught problem. Caregivers are often hesitant to address the subject, with their elderly loved one (especially if the loved one is a parent), but find themselves frustrated with trying to manage this situation. 

Even though incontinence is a difficult problem, there are ways that you can safely manage it. There are tips that can guide in you determining, the best possible way to care for the senior in your life, and help them maintain some dignity, all while dealing with incontinence. Here is what you need to know about how to manage elderly incontinence at home- 

  • Have an open and honest conversation
    The first step is to have a conversation with the elderly loved one, if this is possible. Seniors, who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, may not be able to participate in this aspect of their care. Acknowledge the problem, and let your senior know that there are ways to deal with it. One of the most positive steps is letting them know they do not have to deal with this alone.
  • Rule out the cause, if possible
    When anyone is suffering from incontinence (whether urinary, bowel or both), a doctor should be consulted, right away. The reason for this is that there are medical causes and/or medications that can cause incontinence. Your doctor can work with you in finding a diagnosis for the incontinence, and seek out a remedy if there is one.

  • Have the right supplies on hand
    Whether your doctor is able to diagnosis the incontinence, provided a remedy or not, it is important to have the right supplies on hand. If you are unsure of what type of incontinence products you may need, try these resources:
  • Make it easy to use the bathroom
    Many people suffering from incontinence, still want to get to the bathroom, even when wearing adult incontinence aids. You should first make sure that there is a clear path to the bathroom. Furniture and other obstacles should be removed from traffic paths. In addition, it can be helpful for the senior, to wear easy to remove clothing. Zippers, buttons and other intricate closures that are difficult to open, should be traded out for Velcro, snaps or elastic waist pants. In addition, you want to make being in the bathroom safer. Handrails, raised toilet seats, and easy to use self-cleaning products, all make using the bathroom an easier experience.

  • Consider diet and routine
    There have been found to be certain triggers for incontinence. Caffeinated drinks and chocolate can cause many people to have to go much more often, as will alcohol. In addition, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and foods with high acidity like tomatoes, peppers, and citrus are also bladder irritants and are best avoided. In addition, having a regular schedule of using the bathroom, can often incontinence. You can encourage your senior to use the bathroom every few hours, and see if that has an effect on helping the problem.

  • Make the surroundings better
    Unfortunately; incontinence is not just a bathroom issue. Many seniors, who suffer from incontinence, have accidents, and the odor and damage to furniture and carpets, can be upsetting. There are products that can be used to discreetly protect furniture, wheelchairs, and beds. These underpads are most often disposable, though some can be washed and reused. There are air fresheners, and cleaning solutions to help deal with odors, as well.
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