5 Tips for Caregivers
Incontinence can be uncomfortable for patients. It can also be a significant stressor for the caregiver trying their best to prevent accidents and clean up after their loved one.
Tip #1: Talk to their doctor
A common myth is that incontinence is a normal part of aging. It is in fact often caused by common and treatable medical conditions. If you notice ongoing signs of incontinence, take your loved one to the doctor for a thorough examination. This will help figure out how to move forward with the results, whether it is a UTI or other condition. Being presented with the results of incontinence will help to decide how to move forward. These proactive actions will help your loved ones take steps to a more fulfilling life.
Tip #2: Stick to a bathroom schedule
A regular daily routine is very important for older adults, especially those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s also a good way to get their bodily functions accustomed to regular intervals.
To introduce this routine, you can start by asking your loved one to try going every 1 or 2 hours. Experiment around hour intervals to find out what works best for their bodies. Make sure once you have developed what works for them that you stick to it to ensure consistency. Soon, their body will get used to the schedule, reducing the chances of an accident.
Tip #3: Waterproof their surroundings
Cleaning up is a common issue in incontinence care. Accidents can leave odours on your loved ones’ clothing and furniture. Clothes and bedding can be thrown in the washing machine, but it is stressful to clean something that’s not easily cleanable, such as furniture including mattresses or chairs. To be proactive and make cleanup easier, waterproof the furniture that they use throughout the day. Waterproofing their beds, sofas, and chairs is easy with incontinence underpads. Underpads for bed or chair protection are designed to cover mattresses in order to help absorb leakage, help reduce odors and help maintain dryness.
Tip #4: Make an “Incontinence Kit”
Fill a tote bag with clean-up essentials so your loved one doesn’t feel uncomfortable to leave the home. In the kit, you can include extra incontinence briefs or pads, cleansing wipes, odour cleanser, and a change of clothes and socks. By having a bag on hand, they will feel comfortable traveling as they will be prepared for anything that comes their way.
Tip #5: Choose the right clothing
Clothing that’s easy to get on and off can reduce the number of accidents happening. Adaptive clothing can make bathroom trips fast and easy, perfect for accident prevention. The ease of the clasps on the adaptive clothing help slip on and off the clothing to ensure easy access to a toilet as quickly as possible.
We understand it can be difficult to remain patient with your loved one as some accidents can take up valuable time to care for. However, if you are prepared with the right physical and social tools, you will have a much easier time, as will they.
- Sanjana A