If your aging family member is dealing with incontinence, either in certain situations or every single day, she might find it difficult to talk about what’s going on. But when you are able to talk about it, you’re able to help her to find solutions like supplies, plans, and even hands-on help from home care services. These tips can help.
Identify the Cause, if Possible
There are misconceptions about incontinence, particularly that it’s simply caused by a weak bladder and there is no solution. The reality is that there are lots of different causes of incontinence, and depending on the cause your senior may be able to reverse incontinence. Medical conditions, medications, and temporary health issues can all be contributing factors. As embarrassing as it can be to talk about incontinence, this step is important to determine what steps to take next.
Work with Doctors to Put a Plan Together
Once your elderly family member has an idea of what the underlying factors are with her incontinence, she’s going to be in a better space to talk with her doctor about a plan. For some seniors, simply changing medications or dosages can reverse the problem altogether. Even if there isn’t a specific cause, your senior’s doctor can help her to determine what her next steps can be, including exercise programs, dietary changes, and more.
Try Out Supplies and Stock Up on What Works
There are lots of different types of incontinence supplies out there and some of them may work better for your elderly family member than others do. Keeping in mind your senior’s needs and what is comfortable and easy for her to use, you may be surprised by what works and what doesn’t for her. Another problem that your senior might run into is that she’s simply overwhelmed by managing incontinence on her own.
Bring in Home Care Providers for Extra Help
That overwhelm can be a lot easier to manage with some extra help. Home care providers are able to help with developing a toileting schedule and remind your senior to stick to it. They can also help your elderly family member remember the exercises that she needs to do. If she needs transportation help, they can be there for her. They can also be instrumental in making dietary changes easier.
Working through the Emotional Impacts of Incontinence
Another big surprise for many people can be how emotionally impactful incontinence can be. If your elderly family member tries to ignore her feelings around this area, they won’t just go away. Talking to people who understand or even talking to a therapist might be really helpful for her. Journaling can be another way for your elderly family member to sort through her feelings around this challenge she’s facing.
Incontinence is a lot more common than many people realize because it’s something that people don’t tend to want to talk about all that often. Having the help that she needs, both from you as her family caregiver and home care providers, can make a huge difference in how your senior is able to cope with incontinence on a daily basis.