As many as 13 million people in
the United States are dealing with incontinence. To be absolutely
clear, incontinence is not a normal sign of aging; it may actually
be a symptom of other problems such as nerve disorders, loss of
sensation and weakening muscles and can also occur due to
medications or surgery.
Incontinence is often the leading reason for nursing home placement
with approximately one half of all residents being incontinent.
We have compiled a list of tips that should help you and your loved
one as you deal with incontinence:
- Always make sure the
doctor does an evaluation to rule out infections or tumors for
both urinary or bowel incontinence.
- Make sure your loved one is taken to the bathroom 20 minutes
after the first
- Avoid all caffeine as it irritates the bladder.
- Your loved one may be ashamed about their incontinence. The
best option, if possible, is to talk openly together about the
- Incontinence briefs need to be changed two or three times
per day even if not soiled because of the risk of urinary
- If possible, involve your loved one in choosing appropriate
- When talking with your loved one about incontinence
undergarments, avoid using words such as “adult diapers”.
- Clothes with elastic waistbands are easier to manage than
zippers or buttons.
- When going out, take an extra set
of clothing along in case of an accident.
- Wear disposable latex gloves when cleaning up after an
- Wash your loved ones skin and apply an appropriate cream to
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, even if you
wore disposable gloves.
- Do not leave your loved one outside to wait for you as
anxiety will build.
- Provide adequate fiber in your loved one's diet.
- Finally, if there are “accidents” on a rug, use a pet
disinfectant. Standard cleaners do not kill the fecal bacteria.