Boredom, incontinence, and problem in mobility are some of the health issues that appear with aging. Of these, incontinence can be extremely embarrassing and uncomfortable. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), involuntary loss of urine is high in people older than 60 years and more. Thus, taking care of aging parents suffering from incontinence is not easy. If you are a caregiver who is currently taking care of an incontinent elderly, try to find out about organizations that provide one-on-one support or financial help for family caregivers. Anyway, it is time to know some essential caregiving tips that can help you in the long run.
Consult a doctor
It is a myth that incontinence is common in adults due to aging. The fact is that by proper medications and care, incontinence can be cured. By consulting a doctor, you can make things easier for yourself and the incontinent elderly. Usually, a physical examination is conducted by the doctor before prescribing medicines.
Watch the diet
Request them to avoid certain food items like tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks in their daily diet. You can also suggest them to avoid spicy food, chocolates, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. It is not essential to remove these items completely from their diet. Cutting a certain proportion of such food items can prove sufficient.
Create a bathroom schedule
Request the elderly to use the toilet as per the bathroom schedule. Try different schedules and see what works best for them. You can start by asking them to use the toilet at every one or two hours.
Use absorbents for bed and chairs
Caring for an incontinent elderly includes frequent cleaning routines. However, it is not feasible to clean mattresses. So, makes thing easy by waterproofing everything such as mattress and the furniture used by them. This can be a reclining chair or a sofa at a corner. There are plenty of soft and comfy mattress protectors with a high absorption capacity. For furniture, go for washable and reusable pads that you can add to the seats.
Try to reduce embarrassment
Involuntary leakage of bowel or urine can be a cause of embarrassment to the elderly. So, treat incontinence as a normal part of life. You can use humor to reassure them that it just needs a cleanup. However, be respectful while using humor. Have a gentle smile on your face while changing their clothes.
Choose adaptive clothing
Choose adaptive clothing such as pants with elastic waistbands or side zips, snap-back dresses, washable shoes, and so on for quick dressing and undressing.
Even for a seasoned caregiver, taking care of incontinent elderly can be challenging. In the U.S, many organizations offer help for family caregivers by providing them the necessary information, resources, and tools. Never forget that caregiving is a continuous learning experience. Perseverance is the key to overcome all obstacles.
To keep yourself motivated in overcoming all the hardships in caregiving, don’t hesitate from downloading our free valuable resources.