Assisting with a loved one’s incontinence has many considerations. First, address any medical issues that might be contributing to the incontinence. Then, be prepared to help the loved one through daily activities while maintaining their dignity and offering them cleanliness. Incontinence affects about one in every 13 adults, and there are more treatments and products available to deal with the issues than ever before.
Talk to Their Doctor
Many different medical conditions can lead to urinary incontinence. When the symptoms appear, see a doctor to determine the cause and possible treatments. Some doctors offer prescriptions that are helpful to many patients. Studies show that pelvic floor exercises can relieve symptoms of others. In rare cases, the doctor may recommend surgery. Usually, the only treatment needed is a change in dietary habits.
No Reason to Be Embarrassed
Assure your loved one that this is a common medical condition, and he or she can still continue to enjoy all the activities they always have. With new products, such as incontinent underwear, they can still go to the grocery store, play golf, travel, go to church and attend social events. Chances are, many of their friends deal with this issue, but no one knows because modern incontinence briefs and incontinence panties work so remarkably well! And if they wish, their problem can be kept secret, too.
Protect Their Clothing
There are two types of incontinence underwear to choose from. Many products sold in stores are disposable. While these are popular, a more affordable type is Wearever incontinence underwear. These panties and briefs are designed to look attractive, just like ordinary underwear. However, the Unique Dri pads sewn into the panties and briefs, the odor-eliminating and antimicrobial fibers take care of all the mess and the odor. Men can select briefs or boxer briefs. Women can choose cotton, nylon and even lace panties. For day trips and long car rides, assure them that it is okay to pack a change of clothes, just in case. This gives many people the confidence to continue with their plans in spite of the situation.
Protect Their Bedding
Bedtime is often a source of stress and embarrassment for loved ones with incontinence. Waterproof mattress covers keep mattresses from becoming soiled. Invest in a couple of extra sets of sheets so your loved one doesn’t worry if the sheets need washing every day.
Some foods and drinks should be avoided, especially before bedtime. Studies show that coffee, tea, sports drinks, carbonated beverages, dairy products, milk chocolate, citrus fruits, sugar and honey, tomato products, hot sauce, chili peppers and alcoholic beverages can contribute to symptoms of loss of bladder control or bladder irritation, especially at nighttime.
Don’t Make It a Big Deal
Talk openly about the issues, but don’t labor the issue with constant discussion. Once you determine what needs to be done medically and how you can address daily activities, go on as if everything is as it always was. When your loved one sees that it hasn’t changed your opinion of him or her, it is less likely to affect their opinion of themselves.