Without experiencing incontinence yourself, it’s hard to know how to help others and what support to give them without pushing the boundaries too far. Incontinence can be daunting and slightly embarrassing for many. Here 12 tips and tricks to help you support them through their discomfort.
Although incontinence is common amongst the aging population, the condition isn’t ‘normal’. Incontinence can occur as a result of underlying health conditions so be sure to take your concerned loved one to the doctor and find out if they condition is treatable.
Many foods and drinks can trigger incontinence and enhance the condition. These include:
Accidents happen but where and when they happen is out of your control. Clothing and bedding can be easily washed and dried after an accident however, cleaning and deodorising furniture can be a real struggle. To make clean-ups easier, waterproof items that your loved ones use most often such as their bed. It is a good idea to use fabric protector on couches and chairs with waterproof covers or seat protectors
When suffering from incontinence, it is just as important that the bathroom is just as accessible throughout the night as it is during the day. At night, make sure to leave the toilet door open and the light on. If this is not achievable, look at getting a sliding door installed and light motion sensors so it is easy to access throughout the night if they need to go.
Incontinence can be embarrassing especially once an accident has occurred. Remember to remain light-hearted and try to find humour in the situation to encourage laughter and ease tension. Adopting a straightforward approach can help move past the embarrassment and reassure that incontinence is a fact of life and accepting it for what it is, is the best way to cope with it.
Make sure not to rush them whilst they are using the bathroom. Doing so can cause stress and anxiety when urinating. To help them urinate play music, run a tap or give them some water to drink to encourage them.
When leaving the house, make sure to have a care kit to remain prepared whilst on the go. Some items that may be beneficial to have include underwear, liners, wipes, tissues, plastic bags and a spare change of clothes.
When venturing out of the house, it is a good idea to become aware of the public toilet facilities around you. If you own a smart phone, there are toilet finder apps that can be downloaded in your app store that will help you locate a bathroom closest to you. It is best to use a disabled toilet in public if they have trouble urinating. This is helpful as they are generally unisex and have room for two people in the cubical.
Clothing that is difficult to get on and off is generally not suitable for someone suffering with incontinence. Doing so can cause accidents and make it difficult to clean up afterwards. Pants with an elastic waistband or Velcro fastenings are easier to use compared to pants with regular buttons and zips. When shopping, try to avoid tight clothing that has difficult zippers or clasps.
Caring for a loved one with incontinence can be both physically and emotionally draining so it might be worthwhile to get a professional carer to assist you. The last thing you want is to put your physical and mental health at risk, therefore further affecting your capabilities of looking after your loved one. Another point to recognise is that people suffering with incontinence generally feel socially isolated. By including another carer in the household, it may encourage them to come out of their shell and overcome the challenges of accepting incontinence. By doing this, they may continue their normal daily activities and engage in the world rather than withdraw from it through embarrassment.
Considering individual elements such as their physical ability, severity of their incontinence as well as their body shape and size will help you to determine what products may be right for them. At Veeda, we offer underwear, liners, wipes and pads that cover all of your incontinence needs. They are ultra-thin, anti-leak, chlorine free, hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. Underwear is available in men’s and women’s sizes small/medium, large and extra-large for comfort and ease of use. CLICK HERE to view and shop our range of outstanding incontinence products!
Better Health Channel. (2021). Incontinence – tips for carers.https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/incontinence-tips-for-carers
Continence Foundation of Australia. (2021). Caring for someone: tips for carers.https://www.continence.org.au/life-incontinence/caring-someone/tips-carers
Daily Caring Editorial. (2021). Incontinence care: 9 tips for caregivers.