A symptom such as incontinence truly requires a
caregiverís patience and loving heart. It can be one
of the most sensitive issues a loved one can
experience. However, there are ways to manage
incontinence so quality of life is not compromised.
Conquering the fear and embarrassment a loved one
feels because of incontinence is one of a
caregiverís main challenges. The fear of being
wet and then being discovered, especially in public,
is emotionally straining. Many people with
incontinence may refuse to leave their homes in
order to be close to a bathroom. This behavior
really leads to unnecessary isolation and robs a
loved one of time with friends and family.
The first step is for a caregiver to recognize
that incontinence may be the reason their loved one
is hiding out. Many people do not realize the extent
that incontinence is affecting their lives. A
caregiver may be able to notice it first and help
their loved one address the issue.
Professional therapists suggest that a person
suffering from incontinence should make it a point
to do something they usually would every day, and
complete the task or outing as normal. Whether
going to lunch with friends or visiting family,
being a part of daily life while learning to manage
incontinence will boost a loved oneís self esteem
There are a variety
of products on the market that can help achieve this
goal: maintaining quality of life with incontinence.
A caregiver should always give their loved one a
choice. Many products are available and picking just
one, expecting someone else to like it, may result
in greater conflicts than resolutions. Look for free
samples, as many companies will offer them.
First, a person may want to try disposable
protective underwear. They work best for mild to
moderate incontinence, pull off and on like regular
underwear, and have a cloth-like outer layer for
Disposable adult diapers are designed for
moderate to heavy incontinence and are available in
a variety of fit, absorbency and capacity.
Disposable pads also come in many shapes and
sizes, for men and women. This product line also
works best for mild to moderate incontinence.
Regardless of product, a loved one and caregiver
must decide together which product provides adequate
protection and the best level of comfort.
Day vs. Night
The hour of the day makes a difference for
someone suffering with incontinence.
sneezing, laughing and exercising all contribute to
stress incontinence, when the muscle controlling
urine is weakened. This mainly occurs during the
daytime hours when a loved one is most active.
Medical procedures, decreased mobility and
perhaps a urinary tract infection could also be
causes for daytime incontinence.
Eliminating certain foods that irritate a
bladder, such as caffeine and citrus, may help
daytime incontinence. Learning how to suppress the
urge to urinate may also be beneficial therapy.
Nighttime issues are often the result of
overactive bladder. Keeping fluids to a minimum
after dinner may help, as well as medication to aid
in better sleep patterns.
No matter the time of day, incontinence is a
symptom that can be managed with a few specific
changes. Incontinence doesnít have to stop a loved
one from living life the way they want to.
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