Incontinence can be a very difficult topic for many families. It’s especially uncomfortable on those that experience it and those that have to care for someone with incontinence. For those that care for someone who is either ill or elderly, it can become one of the final, last straws for what they may be willing to do in the process of caring for someone. It is uncomfortable for all involved, so it is helpful to understand how to best to care for someone with incontinence.
It is really important as a caregiver that you understand what someone with incontinence is feeling about the experience they are going through. Feeling as though you have no control of your bladder (or even your bowel movements) and having to even consider the use of products to help manage this issue can be very stressful and overwhelming.
Feelings of denial, anger, and even depression are common. It can be embarrassing and some patients can even feel a sense of a loss of dignity. Additionally, making certain types of comments or drawing any additional attention to the issue will not be helpful in aiding someone manage their feelings about their struggles with incontinence.
Communicate Your Concern
Communication is key between you, the caretaker, and your loved one. If you feel that they may be showing signs of incontinence, while it may be uncomfortable, it is important to approach them in a very loving, understanding and concerned manner. Come from a place of wanting them to be properly cared for and to prevent them from discomfort or any accidents.
Speak with a Doctor
It can be extremely helpful to discuss your concerns with a doctor (either the doctor of the loved one with incontinence, if you can, or your own doctor). They may be able to give you an idea on what’s going on, how to approach your loved one, solutions for managing incontinence as a caregiver for your loved one, and what not to do.
Offer Helpful Solutions
Work to be a problem-solver, instead of trying to avoid or ignore the issue. If your loved one has had a couple of accidents that appear to indicate an issue with incontinence, gently bring up your concerns and offer some solutions. First, you may want to bring up the use of pads or protective undergarments and bedding to help manage any future accidents. For some, they may be more willing to look into these solutions to avoid any accidents in public. If not already notified or diagnosed by a doctor, you may wish to also recommend that your loved one schedules an appointment with their doctor to see what, if anything, may also be done to help manage his or her incontinence.
Take Care of Yourself
While true whenever you’re caring for a sick or elderly loved one, you should always make sure that you are doing what you need to in order to take care of yourself. Taking care of another person can be exhausting—physically, mentally and emotionally. It can be even more exhausting and taxing on someone than taking care of a newborn baby. There are many more factors involved with adults. They’re larger, heavier, and they talk back! It is imperative that you take care of your own health first. This includes making sure that you get enough rest, get outside and eat a proper diet. It also means taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. There are support groups for people who take care of loved ones who are ill, many of whom care for loved ones with incontinence. Getting support from these groups can help you work through the emotional and mental
Know When You Need to Seek Elderly Care Services
In conjunction with taking care of yourself is also knowing when it’s time to seek additional help through professional assistance, whether it’s in-home caregivers or possibly a nursing home. It is okay to acknowledge when something is just too overwhelming and too overbearing to take on yourself. Not only will it ease the burden on you, as a caretaker, but it also helps to provide your loved one suffering from incontinence the best kind of care he or she may need during this time.
While incontinence is still not a fun thing to have to go through, in-home caregivers and nursing homes are skilled and have a different type of relationship with your loved one than you do. It will help to allow you to spend the kind of quality time doing the type of activities that can bring joy and happy memories together!
If you are or someone you care for are located in Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Orange County and are in need of elderly care services at home, contact the compassionate and certified caregivers of Options In-Home Care today. The elderly care services of Options In-Home Care can assist you!