Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Managing Incontinence

Incontinence is a condition that can strike at any age, but it is true that elderly individuals suffer from this issue more often than other populations. As a result, senior care professionals must often help manage incontinence while providing elder care services. This task may seem very difficult to complete, as it is often embarrassing for both elderly individuals and their caregivers; however, it is possible to manage incontinence successfully. The key is open communication with your senior, which will help you determine the cause of the problem and how to best address it.

Jamie, who cares for her mother in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has learned that managing incontinence is an easier task than she once imagined. Once her mother began having difficulties making it to the restroom in time, Jamie talked to her about the challenges she was facing. Here are some tips to help you speak to your elderly loved one about incontinence, and some suggestions for better managing this problem.
Open, Honest Communication

  • Remember that this is a sensitive topic, so approach the issue in a gentle manner. Do not accuse or blame your senior, simply ask if there are any specific problems keeping them from making it to the restroom.
  • Ask your elderly loved one if you can do anything to make it easier for them to get to the restroom in time.
  • If the issue is not easily managed, talk to your loved one about setting a doctor’s appointment to determine if a medical issue is causing the condition.
Managing Incontinence in the Home

  • Make sure that the bathroom is accessible to your elderly loved one. Clear any debris or furniture that may obstruct the path to the restroom.
  • If your elderly loved one has difficulties walking, rearrange furniture to make it less of a hassle for them to go. For example, move the couch from the far side of the living room closer to the bathroom so the distance is not as great.
  • Take advantage of safety items, such as raised toilets and toilet seats.
After speaking with her mother, Jamie has been able to manage her incontinence successfully. If you need some guidance in this matter, remember that senior care professionals are always available to help.

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