The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that over 50% of seniors in the U.S suffer from some form of adult incontinence. Despite this high prevalence, this has been a largely ignored issue without many studies on the same. As the number of elderly in society increases, more families have to provide care for their elderly loved ones mostly without any training or resources. If you have a senior relative in the family or you are a caregiver, it is important to learn how to provide the best care if they suffer from adult incontinence to improve the quality of life.
This article explores some of the best approaches to use to provide the best quality care for older adults suffering from adult incontinence. Keep reading.
1. Take Time to Understand Adult Incontinence
They say you cannot manage what you don’t know and for this reason, you need to take time to learn more about adult incontinence. Knowledge is crucial for the family of the elderly suffering from adult incontinence as it is to caregivers. For a starter, you need to appreciate that while the loss of bowel and bladder control is common among senior citizens, it also affects younger adults.
There are multiple causes of bladder and bowel issues including age, medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer, medication side effects, loss of pelvic muscle strengths due to age, nervous system complications, pregnancy complications, and prostate cancer in men among other problems.
Through a doctor’s prognosis, it is possible to know the incontinence levels of your elderly relative which helps you provide the best care. Further research will help you learn risk factors including being overweight, alcohol and smoking, diabetes among other issues.
2. Talk to a Doctor
It is crucial to talk to a doctor concerning your elderly loved one’s incontinence. Most seniors ignore the problem and even hide it from the family until it is too late. For this reason, you need to get a diagnosis from their doctor to plan for incontinence protection early enough. While your loved one may have symptoms of incontinence, it is advisable to learn the underlying cause and seek treatment for the same.
3. Talk to Your Loved One About the Problem
This is the toughest part of managing adult incontinence in the elderly. Most family members complain about the stubborn streak exhibited by seniors especially when they wish to address incontinence protection.
The approach you use should be soft and you must try to understand the situation your elderly relative is in. For someone who has been in control throughout their life, it is not easy to suddenly become helpless and use incontinence protection.
Try using their doctor to initiate this topic or their trusted friend to make things easier. If you want to provide the best quality care for seniors suffering from adult incontinence, you have to try and understand their situation and have a frank talk about the medical condition and the best approach to manage it.
4. Use the Best Incontinence Products
True, it will not be easy to introduce incontinence products for men to your dad or senior male relative but it is a necessary step if you want to provide quality care. Adult diapers for men, for instance, guarantee a dry and comfortable experience for the elderly irrespective of the level of incontinence they suffer from any day.
Introducing incontinence protection for a loved one makes it easier to maintain hygiene in their living space and you will also avert health complications such as skin infection, urethra infection among others. The best adult diapers for men allow them to enjoy a more active lifestyle and if your loved one suffers from incontinence, they can still enjoy visits to their friends and free movement in the house. Incontinence protection empowers seniors and allows them to enjoy activities they would otherwise avoid.
5. Watch their Diets Closely
To provide the best care for senior living with incontinence, you need to emphasize on good eating habits. Some popular foods and drinks exacerbate the levels of urine loss and the doctor will also advise against them. Ensure they limit or avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee and energy drinks and tea, chocolate, spicy foods, Milk and milk products, Citrus fruits and juices, artificial sweeteners and carbonated beverages.
Recommended foods for the elderly suffering from adult incontinence include grains, vegetables, legumes, and non-citrus fruits. Observing these dietary recommendations will save both the patient and the caregiver a lot of trouble.
6. Be Empathetic
It is not easy for anyone to lose their bodily functions and as a caregiver, you need to show support for the elderly suffering from adult incontinence. You should be patient when dealing with seniors living with this problem and this will ease their discomfort. Once you have understood this situation, it becomes less stressful both to you and the senior under your care.
7. Learn to Listen
As a caregiver or family member caring for an older adult suffering from adult incontinence, it is easy to ignore their sentiments. After all, you know more about the condition and you are in control. Well, you will be surprised to learn that listening to a person under your care helps ease stress for both of you.
If you want to provide better quality care for seniors suffering from incontinence, you must learn to listen and act on what you hear. Giving a listening ear to your patient goes a long way in boosting their mood. If you have to make any radical changes in their care, for instance, ask them if possible and hear what they have to say.
It is not easy to provide the best quality of care for seniors suffering from incontinence. Many caregivers and family members are under a lot of stress when providing care but it is possible to change this situation. By managing incontinence using solutions such as incontinence products for men, being empathetic, listening to the elderly, talking to their doctor, and watching what they eat among other things, it is possible to improve the quality of care you provide.