March 8, 2019
Incontinence can be a scary problem for your elderly loved ones. They may fear they are going to lose a great deal of independence or this means they have bigger medical problems than they realized. How you help them manage the problem can make a big difference.
5 Tips for Caring for Seniors with Incontinence
1. Establish a Schedule for Liquids and Bathroom Visits
Your loved one may be tempted to cut back on their fluid intake, but that can lead to other issues. Instead, try setting up a schedule that allows them to drink plenty of fluids up until a certain time so they don’t have to worry about overnight issues. During the day, try making sure your loved one visits the bathroom every hour to two hours, just to make sure they are going often enough.
2. Choose Easy to Remove Clothing
If your loved one’s clothing is difficult for you to manage, then bathroom visits are going to become more complicated. Try choosing clothing with elasticized waists and easy-to-access closure mechanisms. Bringing a spare change of clothing for trips outside the house can help your loved one feel more at ease, too.
3. Stock up on a Variety of Incontinence Products
There are so many different incontinence products that might work well for your loved one. Try out as many of them as your loved one is willing to test drive and stock up on the ones that work well for them. That way you’re prepared.
4. Provide a Bedside Commode for Nighttime
If your loved one is still having issues with waking up in the middle of the night, even after setting up a schedule for liquids and bathroom visits, they might benefit from having a bedside commode. That way they don’t have to make a long trip to the bathroom in the dark.
5. Label the Bathroom and Leave a Nightlight On
Some loved ones wake up confused and can’t find the bathroom easily in the middle of the night. Including a sign on the door or using a night light in the bathroom at night can make this a lot easier on them. If the nightlight is too bright, make sure to leave the bathroom door cracked rather than fully open.
Your loved one’s doctor and elderly care providers may have other suggestions that can help their individual situation.