This sponsored post was submitted by Aeroflow Healthcare.
Over half of the senior population struggles with incontinence, meaning your parents have more than a 50/50 chance of developing this potentially embarrassing condition as they age. When dealing with incontinence on their own, seniors may develop unhealthy habits. The stress and anxiety of trying to prevent or hide accidents may cause them to avoid going out or become unsanitary, as they wear dark clothing so others can’t see stains.
But with your support, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can help your loved ones manage geriatric incontinence while maintaining their quality of life.
Helping Senior Parents With Incontinence
Be proactive and start the conversation. Address incontinence before it starts and let your loved one know you’ll be there for them if they develop the condition. Be prepared with solutions so if they do struggle with incontinence, they’ll know that they can turn to you for help.
If they do have an accident, don’t get frustrated. Let them know that it’s OK, and remind them how common incontinence is as you help them clean up and get changed. Also, take your parent to the doctor as soon as the first accident occurs to go over treatment options and rule out more serious conditions.
Find Support For Yourself
Managing incontinence can be difficult and emotional. Helping your parent in such a new personal way can be awkward, and they might feel a loss of dignity. Don’t try to mask your feelings. Find supportive friends, family members, or professional help to talk to.
Become A Master At Planning
You don’t have to wait for accidents to occur. You practiced void timing, by planning bathroom trips for your parent every few hours, after meals, and before bed to help them use the toilet instead of having an accident.
Make it easier to get to and use the restroom by clearing out a direct path to the toilet, and install grips and other equipment to help your parent be able to physically go on their own.
Always Have Enough Incontinence Supplies
Keep a duffel bag full of pull-ups and a change of clothes that’s easy to get on and off in the event of an accident. Make sure you have enough pairs of protective underwear to make it through activities. Sanitary wipes and a disposal bag to conceal the smell of soiled items are also great to have on hand. Plus, you can use chux or bed pads to cover furniture, car seats, and mattresses.
Incontinence can be a challenging change for seniors and their families, but care from loved ones can make things much more manageable and greatly reduce any interruptions to the lives of everyone involved.
— Cheryl Williams is urology team leader at Aeroflow Healthcare.