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What to Remember While Caring for an Incontinent Senior

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Urinary or bladder incontinence occurs for many different reasons, which include anatomical abnormalities or an inability to get to the bathroom when necessary. Compassion and understanding on the part of family members and at-home Nashville care providers go a long way in helping an older adult accept and handle the problem. 

Determine the Cause

When a senior displays signs of incontinence, encourage him or her to visit a healthcare provider. Sometimes it is possible to correct the underlying problem with exercises, medications or surgery. When reversing incontinence is not possible, seniors may need to use any number of products designed to contain urine or feces.

Maintain Your Loved One’s Dignity

Cognizant adults commonly deny that bladder or bowel problems exist due to embarrassment. Unfortunately, living in denial also means that they are reluctant to use incontinent products, which have been mistakenly referred to as adult diapers. However, not using personal hygiene products leads to unsightly and even more embarrassing accidents. There are many types of products ranging from simple protective pads that fit into normal underwear to full-sized briefs. The type of product used depends on the severity of the problem. 

Whether or not a senior is aware of his or her incontinence, home caregivers in Nashville must ensure that the individual’s dignity stays intact. Take care of hygiene issues behind closed doors. Perhaps consider ordering supplies online and develop discreet disposal methods. 

Create a Toileting Schedule

Establishing a routine toileting schedule helps avoid accidents. In many instances, the bladder or bowel can be retrained to evacuate at designated times. Seniors should try toileting first thing in the morning, before or after meals, before going on outings and at night before bedtime. When initially starting a schedule, aim for toileting at least every two hours. 

Optimize Bathroom Accessibility

Seniors who have difficulty balancing when walking or who require a scooter or a wheelchair may need assistance in getting to and from the bathroom. They might also need help with undressing, cleansing and redressing. Be supportive and make the process of managing incontinence as normal and painless as possible.

For help looking after your loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke caregivers in Nashville work around your loved one’s schedule to optimize home care and maintain his or her dignity. Call (615) 656-4999 today to have one of our expertly trained Care Managers customize a unique care plan for your loved one today.