As a caregiver, you may find many tasks enjoyable. After all, sharing a meal or activity with your senior loved one offers a chance to bond. However, it’s normal to find certain parts of the daily routine challenging, and managing incontinence is one area many caregivers have difficulty with. Use these tips to manage your loved one’s incontinence so he or she feels comfortable while retaining dignity.
Arrange for a Physical Exam
Your first step should be to identify the cause of incontinence. Often, seniors experience temporary bouts of incontinence due to things such as a bladder infection or the side effects of medication. Identifying the physical reason for your loved one’s bladder or bowel control issues gives you a better starting point for alleviating the concern.
Addressing incontinence in the elderly can be a difficult task, especially if it is managed alone. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Lincoln, California, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Provide Assistance with Physical Exercises
If the incontinence is caused by weak pelvic muscles, your loved one may be prescribed physical exercises to do at home. You can help your loved one remember to do these exercises by setting up an alarm system or using a smartphone app to track his or her reps.
Avoid Known Irritants
Your loved one’s diet could play a role in his or her incontinence. For instance, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages can stimulate the nerves in the bladder and create the urge to go to the bathroom more often. Some citrus fruits also irritate the lining of the bladder. Help your loved one identify the foods and drinks that trigger the incontinence episode so these items can be avoided.
Make Bathrooms Accessible
Seniors with mobility issues may experience incontinence if they cannot make it to the bathroom on time. Make sure your loved one has someone who can help him or her make it to the bathroom during late night trips, and install handrails by the toilet to make it easier to access. Your loved one may also find it helpful to wear clothing with elastic waistbands that are easier to remove in a hurry.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to address your senior loved one’s incontinence issues. Lincoln home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Encourage Proper Hygiene
When a senior experiences incontinence, personal hygiene care becomes a priority. Spending too much time in soiled clothing is uncomfortable, and it also leads to skin rashes, infections, and other health concerns. Make sure you are available to lend a helping hand to your loved one after an episode of incontinence so he or she gets fully cleaned up. You may have to pack items such as wet wipes and a change of clothing in your caregiver bag when you go on outings together so your loved one can stay clean and comfortable.
Incontinence is one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Lincoln home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call one of our professional Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to learn about our high-quality in-home care plans and how they can benefit your aging loved one.