Having incontinence or loss of bladder control can be challenging. But it can be equally difficult to care for someone in your life who is struggling with it too. Especially as your parents or grandparents age, you might start to see that they have a tougher time keeping it all in.
Incontinence isn’t easy, but you can lessen the burden with these 10 tips for caring for someone with urine loss.
1. Have Incontinence Products Readily Available
For people with incontinence, embarrassment is one of the most difficult aspects to handle. But wearing incontinence products is a simple way to help alleviate some of that burden. The problem is finding the right fit for your loved one.
Many incontinence pads are made with women’s physiques in mind. They’re flat, absorbent materials that adhere to the inside of underwear. For men with incontinence, considering that their manhood is not necessarily flat, it can be hard to wear these products.
Often, they’re uncomfortable, too snug, too loose, or require you to wear a pair of underpants that you don’t prefer. For elderly adults, comfort is necessary, so getting an incontinence product that is easy to wear, cozy, and simple to pull off can go a long way. This is where MDP can make all the difference.
MDP is a revolutionary product specifically for men with light incontinence. It’s more of a sleeve that goes over your package rather than an adhesive patch in your underwear. This means it stays on all day, it feels comfortable, and you don’t need to worry about it sliding around.
Plus, it’s super easy to take on and off, thanks to its two-strap design, so elderly loved ones can easily use it. It’s also super discreet, so it altogether knocks out the embarrassment factor.
MDP can hold up to two ounces of urinary incontinence, which might not sound like a lot. But two ounces is a lot of drips and dribbles.
It’s about the same as what you can fit into a shot glass. It’s perfect for any guy struggling with light incontinence who still wants to be able to do all the things he loves most.
2. Avoid Triggers
Certain foods and drinks can be a trigger for those with incontinence. And believe it or not, one of the main triggers is not drinking enough. Many people with incontinence think drinking less will make them go to the bathroom less.
But the reality is that it actually makes your bladder capacity lower, causing you to need to go even more often. Have your loved one drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
Other triggers that can make people leak include:
- Smoking (it makes you cough more)
- Caffeine (irritates your bladder)
- Spicy foods
- Acidic fruits, like lemons and limes
- Sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners
Not everyone will react the same way to some of these substances, but it’s always good to enjoy these in moderation to limit the prevalence of urine loss.
3. Waterproof Sofas, Beds, and Chairs
If your mom, dad, uncle, or grandparent struggles to hold their bladder in, they’re probably making a mess everywhere. And you don’t want to tarnish their favorite recliner or mattress just because they can’t hold it in.
For severe incontinence, mattress pads and furniture covers are a must. These act as a plastic barricade between the leak and the fabric that is much easier to clean than your linens.
4. Stick to a Schedule
A regular bathroom routine can be very helpful for older adults with severe incontinence, especially if they have underlying dementia or Alzheimer’s. Try to get your loved ones to try going to the bathroom on a regular schedule every one to three hours, experimenting to find the right time for you and them.
Soon, they’ll become accustomed to the schedule, reducing the risk of an accident now and then.
5. Use Easy-To-Change Clothes
After your loved one has an accident, they probably won’t want to sit in wet clothes all day long. While many older adults with incontinence can change themselves, if you need to lend them a helping hand, you probably want to make it as easy as possible.
Easy-to-change clothes such as pants with buttons or velcro are much easier to take off and put on than overalls or bulky sweaters.
6. Keep Odor Control Products Handy
Getting things wet is tough as it is. But one aspect of incontinence that many people don’t like to talk about is the smell. While it’s an inevitable byproduct, you can freshen the air by keeping odor control products handy.
OdoBan is a popular caregiver product that cleans and disinfects while eliminating harsh odors. You can also use air fresheners or plug-in fresheners to help keep your space smelling fresh even when incontinence is leaking havoc.
7. Make Bathroom Access Easy
A form of functional incontinence happens when an individual cannot make it to the bathroom on time due to a disability, like severe arthritis or dementia. If your loved one has difficulty physically making it to the bathroom, they might naturally have trouble holding it in when they need to go.
It’s a good idea to try to keep their favorite chair on the side of the living room closest to the bathroom and make sure there are no obstacles between them and the toilet to make it easier for them to empty in the toilet rather than their trousers.
8. Use Humor
Talking about urinary or fecal incontinence with your loved one can be uncomfortable, especially if it’s a close family member. But having an open and honest conversation can ease stress and make it feel like less of a “taboo” subject. And using humor is a great way to approach the subject.
For instance, after your loved one has an accident, you can ease their embarrassment by saying, "Well, this gives you a good excuse to change into your favorite blue pants now!” to diffuse anxiety and decrease shame.
9. Stay Patient
It can be challenging to care for someone with incontinence as a caregiver. It’s easy to lose your temper, and it’s easy to get frustrated. However, this will only do more harm than good.
When your loved one sees you stressed, it can increase anxiety all around. Considering anxiety is a risk factor for developing incontinence in the first place, it’s best to try to stay calm.
When the person you’re caring for has an accident, take a deep breath, take a few moments for yourself, and then clean it up. Keep your cool, and you’ll start to see that you and your loved one are much less stressed surrounding the embarrassment that often coincides with incontinence.
10. Look After Yourself
As a caregiver, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by caring for an incontinent adult. Those with severe incontinence often have a coinciding underlying condition that requires a caregiver to spend most of their days looking after them. This can put a lot of stress on you as a caregiver.
Be sure to practice self-care and take some time for yourself. Enlist the help of other family members so you don’t need to do everything alone or try to get a nurse to check on your loved one at certain points during the week. Also, do things you love, like hiking, watching your favorite shows, or playing sports.
Your mental health is essential because your loved ones will notice when you’re stressed. Keeping in good spirits and taking care of yourself is one of the most important aspects that makes you stronger when taking care of others.
Incontinence is tough to manage yourself, but taking care of someone with urine loss can be equally challenging. As a caregiver, it’s easy to feel burnt out, but these 10 tips can help you keep your composure and make it easier to stay calm.
MDP can help those with minor incontinence regain their independence in comfort and style. It’s a discreet sleeve that’s versatile and easy to use, making it perfect for older adults who struggle to wear underpads and adult underwear.
The best way to see the difference is to feel it. Try MDP today and stop letting incontinence hold you or a loved one back from what you love.