People With a Physical Disability and Managing Incontinence
The person I am caring for has a physical condition that doesn’t allow them to wash, dress or go to the toilet. They are aware of the situation, but are unable to move.
Work on solutions
Partial or full physical disability will cause incontinence, and your relative will have to put up with the changes. They will be able to move less, go out less and will also need help with being fed, dressed and washed, as well as going to the toilet or changing incontinence products. They might not be comfortable with you helping with toilet issues, but the more understanding and patient you are the easier it will become. You will also try and handle the situation naturally.
Get them all the preventive products they need.
You have to look for a discreet and suitable incontinence prevention solution to be able to help your loved one deal with the situation. You have to choose the right size and absorbency level to make sure the maximum protection is achieved. Clothes should be protected, as well as the odor neutralized. It will help your relative keep their dignity. Easy to change products like pull on adult diapers help people complete the task alone, if they are able to stand up. Make sure that you are getting the right product and absorb odors. No matter what you are looking for; pull on diapers of products designed for people confined to bed, you can find a solution that will make your life easier. TENA Flex is a great solution if you would like to change the incontinence products while lying down.
Create an inclusive and supporting living atmosphere
Depending on the mobility of your relative, you can do different things to help them with the bathroom issues. If they are able to go to the toilet in a wheelchair, you should remove all obstructions of the way. Special rails can also be installed in the bathroom. You have to dress your loved one in clothes which are easy to remove; avoid zips and too many buttons. Pull on clothing is the best option. Make sure you have a discreet separate bin to dispose used products and some wet wipes close at hand.
The changing and washing schedule
Place cleansing wipes and protective products in the bathroom and bedroom within easy reach. There are some pull on and side-opening protective products available, depending on what your loved one can do. Some products are more suitable for assisted standing, others for lying down. For regular problems you should always use 3 in 1 moisturizing wipes instead of toilet paper, to avoid skin rash and infection and make sure all fecal residues are removed gently and safely.
Caring for the skin
Urine can irritate sensitive skin, and this is causing different skin conditions, especially in case of elderly people. That is why you need to provide continuous protection, cleaning and moisture the easiest way possible. There are many washing products specially designed for people with these problems, and you can save a lot of time if you choose the right one.
If your relative has bladder control problems or can’t get to the toilet in time because of their disability, they might even unconsciously reduce their drink intake. However, you need to know that different complications can be caused by this. Explain them that it is normal to have accidents sometimes in their condition, and always make sure that they have enough fluid. You can avoid accidents different ways, like setting up a schedule for toilet visits. Although, drinking too much is also putting more pressure on the bladders and causes different health problems.
Avoid diuretic drinks
Coffee, too much tee, alcoholic and fizzy drinks can irritate the bladder and make your loved one have to go to the toilet more. That is why you should replace some of them with a healthier alternative, like fruit juice or water.
Get help with the care
Having the right protective incontinence products will mean that your loved one can enjoy more freedom, and so can you. There are different organizations in every big town, and you should contact them to see if they provide day care or meals on wheels. You should let your relative with incontinence and mobility problems try to socialize and enjoy life as much as they can. Some charities organize day trips for disabled people, events and care, so they will not feel left out. There are also more resources and information for people caring for a relative at home.
Make sure that if you have a specific query or problem, you contact a health professional.