Managing Incompetence and Mental Illness

Caring for a Loved One who is Mentally Ill, and has Incontinence

My loved one is able to move, but their mental illness doesn’t allow them to control their bladder in some cases.

Reassure them and behave normally

In case your loved one suffers from a mental illness preventing them from going to the toilet and react to situations, like dementia or nervous system problems, you have to accept this as a part of their life. They might feel distressed and embarrassed, but you have to tell them that you accept this fact and they can still remain confident and keep their dignity. Never over-dramatize these accidents, and help them deal with the situation, too.

Give them to tools to cope with incontinence

You can find suitable incontinence protection products to help your relative deal with the situation and prevent the problem taking over their life. The right incontinence product can absorb fluid, get rid of odors and protect their clothes. You can save time as well on washing clothes and bedding. You have to know that there are different products developed for men and women, and they also come in different sizes. Choosing the right level of absorbance is also important, to avoid disappointments. The suitable incontinence sanitary products will help them feel that they can still live a normal life. You can visit the link below to compare the different incontinence products available on our site.

Control the fluid intake daily

You need to make sure that your relative does not drink less than before, as it can worsen the situation. The more concentrated the urine is, the more it will irritate the bladder. It can also lead to different problems and infections. A nice light color urine is a sign that the bladder works well and is healthy.

Avoid diuretic effect drinks

Fizzy drinks, alcohol and any beverage containing caffeine will cause increased bladder activity and make your loved one have to go to the toilet more.

Keep a toilet visit schedule and don’t wait for accidents to happen 

You can avoid most of the accidents by making your loved one visit the toilet regularly. People with mental illness forget about these things, and it is your responsibility to remind them. Set up  a schedule, and always take them out at night, before bedtime. You should make sure that going to the bathroom will be an easy to complete task for them, and dress them in clothes which are easily removable. Skirts are the most suitable for women, and men can also have pull-on trousers to not to have to deal with the zips and buttons.

Changing and washing

You can make sure that you choose sanitary incontinence products which are easy to change and dispose. Your relative might want to complete the task alone, but if they can’t, you can still let them do most of the work, and help them out when needed. The products should be available for them in the bathroom all the time, together with the disposal bins. Make sure you have a separate laundry bag for their clothes and wet wipes they can use after an accident.

Skin care

You should ensure that you use some kind of protection to protect the damage of the skin from urine. The skin can be sensitive and even infections can occur, if cleaning and protection are not done regularly. You should use special creams or wash creams keeping the urine away from the skin and moisturizing the surface. Make sure that they are not damaging the PH balance. Tena has plenty of products developed for these problems, and you can make sure you clean, moisturize and protect your loved one with one application.

Organize the bathroom routine

If your loved one suffers from dementia or any other memory related illness, you have to make sure you are setting up a daily schedule for visiting the toilet. It will help them remember more and feel safer. Just like with waking up, dressing, walking and eating, you will have to have the time set apart for visiting the bathroom. A fixed routine in case of people suffering from mental illness is very important, and your job will be much easier as well.

Make sure that you try and find some time for yourself as being a full time caregiver can be exhausting. That is why you should arrange activities they can enjoy for one or two hours, after visiting the bathroom.

Get help from charities or experts

You might want to take care of other family members, or sort out things around your house. You shouldn’t be there all the time for your relatives, and shouldn’t stop enjoying life. Look for adult daycare centers in your area or other charity organizations. This can get you the time you need to refill your energy resources and the opportunity for your loved one to socialize. Some charities offer meals on wheels service and free transportation.

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