Incontinence Management Is Not Impossible
My loved one I care for is mobile enough to dress up and wash themselves, but suffers from incontinence and bladder control problems.
Don’t panic, it is not the end of the world.
Once your relative does realize that they can’t control their bladder anymore, they might be embarrassed and withdrawn. You should accept the fact and help them put up with the situation, too. Talk to them about the problem and reassure them that you will do everything you can to let them enjoy normal life, despite the incontinence. You have to let them know that this will not affect their life significantly. They can still enjoy their normal activities, and you can find the right products to help them avoid the embarrassment and take part in social activities.
Let them know that they are not alone
Incontinence is a common problem, and about 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men have to deal with it at least once in their life. It is a condition everyone can live with, just like common allergies, and does not mean that the person should stop going out or enjoying life. In fact, it happens to young people as well as older patients, and is a condition which is easy to handle.
Simple lifestyle adjustments can help dealing with the condition.
Fluid intake schedule
You have to know your relative that they should not drink less, as the bladder problems can get worse if the urine is more concentrated. On the other hand, if they don’t drink enough, it can worsen their other medical conditions; even cause inflammation of the bladders. The urine should be never darker than straw color, and have a healthy consistency. But you should also make sure that they don’t drink more than necessary, putting too much pressure on the bladder.
Avoid drinks having diuretic effects
There are some drinks you should avoid in order to keep a healthy bladder motion. These are usually drinks containing caffeine or alcohol. Additionally, try to replace fizzy drinks with mineral water or fruit juice.
Provide a convenient atmosphere
If your relative is trying to get to the bathroom most of the time, you should appreciate that and help them with this. Try to place them in a room close to the toilet in the day, and remove all obstructions from their way. Dresses are also making a huge difference, do not dress them in clothes that are hard to remove; avoid zips, buttons and other hard to handle options. Choose elastic and convenient clothes; for female patients skirts are giving the most freedom. You should also set up the bathroom in a way that they can dispose incontinence products discretely, as well as their soiled clothes.
When you go out
Before you set off, you should discretely pack some incontinence products in their bag or discreet pocket. If you are traveling by plane or train, you should make sure they are seated close to the toilet. If you are going by coach, you should always let the driver know about your loved one’s incontinence problem discreetly, so they will make regular stops.
Help them set up a Pelvic Floor Exercise schedule
Incontinence problems can be treated, using pelvic floor exercises, improving the bladder control. This is a special therapy for people with incontinence, and is relatively easy to learn. The method is producing great results in case of Stress Incontinence, and about 70% of them moderate conditions can be improved using this technique. A regular schedule of pelvic floor exercise should be set up for 3 to 6 months.
It helps re-establishing the control over the bladder and strengthening the muscles to keep the urethra closed for longer. You can view and download the step by step instructions for a daily pelvic floor exercise routine by clicking on the link below. Some advanced exercises can also be carried out with the help of a health professional, like Biofeedback, and electrical stimulation treatment is also available for incontinent patients.
Medication and protection
If the physiotherapy does not work with your loved one, you should not panic. The doctor can help you in many other ways, too. Catheter insertion is one of the solutions, and it is easy to change the drainage bags. But his is only a temporary solution, and not recommended for long term, mostly used after surgery.
The easiest and most convenient solution is to use absorbent incontinence products. These days you can choose from a range of these incontinence pads, diapers and liners, depending on the severity of the problem and the amount of liquid that needs to be absorbed. The sizes and types are different, and there are men’s and women’s products developed separately.
If your relative likes socializing, you can even get products with odor neutralizers, and they will be able to enjoy their life without having to worry about somebody finding out about their condition.
Surgery and medical help
Stress Incontinence can be treated effectively using prescription medication. Your urologist or gynecologist can advise you in this. You need to get in touch with a health professional, if you are unable to deal with the situation alone.