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How to Address a Senior Loved One’s Incontinence

By , 9:00 am on

Incontinence is one of the more sensitive issues family caregivers in Fort Myers may need to address with their senior loved ones. Although managing incontinence can be challenging for both you and your loved one, there are some simple ways to make it easier while protecting his or her dignity.

Identify the Underlying Cause

When your loved one experiences incontinence, adopt a matter-of-fact attitude to minimize any feelings of embarrassment. Most types of incontinence are caused by another physical problem, having a doctor diagnose the underlying reason can ensure your loved one knows it is not his or her fault. In some instances, the cause can even be treated to eliminate the issue or at least reduce the amount of incidences.

Watch for Dietary Concerns

Certain things your loved one eats and drinks can aggravate incontinence. For example, caffeine has a stimulating effect on the digestive system, and its diuretic properties can cause your loved one to void more often. Chocolate, spicy foods, and juicy fruits with a lot of fiber can also exacerbate the condition.

Plan Scheduled Bathroom Visits

Sometimes incontinence can be managed if seniors make frequent bathroom trips to relieve themselves before an accident occurs. Scheduled bathroom breaks should occur every 2 to 4 hours. However, you may want to schedule them closer together if you are trying to prevent an accident while your loved one is away from home.

Provide Compassionate Hygiene Care

Experiencing incontinence can generate a strong emotional response in seniors, which should also be addressed. Since it can be uncomfortable and unhealthy to sit in soiled clothing, provide your loved one with personal hygiene assistance as soon as an accident occurs. For some seniors, it is embarrassing to have family members assist with changing clothes and cleaning up. In these instances, a professional hourly or live-in caregiver in Fort Myers can step in so your loved one benefits from having a sense of privacy. 

Making a few healthy lifestyle changes may help relieve the symptoms of incontinence. If your loved one needs help managing his or her health, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks like cooking, bathing, and grooming. For more information on the elderly care Fort Myers families trust, call one of our compassionate Care Managers at 239.449.4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.