An older family member’s incontinence should always be handled with understanding and compassion. Seniors with unaddressed incontinence may be too embarrassed to leave the house, and they may experience related health issues that have a negative effect on their wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions to help you care for an elderly loved one with incontinence.
Learn about the Different Types of Incontinence
You should understand there are several different types of incontinence. For instance, functional incontinence occurs when a senior has physical health challenges that make it difficult to get to the restroom in time. Stress incontinence is caused by weakened pelvic muscles, and it can make your parent leak urine when laughing, sneezing, or coughing. In some cases, health issues such as urinary tract infections may result in temporary incontinence.
Address the Cause
If your parent’s incontinence started recently, he or she may need to see the doctor to determine its cause. When testing for incontinence, the doctor will assess your loved one’s bladder health as well as the strength of his or her pelvic muscles. Once the reason for the incontinence is identified, you may be able to address the issue with simple changes, such as creating a regular bathroom schedule and buying pants with elastic waistbands so your parent can undress more quickly and easily.
If your loved one needs help managing incontinence or another health concern, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Trust Lifestar Home Care to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Help with Immediate Clothing Changes
Changing into clean clothes and underwear prevents infections and alleviates the frustration that often occurs after an incontinence episode. Soiled clothing can increase the risk of health issues, such as sores and skin rashes. Help your parent stay clean and dry by assisting with changing clothes after an accident. You may also need to change your parent’s bed linens often if he or she has accidents during the night.
Support Your Parent’s Treatment Plan
There are many treatments available today that can help aging adults address incontinence. Medications can reduce bladder spasms, and hormone replacement therapy can help older women address menopause-related incontinence. Help your loved one by providing timely medication reminders and arranging for transportation to follow-up doctor visits.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oklahoma City, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Lifestar Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Provide Emotional Support
Although incontinence is primarily a physical issue, it can have a negative impact on your loved one’s emotional health. Incontinent seniors often isolate themselves to avoid the potential of being embarrassed by having an accident in public. Assure your loved one you understand his or her unique needs, and offer to accompany him or her when getting out of the house and socializing. Having a care bag with incontinence products and a clean change of clothes is often all an older adult needs to have the confidence to go out in public.
Older adults living with incontinence or other age-related issues can benefit from professional in-home care. Oklahoma City home care service professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Lifestar Home Care can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (405) 288-9275 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.