Incontinence is the medical condition of being unable to control the function of your urinary system. It affects approximately 13 million Americans. If you’re caring for someone who is experiencing incontinence, here are five tips that can make the process easier for you and for your care receiver.
1. Embrace The Science
It can be human nature to react in an impulsive way when you encounter a situation where you must clean up the mess of someone who is incontinent. One way that you can keep yourself in a compassionate state of mind is to research the science behind incontinence. Sometimes, we may think that our care receiver is doing it out of spite or because they’re lazy. This creates an underlying feeling of aggravation and resentment. Once you learn the medical causes of incontinence, your negative emotions will turn into understanding and compassion.
2. Practice Empathy
It is vital for you to understand that your care receiver is most likely feeling self-conscious and even embarrassed over their incontinence. They spent many years being able to care for their bodily functions privately, but now their body is failing them which causes another person to clean their private parts and their messes. It is important to remember that this situation is just as painful and frustrating for them as it can be for others. Practicing empathy can help you to care for them in a way that lessens their emotional stress.
3. Protect Your Own Health
Caring for a mobile person with incontinence can be a relatively simple process; however, when you move into caring for a paralyzed or physically disabled person, the process can be more difficult and even detrimental to your physical health. Before embarking on the duty of caring for a disabled person with incontinence, speak to a physical therapist or your physician about learning safe ways to lift and move a person without hurting yourself.
4. Plan Ahead
For caregivers who travel outside of the house with their care receivers who suffer from incontinence, be sure to plan ahead for any accidents or uncomfortable eventualities. You can do this by packing a discrete bag full of extra items that might be required should an emergency occur. These items should include gloves, wipes, pads and/or diapers, a change of underwear, and plastic bags in which to store dirty items.
5. Buy In Bulk
Many people may not realize the financial burden that is created when someone suffers from incontinence. The toiletries required to treat, contain, and clean the messes that incontinence creates can be staggering. To help reduce the cost of incontinence items, consider shopping for the items in bulk or finding special deals online. You can even search for online coupons to help reduce the overall cost of these products.