Many people in the United States are caring for their elderly parents or relatives and many of these patients suffer from urinary incontinence. This problem can be difficult to handle for caregivers.
It can be embarrassing and frustrating for those caring for an incontinent patient. Caregivers, you are not alone and there is help available to you!
A caregiver should be aware of the causes of urinary incontinence and the forms the problem can take. How can you help your patient or loved one control their urinary incontinence problem? There are three important things you can do if your patient or loved one has an accident in public.
Be Tactful and Polite
First, do not be embarrassed and avoid showing them the situation is distasteful to you. Second, dont get angry or upset, and finally, remember, it is not their fault. All of these suggestions are not easy to do but you should try to not let the incontinence problem come between the relationship between you and the patient.
If you find you are having a hard time dealing with your feelings and emotions, talk to an adviser or a nurse that is familiar with the urinary incontinence problem.
Caregivers of elderly patients may be dealing with Alzheimers disease or dementia with their patient. Patients with Alzheimers or dementia may not have a problem with urinary incontinence. There are a number of reasons why an elderly patient may have a bladder incontinence problem.
They may forget to go to the toilet, or they may go to the toilet in a waste can by mistake or empty their bladder in an inappropriate place. They may not know where the toilet is and may not have the ability to get there before it is too late.
Conditions and Treatments
There are treatable conditions that may face an elderly patient. Conditions that can cause bladder incontinence are infections in the urinary tract, prostate problems in men, medications with side effects of incontinence, and severe constipation. Urinary tract infections can be treated with medication and antibiotics.
Changing the medication that is causing the problem can treat side effects of medicine caused incontinence; you should contact the patients personal doctor. If the problem is caused by a prostate gland in a man, the problem can be resolved with an operation.
Severe constipation can cause urinary incontinence by placing additional pressure on the bladder. It can also lead to bowel incontinence. Eating foods higher in fiber and drinking plenty of liquids can correct this. Physical exercise can also help prevent severe constipation.
Easing the Load
Caregivers should know there are practical steps they can take to ease the load of caring for an incontinent patient. You should first find out if they are able to get to the toilet on their own. Do they know where it is and how to use it? You can make sure the patient knows where the toilet is found.
You may want to make a sign as a visual reminder or a picture that might be more easily understood. Check for any obstacles that might be in the pathway to the toilet.
All doors should be easy to open and no furniture should be in the way for a patient to trip over. Leaving the door to the bathroom open may also help the elderly patient know the bathroom is unoccupied. Making the toilet more accessible will help your elderly patient have fewer accidents.