Whether in an assisted living facility or in their own home, incontinence is a frequent issue for many seniors as they get older. Incontinence is the loss of our voluntary control over our bowels, and as some seniors lose control of various muscles in the body, this is a common issue – and one that can lead to everything from basic discomfort to struggles with self-esteem and confidence.
At Cozy Retire, our caregivers are experienced with assisting seniors with incontinence issues as part of our assisted living services. Here are some tips we’d offer to anyone helping a senior with incontinence, whether a caregiver or another loved one.
One of the primary considerations when dealing with incontinence is garments to ensure seniors are protected properly. There are a wide range of products available here, from briefs to protective underwear.
In some cases, pads or guards can be good protection against basic leakage. In cases of seniors who are bound to a wheelchair or bed based on movement issues, look to adult diapers – these have the highest degree of protection for all situations.
Incontinence forms due to diminishing muscles and reflexes with age, and it’s natural that this will also affect other areas – including seniors’ ability to get to the bathroom on time. One way to make this easier is to ensure there’s always a clear and easily marked path for a senior to find the bathroom. This will not only help with timing, it will prevent falls and other accidents that may take place if a senior is rushed or confused while trying to find the bathroom in a time of need.
Down similar lines, make sure all furniture is placed in a way that doesn’t complicate the path to the bathroom or make it dangerous in any way. In addition, consider how seniors with bedwetting issues may need additions to the bed – reusable waterproof underpads can help prevent leaks from soaking through.
Many seniors will find much more comfort in the bathroom if they have a regular schedule set. For those struggling with memory, consider a vibrating watch or some other reliable reminder. Remind seniors that even if they don’t feel the urge every time they get a reminder, they should still try to go to the bathroom anyway.
To learn more about combatting senior incontinence, or to learn about any of the other services we offer at our retirement community, speak to the caregivers at Cozy Retire today.