Whether your elderly family member is dealing with mild incontinence or something that’s more involved, both of you might have been resisting coming up with a plan. But having that plan, even a simple one, is going to help you to manage the situation with dignity and care.
Open up a Dialogue with Your Senior
Start by talking to your senior about what’s going on and about what she really needs from you in order to help her. Incontinence is not an easy topic to discuss. There’s a lot of shame and embarrassment involved and that can keep your elderly family member from seeking out solutions that will make the entire situation easier on her. Let her know you’re there for her and that you can solve this together.
Work with Her Doctor
Your elderly family member’s doctor is an excellent first resource. The causes for incontinence and the factors that can make it worse are often medical in nature. Your senior’s doctor can also have some recommendations that work within her existing health management plans to ensure that she’s well overall, in multiple areas.
Check Your Reactions
It’s really important that you pay attention to how you’re reacting to everything about your senior’s incontinence. This isn’t something that she can control or turn off, so it’s already embarrassing. It’s not that reacting a certain way isn’t a normal response, like getting irritated if you are doing more laundry, but it’s really easy for your senior to feel that as a reflection of your feelings about her. And that can hurt your relationship and make her want to hide certain things more.
Be Prepared with the Help of Elder Care
When your elderly family member has the tools and the assistance that she needs, all of this is going to be easier on everyone involved. Do some experimenting with incontinence products and find the ones that work best for her and that she likes the most. Keep a go bag handy for when you’re out and about. Make sure that elder care providers who help your senior know where to find what they need to help her. All of this is an important part of the process.
You’re not going to be fully prepared every single time when it comes to incontinence, but when you have at least the bare bones of a plan you’re on your way to handling the situation well. With the help of elder care, your senior will feel less embarrassed and more sure of themselves if they have accidents. Start with enlisting the help of elder care when your senior starts to experience incontinence.