Incontinence is a common and often challenging issue faced by the elderly, bringing with it both physical discomfort and emotional distress.
Managing elderly incontinence requires a compassionate and informed approach, tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Understanding the specific type of incontinence and working closely with healthcare providers is the foundation of effective care.
By engaging in consultation with a GP or specialised healthcare provider, carers can gain insights that are crucial for creating an individualised and successful long-term care plan.
From hydration to specialised products like reusable incontinence bed pads, the following 7 carer tips offer practical guidance to enhance the quality of life for your elderly loved ones or clients grappling with bladder incontinence
7 Caregiver tips for managing elderly incontinence
1) Ensure adequate hydration
Monitoring of fluid intake is essential in preventing potential future health complications and safeguarding the well-being of your elderly loved one or client with incontinence. It is advisable to reduce intake of caffeine, alcohol, and fizzy drinks.
2) Reusable incontinence bed pads and chair pads
Incontinence bed pads and incontinence chair pads can be an essential tool in managing incontinence during sleep or sitting down. These reusable pads are designed with four functional layers, including a top layer that wicks away moisture, drying quickly to ensure comfort.
Any remaining moisture is trapped away from the user by a watertight bottom layer, protecting both the individual and the mattress. The added tuck-in wings help secure the pad in place, offering optimum protection without sacrificing comfort.
By incorporating these specialised bed pads into the care routine, you can enhance the individual's overall well-being while also safeguarding bedding and furniture.
3) Adapted clothing to simplify toilet visits
In situations where buttons or zippers on regular clothing items present challenges for the carer removing garments, leading to potential accidents, it is highly recommended to consider using pants with elasticised waistbands or alternative closures like Velcro or snap buttons.
These adaptive clothing options will make easier the removal of garments which are specifically designed for ease of removal and manipulation, allowing the carer to manage their client more effectively.
4) Create a bathroom routine
By carers implementing a daily routine, patients are provided with consistent opportunities to use the restroom at predetermined intervals.
This practice plays a crucial role in familiarising elderly clients or loved ones with regular toileting patterns, ultimately facilitating better management of incontinence-related challenges in a dignified and compassionate manner.
A carefully designed bathroom schedule can remove regular accidents on furniture or bedding and ensures optimal care for the elderly incontinent.
5) Maintain a comprehensive fluid intake record
Maintaining an accurate and detailed track record of fluid intake is a crucial practice that contributes to a better understanding of their incontinence patterns and facilitates more effective planning.
This record should take into account essential information, including the types and quantities of fluids they consume, the frequency of consumption, instances of incontinence episodes, and the number of successful restroom visits.
By diligently recording this data for a duration of 2-3 weeks, caregivers can observe and analyse emerging patterns, leading to a comprehensive and informed approach to incontinence management.
6) Use absorbent diapers or pads
Ensure suitable absorbent products are utilised, such as disposable adult diapers or pads, to proficiently manage incontinence. Select products that offer a proper fit, ensuring ample protection and comfort.
Making thoughtful choices in absorbent solutions facilitates effective containment and enhances the individual's overall comfort, confidence and well-being.
7) Invest in skin care products
Incontinence can lead to skin irritation and infections. Utilising specially formulated creams and cleansers designed for sensitive skin can help maintain skin integrity. Regularly cleaning the affected areas and applying barrier creams can prevent these issues.
NOTE: The Continence Foundation of Australia provides an extensive array of information encompassing various topics related to general and elderly incontinence.
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The Adaptive Clothing Australia Team