Q: Do you have advice on how to deal with elderly incontinence?
A: If they are mobile and coherent there are a variety of treatments and possible cures for them to try. You can find a comprehensive list of potential treatments here.
If they aren’t mobile or ‘with it’ one should get them incontinence supplies. This way they won’t be wetting themselves or leaving themselves vulnerable to infection from sitting in urine - as good incontinence supplies are made to keep the skin dry and prevent irritation. You can also work together or with a doctor to create a plan to make sure that the supplies get changed properly. Depending on how severe the incontinence symptoms, a patient may need to be changed more or less frequently. It is also possible that an elderly patient, due to lack of mobility, might just need supplies for extra protection in case they don’t make it to a bathroom. This can be combined with strategizing an action plan for getting to the bathroom a quickly as possible.
A voiding schedule can also help as it may avoid the ‘rush’ to the bathroom for less mobile people.
It is also important to note that depending on the coverage, incontinence supplies may be covered by insurance for those who are elderly or suffer from incontinence.
Q: How often do you change an incontinent patient? How often should you change incontinence pads?
A: As mentioned above this totally depends on the person, their type of incontinence, severity of symptoms, mobility, and cognition. For more information on how to figure out how often someone should be changed, or the risks associated with infrequent changing, you can visit our blog post on how to properly use urinary incontinence products here. For help figuring out the proper product to use you can visit our guide here.
Q: What is incontinence care?
A: Incontinence care is encouraging your loved one to get treatment, being aware of their condition and helping them with sticking to recommendations. This can also include working with your loved one in order to make sure that they have strategies in place in order to continually deal with incontinence as it comes, or as it changes and progresses. Perhaps this is developing a method to get to the bathroom quickly despite mobility constraints. Perhaps this is finding the right incontinence products and then getting them on a subscription. Perhaps this is helping them set up a weight loss plan as a 5-10% reduction in weight has been shown to drastically decrease incontinence symptoms. The best way to engage in incontinence care is often to just ask your loved one what they need, talk to a doctor, and look into developing and sticking to proposed solutions.