Incontinence is a sensitive issue and can make your elderly loved one feel frustrated and embarrassed. Although this issue is not always easy to deal with, you can help your senior family member manage it. Here are five tips for helping a senior cope with incontinence issues.
1. Look at His Diet
If your senior family member has problems with incontinence, you should take a look at his diet. He could be consuming foods and beverages that will make incontinence worse. Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, milk and citrus fruits, can make the bladder muscles expand, causing a sudden need to urinate. Your elderly loved one should instead fill his diet with fiber-rich foods like legumes, vegetables and grains.
2. Buy the Right Supplies
Since incontinence can cause sudden urination, it is very important to buy the right supplies for your family member, such as disposable pads and adult diapers. If he can't make it to the bathroom in time, these pads and diapers will prevent him from messing up his clothes. Other urinary incontinence products to buy include waterproof pads for bedding, drip collectors and urethra caps.
3. Make it Simple to Go to the Bathroom
Even if your family member wears incontinence pads, he still probably wants to get up and use the bathroom. That is why you should make it as easy as possible for him to go to the bathroom. Remove furniture and clutter from the traffic path to the washroom.
4. Encourage Pelvic Floor Exercises
Another way you can help your elderly loved one is to encourage pelvic floor exercises. Have your family member sit down and squeeze his pelvic floor muscles and release. If he practices this exercise several times a day, he can strengthen the muscles and support his bladder.
5. Consider Medications
Unfortunately, the medicine your elderly loved one takes may contribute to his urinary incontinence. Some medicines, such as blood pressure drugs and diuretics, can increase urinary frequency, according to WebMD. Ask your family member's doctor if he can change any of his medications.
Urinary incontinence is not a pleasant problem to have, but it does not have to be unbearable. If you follow these helpful tips, you can help your senior family member deal with incontinence a lot better. Support your loved one and always be there when he needs to talk. If you are understanding to your family member's issue, he will be very appreciative. To learn more, contact Beth Sholom Home of Virginia.