As September is Urology Awareness Month, we take a look at how incontinence can affect the lives of many carers and cared for and offer some tips for Elderly Incontinence Care.
In the UK, 24% of older people are affected by urinary incontinence. This increases to between 30-60% in the elderly population. This means that many carers face the job of elderly incontinence care.
Incontinence can be caused by a range of conditions. These include diseases of the bladder, prostate and kidneys. However, there is much that can be done to help manage bladder and bowel incontinence.
Caring for someone with incontinence can be very difficult. Incontinence care for the elderly is a time-consuming task that takes a lot of energy and patience. Incontinence care can also cause emotional issues around embarrassment, loss of dignity and resentment.
We’ve put together some tips to help with elderly incontinence care.
Emotional Support for Elderly Incontinence Care
Incontinence is a common problem, but it is one we rarely talk about. This means that many people feel ashamed and embarrassed that they suffer from bladder or bowels issues. Unfortunately, this can lead to people failing to seek the help and support they need.
If your loved one is experiencing incontinence, then talking to them about the problem may be difficult. Reassure them that they are not alone and that there is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Encourage them to speak to their doctor so they can get any treatment they need. This is vital as incontinence can be a symptom of other health issues. You can also encourage them to speak to a health professional about products that may help them with their incontinence.
Try to respect their wishes wherever possible and help them maintain their dignity. For example, don’t refer to incontinence pads as ‘nappies’. Don’t mention their incontinence in front of friends and family if they would prefer to keep the matter private.
Practical Help with Elderly Incontinence Care
Your practical help with elderly incontinence care for your loved one can be invaluable. Yet your elderly relative may be reluctant to accept your help and support. Here are some practical tips to help you support your elderly loved one.
- It’s always important to speak to a health professional about incontinence. The problem may be a symptom of a disease or a side effect of medication.
- In addition, health professionals can advise on products that can help. There are many products available to help manage incontinence including washable or disposable incontinence pads, chair and bed pads, specially adapted clothing and swimwear, and skincare and hygiene products.
- Once any treatments have been arranged you will need a system to manage incontinence. This may include regular trips to the toilet or the use of incontinence pads and bed pads. Hygiene is essential when looking after someone with incontinence. Poor hygiene can lead to discomfort, sores and urinary tract infections.
- Incontinence can cause additional problems such as having to get up in the night often which can disturb the sleep of the cared for and carer. Night-time loo visits can also increase the risk of falls. Make sure you have the right safety equipment installed for your loved one, such as raised toilet seats and grab rails.
- A further problem that often occurs is that older people limit the amount of fluid they drink to try to prevent accidents or frequent visits to the toilet. However, dehydration can have serious health consequences, so it is vital to encourage older people to drink around a litre and a half to two litres of fluids a day.
How a Professional Carer Can Help
Elderly incontinence care can be hard work. As well as frequent visits to the toilet there may be additional bathing requirements and laundry. Incontinence can also affect the carers sleep with frequent waking at night to deal with incidents. Some people are also resistant to using products for incontinence, which can make the problem worse.
As a carer, it is important to ensure that you take care of your own health and wellbeing so that you can stay healthy and strong for your loved one. A professional carer can help by taking on part of the load. You may choose to have a carer visit at certain times of the day or have a live-in carer take care of your loved one full time. They will take care of your loved one respectfully, allowing them to maintain their dignity. In fact, many older people prefer their personal care to be done by a carer rather than a family member as they find it less embarrassing.
Your carer will take care of your loved one and look after their urinary health as well as observing scrupulous hygiene to prevent sores and infections.
How Mumby’s can help with Elderly Incontinence Care
At Mumby’s, our trained and vetted carers will look after your loved ones as if they were part of the family. To us, dignity, respect and compassion are essential elements of the best care. This is especially important when taking care of personal needs such as toileting and bathing. Our carers understand that this is a difficult issue for many and take care to approach personal needs with respect and compassion to help ease any embarrassment.
The additional benefits of having a live-in carer are that they build a special relationship with your loved one and by living with them they can attend to all of their needs around the clock. They offer companionship as well as getting on with the chores, cooking nutritious meals and attending appointments with your loved one. A live-in carer allows your elderly relative to continue safely living in their own home, as most people wish, with the support they need and the dignity they wish for. They can live life as they wish, seeing friends and family, engaging in the community, and enjoying their pets and garden.
Mumby’s respite care is a sensible option for family carers, as it allows for a much-needed break from caring duties. Family carers can get away and fully enjoy some respite in the knowledge their loved one is being fully cared for by a professional, warm and kind live-in carer.
Chat with us about how we can help
Our friendly team are here to help you find the best care for your or your elderly relative’s needs. We offer guidance and advice through this difficult time. And a no-obligation assessment of your loved ones care needs to help you plan the care needed.