Millions of individuals suffer from urinary incontinence each year, but the senior population is most directly hit. Sadly, this is an issue that is often ignored by the individual affected out of embarrassment or shame. Urinary incontinence is not an easy issue to tackle with anyone, and there are specific steps that must be taken in order to help maximize receptiveness to the idea of adult diapers or incontinence pads with belt. In the following piece, we will take a look at some of the steps you can take to convince a senior to wear incontinence diapers for elderly with dignity and respect.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
The term “urinary incontinence” refers to the involuntary leakage of urine due to a weakening of the urinary sphincter muscle. The weakening does not only affect the elderly as, but it is common in seniors as muscles in the body weaken with age.
Can It Be Treated?
Urinary incontinence is difficult to treat as the urinary sphincter muscle can be face several issues that prevent it from functioning well. It might be severely damaged from an accident, for example, or simply too weakened from age to behave as it should. It is recommended to use only the best adult diapers in these situations because they provide comfort from the condition and, of course, eliminate the possibility of embarrassing accidents in public.
How to Start the Conversation
Before you utter a word, be sure to sympathize. Explain that you understand that this condition is common in the elderly and that it doesn’t have to be an embarrassing or limiting development. Remove the word “diaper” from your vocabulary, at least initially, as this word will immediately create resistance. Instead, use words like “briefs” or “underpants”. Your loved ones should be able to understand where you are headed with the conversation, and they will appreciate you starting off speaking respectfully.
Dealing with Denial
If the conversation takes a wrong turn or you are confronted with denial, it is vital that you do not panic. Denial stems from vanity and pride, and it is entirely understandable that someone suffering from urinary incontinence would feel this way as it is a problematic issue to accept. Play on their sense of pride by reminding them that a public accident is much more embarrassing than its prevention, and surely you will begin to see a yield in their defenses.
Ask for Help
Do not be afraid to seek the help of family and friends if you feel that you are not getting through. It is possible that you might not be the best person to bring the subject up to your loved one for a variety of reasons. That’s okay – don’t let your own pride stand in the way of resolving this situation as smoothly as possible. A friend or sibling may be more suited to have the conversation.
Loss of Senses
Because we take our senses for granted, this point might not be one that you’ve considered. It is entirely possible that your family member is not even aware of the issue because of his or her lack of smell. As we age, our senses deteriorate, and this means we are less aware of odors that may be quite evident to others in the room. Understand that urinary incontinence is as common as any other senior affliction and must be addressed with all variables in mind.
Mental Health Contributing Factors
Remember that mental disorders can play a significant part in the behavior of senior loved ones. Depression, for instance, can make the individual lose interest in basic activities, including hygiene, and when issues like incontinence show up it only worsens the problem. Educate yourself about different mental disorders. If you have a complete medical history of your family member, be sure to take it into account during your conversation.
Ever the Salesperson
With so many innovative products out on the market today to deal with this widespread issue, there is no reason why you cannot promote the comfort and stability that they can bring a loved one. Walk your loved one through reviews of products, show them videos, promotional materials and more,and help them understand that adult briefs or bariatric briefs and underpants are nothing like baby diapers (a likely comparison in their mind).
Let Them Process It All
Once all the information has been laid out, it is crucial that you allow them time to process it all in solitude. If you pressure a loved one into making a decision immediately, you run the risk of making them feel even more powerless. The importance of sympathy and empathy is vital at this stage. In many cases, the senior will understand your act of love and will comply when he or she feels the time has come.
Patience and understanding will help you get through this awkward conversation. If all goes well, you may find that your relationship with your family member has even improved because you were there for them when they most needed you.
Sarah JohnsonAging in Place Expert
Sarah Johnson is an Aging in Place Expert with extensive experience helping seniors remain independent and comfortable in their homes. She has specialized knowledge of how to help elderly individuals stay healthy, safe, and happy as they age. Sarah is passionate about providing quality care for aging adults, allowing them to remain in their homes and enjoy the highest quality of life.