Incontinence is a sensitive issue, because it is a private issue. Unfortunately, it is an issue that most people will need to deal with as they age.
It is difficult to care for a loved one and to see things that used to be natural become a struggle. It is hard for both the caregiver and the person who is receiving the care. The person who Is being cared for is used to being independent. They are used to taking care of things themselves, especially when it comes to a personal matter, such as getting to the bathroom on time.
It can be difficult to see a loved one experiencing shame and embarrassment from bladder or bowel incontinence, and it can be difficult to approach the topic of adult diapers. But incontinence is a common issue, and our job as a care giver is to help preserve the dignity of those we care for. This is a difficult topic to broach, and can be a challenging conversation to have. But it is necessary to have this conversation, as there are steps that can be taken to preserve our loved ones dignity.
What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is the word used to describe a persons inability to control their bladder or bowel movements. It is a common diagnoses among the elderly, and the most common cause of incontinence is the pelvic floor and bladder becoming weak. It is important to remember that this is not the fault of the person who is experiencing this issue, and they should never be made to feel as if it is.
When to Approach Adult Diapers
So how do you know the perfect time to approach the topic of adult diapers with your loved one?
There are several ways that you will know the appropriate time to broach this subject. When you start noticing wet spots, or stains on your loved ones clothing, an unpleasant odor, or you realize that he/she is starting to avoid social activities. Excessive bed-wetting is another tell-tale sign that the issue needs to be addressed.
First know that this is a common problem, and understand that every measure possible should be taken to preserve our loved ones dignity.
There are a couple of options you have before you must turn to diapers. If the incontinence is a light leakage that occurs with sneezing or laughing, there are thin liners that can be pressed into their underwear that will absorb any moisture and protect your loved ones dignity. They have these available for both women and men, and are a better option than diapers for many.
For heavier leaks, it may be necessary to see a physician. There may be an underlying issue that is causing the incontinence that could possibly be resolved. Occasionally, medicine can be given that will help resolve the incontinence. A visit to the doctors office will entail a thorough exam, often times measuring urine output and performing urodynamic tests to discover if there is an underlying issue causing the problem.
If a doctor can’t help, and the leakage being experienced is too heavy for thin liners, then it is most likely time to introduce the topic of adult diapers. Do this at a time when there hasn’t been an accident, so they don’t feel as if you are punishing them for this issue. Try and be as sensitive as you can, as this is a personal topic.
Some people may be sensitive towards the word “diaper”, and they may react negatively towards the mere idea of wearing a diaper. The word is commonly associated with babies, and no one wants to involuntarily revert back to their childhood. Try using a different term for them, such as protective underwear, disposable underwear, or briefs, and see if that will change your loved ones mindset.
Gently explain to your loved one experiencing incontinence issues that you want to preserve their dignity, and explain the benefits of using the best adult diapers. There are many benefits, including:
- Less worry. As your loved one goes about their normal, daily life, they will not need to worry about leaks showing or those embarrassing moments they may have experienced. They can go back to wearing clothing that they like, instead of clothing that will minimize and hide accidents.
- No stains. Your loved one won’t have to worry about staining their clothing, freeing them of that unnecessary stress.
- More comfortable. Using a diaper is a much more comfortable experience than moving around in wet clothing. A diaper is absorbent, and will keep a person from feeling wet, while clothing will hold moisture and can potentially cause chafing.
Take the time to talk through any concerns your loved ones may have. Common concerns include discreetness under clothing, ease of changing used ones, and the fit and comfort of using one. Make sure you take measurements to ensure a proper fit. Explain that many adult diapers are designed to pull on and off like normal underwear, and many are thin and discreet, while still being absorbent, and can be worn under much of their favorite clothing with no one being the wiser.
This can be a difficult time in your loved ones life, and you need to be there for them and offer support and encouragement as they make the important decision to use diapers.
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.