What’s the best way to deal with senior incontinence?

My weekly call to my mother ended with quite a bang this past week. My mother concluded the conversation by saying, “I think your dad needs to start wearing adult diapers.” Her bluntness caught me off-guard, but I’ve been hearing from my mom for awhile now how my dad had been having more frequent “accidents” during the night. That, coupled with his diagnosis of an enlarged prostate, it’s no surprise to me that my father is experiencing incontinence.

It’s a subject that no on wants to talk about, but it is a condition that many seniors face: urinary and/or fecal incontinence. Please note that though some people think losing control of your bladder is just a sign of old age, any incontinence issues should be checked by a doctor, because they can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Of course, the first step is getting yourself and your senior loved one to admit that there is an issue. It’s no secret that our society tends to invoke shame or humor when discussing our elimination processes, especially when they don’t work quite right. It’s okay to go through all of the emotions, such as denial, embarrassment, frustration. But bottom line, as a caregiver, you may find yourself dealing with the results of senior incontinence.

As it turns out, there are plenty of incontinence products on the market to make your senior loved one more comfortable and provide them with the protection they need so they can remain as independent as possible. We had representatives from Depend underwear visit us at the AJC recently, and they have developed a new and improved product line that addresses the different needs of men and women when it comes to incontinence. Check out their new product line and let us know what you think.

What products work best for you when dealing with senior incontinence? Do you have any caregiving tips to share with others when it comes to tackling this sensitive topic?

6 comments Add your comment

Jane

June 9th, 2010
9:53 pm

I recently wrote a paper on incontinence and the taboo issue of it (and also how older women/men’s emotions are targeted to get them to buy products to help prevent it or accidents). I think getting over the taboo has to come from those involved and care takers. I found help at http://silvercensus.com/ which was really great and helped get through all of the clutter.

Mike

June 8th, 2010
10:55 pm

For help with your search for an assisted living facility check out silvercensus.com!

tyson

June 8th, 2010
10:54 pm

I can relate to Lauren’s comment. A bit embarrassing, but what are you going to do right? I ended up finding a nice place for him using http://silvercensus.com

Kaye - SandwichINK

August 2nd, 2009
12:30 am

Good info! I also appreciated the comment by Margie Morton. We’ve dealt with urinary tract infections with adult kids who were pregnant and know how much grief they can cause, but I would never have thought of them causing these kinds of problems as well. Very good to know that! Thank you. :)

lauren

April 20th, 2009
3:52 pm

I experienced the same problem with my dad back in 2004. He is doing fine now, it took months for him to adjust to using incontinence. He was embassased and di dnot like talking about his problem. After finding the right fit, brand, etc. he was ok. Home Delivery Medical became my online source for everything he needed. They have customer service people ready to help. They will also give you a few samples. http://www.homedeliverymedical.com thanks, lauren

Margie Morton

April 13th, 2009
7:57 am

My mother has experienced this condition for years. She is now 88, and has been diagnosed with TIA’s so we were not so alarmed when she started having mild hallucinations (seeing things that were not there and then relating to the family that she was aware that these visions were not real but were “real” when they appeared to her. She was also experiencing unexplained nausea and more pronounced weakness and fatique. She complained to extreme pain in her legs (primarily thighs). These symptoms seemed to me to be a part of aging because she had been seen by a physician within the last 3 weeks and was given a B12 shot and complete exam except for no urinalysis. My daughter-in-law is a physical therapist who has had several elderly clients immediately shared her thoughts that these symptoms could easily be from a urinary tract infection. When I described her symptoms to the “phone nurse” at her physician’s office, I was told to bring her in. Bottom line…she did have an infection and has been on antibiotics for 3-4 days. Her symptoms are already diminishing. My adivice, don’t assume that condtions are “just age-related” as we are often told. Do the research and take action.