When dealing with any form of incontinence, it can be easy to get caught up in the myths. This is especially true if you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one who is exhibiting signs of incontinence. It is extremely important to understand the real facts about bladder control, how to deal with it, and what treatments are available. This way you can make informed decisions with the senior in your life.
Don’t believe myths about bladder control:
- Don’t believe that having a problem with bladder control is a disease. Caregivers and seniors alike should understand that bladder control loss is not a disease – it is a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. Because of this, it is crucial to check with your doctor or health care professional if you experience any type of bladder control problem. Many times treating the underlying problem often alleviates bladder control loss.
- Don’t believe that it will get better all by itself. People of both sexes who suffer from loss of bladder control generally report their symptoms to be worsening over time. You must understand that the symptoms cannot simply go away by themselves. You must do something to make it so! Most of the time there is almost always something that can be done, for urinary incontinence. Your doctor or health professional is always a good person to start with. If simple measures don’t seem to help, they can also refer you to a physiotherapist or nurse continence adviser.
- Don’t believe that drinking less fluid will help. Many people in an attempt to control their bladder loss, stop drinking enough fluids. Not only will this not control the incontinence, it can bring on other serious health issues as well. A lack of fluids can also cause the urine to become more acidic, which then irritates the bladder further, causing more severe incontinence. Caregivers should understand that it is important, for their elderly loved one to stay well-hydrated.
- Don’t believe that women are the only ones who suffer from loss of bladder control. While incontinence issues do affect women in much larger numbers than men, studies show that at least 10% of men over the age of 65 have urinary incontinence issues. While this can be a difficult issue for caregivers and seniors to deal with, it becomes important to address the issue in the earliest stages. In addition, there are now several products designed specifically for men that can help deal with incontinence, much easier.
- Don’t believe that the only solution for this is “adult diapers”. Today manufacturers of incontinence products, understand that most seniors who suffer from bladder loss, are independent, and want to carry on with their normal lives, as much as possible. There are a wide variety of products, to fit every individual’s incontinence needs. For the senior who has a high degree of mobility and independence, there is disposable underwear that can be worn discreetly under regular clothing. Most styles are pull-on/pull-off just like traditional underwear. For those suffering light incontinence there are pads and guards that can be discreetly tucked into regular underwear. Most of these products come with odor protection, giving the senior who is wearing them more confidence that the problem will not be noticed by others.
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.