Becoming a caregiver for a friend or a loved one is a huge undertaking that can be stressful and full of daily challenges. The requirements of the position are intensified if the person for whom you care suffers from bowel incontinence. In order to properly care for this individual, you must understand the requirements of the condition as well as the products that are available to make your life easier. You must also understand that this is a medical condition that often causes extreme embarrassment for the affected persons. Therefore providing care that helps maintain a sense of dignity is essential for providing superior care.
Your Duties when Caring for an Incontinent Individual
As a caregiver, it will be your responsibility to provide everyday care necessities for the person. However, caring for an incontinent individual requires special duties. Some of the additional responsibilities you will have include the following:
- Providing the needed incontinence supplies
- Ensuring the person is changed regularly to prevent infection or discomfort
- Cleaning up if there is a leak or accident
- Providing discreet care and disposal for the condition
While this may not seem too bad, it is essential these duties are performed on a regular basis to ensure comfort of the elderly person. In most cases you will develop a care routine that fits both your needs and keeps you both comfortable with the situation.
There is a world of incontinence supplies available for purchase. Determining which fits your needs is essential in providing ultimate protection. Utilize the following steps to ensure you provide the proper incontinence supplies:
- Determine the degree of incontinence the person in your care suffers from. This will help determine what type of product you need to purchase. The person should fit into one level of incontinence: mild, moderate or severe.
- Once you know the degree of incontinence you must select the product you wish to use. Here is a simple guide:
- Mild Incontinence: Pads or liners (these will resemble the products used for menstruation)
- Moderate Incontinence: Briefs (these are designed for active lifestyles and look and feel like traditional underwear)
- Severe Incontinence: Adult diapers (there are several different sizes, styles and designs so a process of trial and error is often needed to determine what works best for you)
- Keep in mind, these products will be offered in different sizes, which often reflects their capacity as well. If a person is severely incontinent going with a high capacity diaper is usually your best option. The capacity amount will usually be printed on the package in “cc” or “oz” for easy selection.
- Another incontinence supply you need for daily care are bed liners for overnight or bedridden protection.
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.