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One of the biggest struggles that anyone with incontinence has is preventing accidents. This can often occupy all of the waking thoughts and actions of someone with the condition. However, there are steps that you can take that will help to reduce the possibility of accidents and make you feel more confident about how you are managing your incontinence. You can prevent accidents with these do’s and don’ts:

Do have the right incontinence products: By using the right incontinence supplies, you can reduce the chances that you will have an accident. Incontinence products come in a wide range of styles. Some incontinence sufferers choose to use an adult diaper to prevent accidents while others will use incontinence underwear that can be worn with or without incontinence pads. It is also important to realize that there are incontinence products for men and incontinence products for women – which means  that choosing the right product for your gender is essential. You should also keep in mind that fit is very important. If your incontinence undergarment does not fit well, it will be limited in the amount of protection it can provide you.

Don’t drink beverages that have alcohol or caffeine: While these types of beverages can be very enjoyable, you need to realize that both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics. If you have too much diuretic in your system, it will signal to the bladder that you need to go much more then you really do. This can escalate into an uncontrollable urge to urinate. Worse yet, alcohol is not only a diuretic but can dull the sense that tells you when you need to go to the bathroom. If you are an incontinence sufferer, it is best to avoid these beverages all together.

Do eat fiber everyday: You may not realize that what you eat also plays a part in how severe your incontinence symptoms are. You want to make sure that you are keeping food moving along the digestive track. If you don’t eat enough fiber every day, you may end up constipated – which can put severe pressure on the bladder and make your incontinence worse. While you can take a fiber supplement, it is important to make sure that you are also eating enough vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

Don’t stop drinking water: Many people with incontinence mistakenly believe that if they limit the water that they drink, then their incontinence symptoms will be reduced. However, you may be surprised to learn that reducing the amount of water that you drink can pose a serious health risk. Not only will you become dehydrated, it will cause your urine to become more irritating and signal your bladder that you need to go more often. You can also make constipation worse if you are not drinking enough water. You should never reduce your intake of water without consulting with your doctor beforehand.

Do pay attention to your weight: The reality is that carrying around too much weight not only affects your heart and lungs, but every other muscle in your body as well. This includes the muscles that are on the pelvic floor. Being overweight can weaken these muscles and make incontinence worse. Studies show that by losing only 10-15% of your body weight, you can significantly reduce the number of incontinence accidents that occur.

 

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.