Dementia care calls for both compassion and creativity to manage a range of complicated behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true in relation to incontinence, something that is incredibly common in Alzheimer’s along with other types of dementia. These tried-and-true techniques are usually effective in minimizing the effect of incontinence and curtailing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with dementia.
- Choose your words very carefully. As opposed to talking about incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nevertheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he prefers to utilize the term “diapers” and appears confident with that, then follow along.
- Clean out regular underwear from the senior’s dresser. To avoid confusion or opposition to wearing incontinence products, be sure those are the sole option in his or her wardrobe.
- Test various products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels on the market, it might take some trial and error to discover one that’s most comfortable and effective.
- Use backup products overnight. To help prevent the older adult from waking up throughout the night from incontinence-related issues, try inserting booster pads inside the absorbent underwear, and use products marked for heaviest coverage. Waterproof mattress protectors and disposable bed pads are usually also extremely helpful.
- Ensure quick access into the bathroom. Perform a walk-through of the areas the older adult spends time in to estimate how easy it really is for him or her to reach the bathroom. Specifically, remove any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the senior’s walking path to protect against falls.
- If an accident does occur… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to offend (or further upset) the older adult, and say something like, “It would appear that something may have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It seems like your pants are wet; that happens every now and then.”
- Address unwillingness to keep products on. For older adults who regularly make an effort to remove incontinence products, first see if you’re able to uncover the particular reason why. If uncomfortableness is an issue, try several types of products for one that will be more comfortable. Or your senior loved one may be attempting to change if there’s a feeling of wetness.
In all instances, watch the older adult’s skin for warning signs of rash or irritation, and contact his or her medical professional if noted.
For more incontinence care tips, or to find out about Responsive Home Care’s dependable, professional care for assisting with incontinence and dementia, reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for senior care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area.