Caring for older people is an incredibly rewarding career path as it gives you the opportunity to provide a helping hand to those in need.
To do your job effectively though — especially if you’re new to the role — you’ll need a deeper understanding of what the role involves and how to provide the correct care for certain tasks.
One task is to help your resident with personal care and treatment, such as helping them to the bathroom or to clean themselves. This can be a sensitive topic for many people, but talking about it can help to overcome any problems or uncertainty.
What Is Incontinence?
Incontinence is the inability to control your bladder or bowel, so you accidentally lose urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or faeces from the bowel (bowel incontinence).
People of all ages can have a problem controlling their bladder or bowel, which can have a real impact on their daily lives.
What Causes Incontinence?
A common cause of incontinence in the elderly is a general weakening of the pelvic muscles, which can be helped by targeted exercise programs. There are also a variety of medical conditions which can cause or exacerbate incontinence, such as urinary tract infections, which can be easily treated with medication.
However, other causes can be psychological, for example, people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease often have problems with urinary incontinence, which can be a result of not realising they need to urinate, forgetting to go to the bathroom, or not being able to find the toilet. This can be upsetting for the person and for those around them.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Accidents?
While incontinence accidents will always happen, here are a few care tips to reduce them happening as often.
- Suggest regular bathroom breaks, especially if the resident is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. They may also feel uncomfortable asking, so regularly offering to assist can eliminate this.
- Keep the bathroom clear (and the pathway) to ensure there are no obstructions getting in.
The right incontinence products will also help you manage the problem and carry on with normal life. These include:
- Washable Incontinence Underwear: Often, these look exactly like regular underwear, but there’s a built-in pad for extra protection. View our range ofwashable incontinence underwear.
- Disposable Pads: These can be worn with regular underwear and are held in place with an adhesive strip to ensure the pad stays in place and reduces the risk of leakage. View ourrange of disposable pads.
- Washable Bedding Protectors: These can be in the form of fitted sheets or bed pads and ensure maximum absorbency. View our range of washable bedding protectors.
How Can I Make Personal Care More Comfortable?
Try to keep in mind that a resident might find this situation embarrassing so you must do everything you can to make the situation easier for them. Imagine yourself in their shoes — losing the independence you once had can be both frustrating and upsetting, so a little compassion will go a long way.
Browse our complete range of incontinence products and get the added comfort and protection that an excellent pair of washable pants, pads or an all-in-one product can provide.