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Caring for Incontinent Seniors

By Manpreet Dhalla, 9:00 am on

If you have found yourself in the position of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, home caregiver, you have likely faced challenges you never imagined for yourself or your loved one. For many, managing incontinence can feel like the largest hurdle of all. With a few tips and a healthy dose of patience, you may come to find that caring for an incontinent loved one does not have to be so intimidating.

Healthcare has come a long way and fortunately there are many tools to help your loved one function as safely and independently as possible. Start by assessing his or her needs and abilities. Perhaps your loved one is only incontinent at night or maybe only has bladder control issues. Once you have assessed senior’s needs, you can implement strategies to help him or her thrive. Whether it be a commode or urinal close to the bed to eliminate falls, padding and protective undergarments, soaker pads placed strategically on the bed, or more frequent bathroom breaks, every senior deserves to have their individual needs met with respect and dignity. 

The first step in treating your loved one with the dignity he or she deserves is to maintain his or her hygiene. For that, here are a few basic tips to help:

  • When cleansing the perineal area, remember to wipe front to back and for men, always cleanse the penile region before cleansing the rectum. This will prevent urinary tract infections and bacteria transmission.
  • Hands should always be clean before and after toileting assistance of any kind. Utilize proper hand-washing techniques, wear gloves and keep sanitizer at your disposal.
  • Even if a senior goes all day without any accidents, change his or her undergarments daily. Adult diapers and pads are no different than underwear and should be treated as such.
  • Invest in some baby wipes and/or disposable washcloths for larger messes. For routine care and washing, buy a few packs of all white washcloths and use them only for perineal cleansing. They are much easier to bleach and wash separately. 
  • The genital and anal regions should always be dried gently after cleaning. Proper drying after cleansing will reduce chafing and keep bacteria and infections at bay.
  • Even with the proper precautions, live-in Ft. Lauderdale home caregivers will likely notice rashes. Prepare for these situations with barrier ointment and a gentle touch.
  • The value of a patient caregiver cannot be underestimated. Frequent bathroom trips may be difficult for certain individuals so be sure to give your senior adequate time in the bathroom each opportunity. This can result in fewer accidents and less time spent in soiled garments.

It is very important that a caregiver never shame, mock, belittle, or demean the individual experiencing incontinence. Not only will this not solve the problem, it will only add to his or her emotional hurdles. Caregivers can maintain their senior’s dignity by keeping urinals, undergarments, and other toileting equipment stored out of eyesight from guests and visitors to preserve the seniors self-esteem. Remember, it is not easy to be vulnerable and need others to meet your most intimate needs. Kindness goes a long way.

Contact Home Care Assistance at (954) 909-0370 today to learn more about preserving your incontinent loved one’s emotional and physical wellbeing. We provide flexible live-in and hourly elder care Ft. Lauderdale, FL, families depend on to help seniors age in place with dignity. Schedule a free consultation when you call today.