Guest article by Sage Products
People with dementia often suffer from incontinence, but it may have different causes. Sometimes it has a physical cause, such as stress incontinence. But for others, incontinence may be associated with forgetting where the bathroom is located or failing to respond to their body’s urges.
Incontinence can be a challenge for family caregivers, both physically and emotionally. Physically, it’s tough to heal raw and irritated skin. Emotionally, this level of care is taxing. People with dementia can become confused and upset when their personal space is invaded. It’s not surprising that incontinence is often a reason that caregivers choose to move their loved one into a nursing home.
The good news is that there are strategies to help your loved one maintain dignity and allow you to continue providing care at home.
- Train everyone involved in your loved one’s care to follow the same process for incontinence care. It may be uncomfortable to discuss, but ultimately, it will help you better care for your loved one.
- If the incontinence issue is related to dementia, schedule regular trips to the bathroom.
- Use easy, one-step barrier cream cloths to cleanse and protect the skin from rash caused by incontinence. Multi-step processes (i.e. cleaning with a washcloth before applying a paste) take longer to do and can further discomfort tender areas of the skin. If incontinence care is simple and familiar, some people with dementia could continue to take care of themselves.
With 13 million Americans suffering from incontinence, it’s not an issue caregivers should avoid talking about. Properly caring for incontinence can help avoid painful skin problems and will help you care for your loved one at home for as long as possible.
This post is contributed by Sage Products. Sage Products gives family caregivers access to the products nurses and hospitals trust most.