Tips for Caregivers

As the population of the United States ages, more and more elderly people are needing around-the-clock care. According to a Pew Research Center study, 4 in 10 adults are caring for a sick or elderly relative. They estimate that the number of caregivers has increased 10% between 2010 and 2013.

Being a caregiver can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful and put strain on a family. Many people are caring for aging parents, grandparents or someone in the extended family who suffers from dementia in some form. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, affects approximately 5 million Americans. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that in 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion. Being a caregiver is big responsibility.

Caregivers may be prepared for the forgetfulness or memory loss that comes with dementia, but may not know that incontinence is often a part of the later stages of dementia. Though incontinence can be caused from an enlarged prostate, a urinary tract infection or medication, it can also be a byproduct of dementia. The loved one with dementia may forget where the bathroom is, may not be able to make it, or cannot recognize that they have to go. Even with someone to aid them, accidents can happen. Incontinence can be a delicate topic, and be difficult to explain to someone who is not lucid.

The loved one with dementia may not understand what has happened, or they may try to hide their behavior. It is also possible that they go to the bathroom somewhere that they mistake for the bathroom. To avoid these types of situations, and to make this easier on everyone, here are some tips for caregivers:

·         Create a bathroom schedule, and take the person to the bathroom every 2 hours.

·         Limit the amount of liquids they drink after 8 p.m.

·         If the person cannot remember where the bathroom is, put a sign on the door that clearly marks “Bathroom.”

·         Use incontinence undergarments.

·         Remove wastebaskets or other objects that they may mistake for a toilet.

Another tip for caregivers is to join a support group, either online or in person. On top of all your other responsibilities, it can be a very strenuous job. Remember, incontinence is involuntary and they can’t help it. Nevertheless, there is help available for a loved one suffering from incontinence. The Incontinence Institute offers a variety of treatment options. Contact us or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953 to learn more.

About The Incontinence Institute

At the Incontinence Institute, our team of healthcare providers understand the physical and mental trials that accompany living with urinary or bowel incontinence. Because of this, we are sensitive to your situation and treat all of our patients with the utmost respect and concern for discretion.

Individual incontinence conditions, treatment and recovery times may vary. Each patient's experience with incontinence procedures and / or surgery will differ. All surgical procedures involve some level of risk. If directed to pursue surgery by your physician, prompt action is advised, as waiting may reduce the efficacy of surgical treatment. The opinions expressed in patient testimonials are by patients only; they are not qualified medical professionals. These opinions should not be relied upon as, or in place of, the medical advice of a licensed doctor, etc.

Contact Us

Incontinence Institute 2009 Mallory Lane, Suite 100 Franklin, Tennessee 37067