LIVING WITH INCONTINENCE
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Caring for someone with incontinence
Caring for a relative, partner, adult child or friend can be immensely rewarding, but can also be very stressful. The Carers Victoria website lists the contributing factors as:
On top of this, if you’re also dealing daily with multiple incontinent episodes, you could understandably be feeling exhausted, impatient and underappreciated.
Spare a thought too, for the person experiencing incontinence who may be deeply embarrassed by their condition, as well as upset that they’re the cause of so much work.
For both your sakes, it’s vital to ensure that firstly, the underlying cause has been identified by a healthcare professional. In some cases, there may be remedial approaches that could improve or even resolve the problem. And in those instances where it will be on-going, ensuring you have the right products and management plan for your particular circumstances could make the world of difference.
Understanding the cause
If you haven’t already, the first step is to consult with your doctor to have the underlying cause diagnosed. Incontinence is always a symptom of an underlying issue, and once that’s understood, treatment can be considered.
For example, it may be as simple as an infection, which, when treated with antibiotics will also resolve the incontinence.
If your doctor determines that the issue will be on-going, ask for a referral to an Continence Nurse to help you develop a management plan.
Signs of Stress
According to the Continence Foundation website, signs of stress include:
Be aware of these signs and if you think you are suffering from stress, ask family and friends for help, talk to your healthcare professional and make a conscious effort to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling uncertain, visit the Beyond Blue website to find out more about the signs of metal health issues, or call them on 1300 22 4636. In New Zealand, head to the Mental Health Foundation or Lifeline
Looking after you
Many carers are so focused on the person they’re caring for, they neglect their own wellbeing. It’s so important to make sure you’re also looking after you. You might find the tips in this article ‘Why it’s important to take care of you’ helpful.
Have a plan
Being prepared and taking steps to actively manage incontinence, rather than having to deal with ‘accidents’ can make a difference to your workload, your attitude and of course, your stress levels.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.