Caring For A Caregiver: 5 Tips On Reducing Stress From Incontinence


Caregiving is one of the most selfless activities that one may have to engage in. It is more about sacrifice and sometimes gets too tiring, especially if they do not get the maximum support and cooperation to thrive. The best you can do is support the caregiver to be in a position to serve a loved senior better. However, it can be challenging when the patient or senior suffers some level of incontinence which is very common among the aged. Here are five helpful tips you can use to handle stress levels appropriately.

Discuss with The Doctor

Incontinence should not be treated as a regular occurrence in old age despite the frequency with which it happens. It appears to be a typical happening with the aged because of how common it is among them, but it is a real problem that needs to be addressed urgently when symptoms set in. What’s more, it is a treatable medical condition that should be arrested early enough. 

However, the treatment is likely to be influenced by the level/ severity of the problem, which is why having a serious talk with the doctor can help you take better charge of it. In some cases, it may be advisable to use adult diapers such as Depends to help regulate the issue and prevent embarrassing situations. As a caregiver, pay attention to the senior and visit a doctor immediately when you notice signs of incontinence. In most cases, it is possible that this could be triggered by an infection such as UTI. Treating such issues is an easy way to simplify your work and make life easier for you as you will not have to keep cleaning or changing the senior’s diapers because they cannot hold urine or fecal matter.

Serve the Right Foods

As the caregiver, it is more stressful on your end if you have to repeat certain duties just because of incontinence that a senior under your care suffers from. Before they fully recover after a treatment, you must find a way of ensuring that they eat the right foods. These should be meals with enough fluids, not too much or too little liquids in the foods they consume. It is also important that they avoid trigger foods like spicy, too sugary, caffeinated, and even alcohol. 

These elements can potentially worsen the shaking and instability, so you have to keep cleaning them up or wiping surfaces when they mess up. This can be stressful on you as the caregiver, not to mention that the senior may also be stressed because of the embarrassment that comes with the mess. It means that you have to understand what triggers the senior’s incontinence because triggers vary from one person to the next.

Have a Bathroom Schedule

Seeing that the senior or patient being cared for has a problem regulating the bowel and urination, it can be very frustrating when they mess up. It is not embarrassing for the senior as it causes poor self-worth, but it is also disappointing for the caregiver because they have to keep cleaning and tidying up. A bathroom schedule can help both parties handle the situation better. Get the seniors into a consistent bathroom clock routine that they voluntarily go to the bathroom even before mess. This way, they can manage the incontinence to a certain level, especially if the treatment takes a while. 

resting elderly

It may not be easy to master such a routine, but it is necessary to learn it at all costs. With time, the senior will get used to it and will not wait for the urge to visit the bathroom to go. It is all about re-learning the basics that help in this case. Hopefully, they will go back to their old self after the treatment works.

Until then, work with intervals. You should start with intervals close to each other and adjust accordingly. All this time, make sure you monitor the seniors’ progress since you are the one who understands when they always have to go. With time, you will come up with a perfect schedule that works for both of you.

Get Them A waterproof Mattress, Bedding, and Seats

Caring for a senior becomes more complicated when suffering from conditions beyond their control, and you need to make sure they know this. Fortunately, you can ease the pressure by doing a few things, like controlling the level of damage. 

For instance, you could get them waterproof sofas, beddings, and mattresses to ease your work and cover their embarrassment every time they are unable to control the urine. Sometimes, these tend to leak and find their way on the other side, even when they have diapers on. With waterproof items, it is easy to clean and maintain them.

Select Comfortable Clothes that are Easy to Launder

Sometimes the workload is heavy because of the type of clothes you choose. Change to comfortable but easy to clean ones if you are dealing with such a patient or senior. To ease the tension and anxiety, make sure you talk to the seniors lightly and make them feel at ease. It is less stressful for you as a caregiver to deal with a senior that is not stressed by their situations.

Final Thought

In the end, when dealing with seniors with certain conditions, compassion should be the most important thing. If you treat them with the same respect that you would for yourself, you will notice your work will be less stressful as well.