March 19, 2020
Dementia care involves both empathy and creativity to manage a number of complex behaviors and effects, and that is particularly true with regards to incontinence, something that is extremely frequent in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These tried-and-true approaches are often helpful in lessening the effect of incontinence and curtailing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Choose your words carefully. Instead of making reference to incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Having said that, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he decides to make use of the term “diapers” and seems confident with that, then follow along.
- Eliminate regular underwear from the senior’s dresser. To prevent confusion or resistance to wearing incontinence products, make certain those are the sole option in his or her closet.
- Experiment with a variety of products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels available, it might take some trial and error to discover one that is most comfortable and effective.
- Use backup products overnight. To help stop the senior from waking up throughout the night from incontinence-related issues, try placing booster pads within the absorbent underwear, and use products marked for heaviest coverage. Waterproof mattress protectors and disposable bed pads are likewise extremely helpful.
- Ensure quick access to the bathroom. Complete a walk-through of the areas the senior loved one spends time in to evaluate how straightforward it is for him or her to reach the bathroom. Most notably, eliminate any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the senior’s walking path to avoid falls.
- If an accident does happen… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to offend (or further upset) the older adult, and say something like, “It seems like something may have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It looks like your pants are wet; that happens occasionally.”
- Address reluctance to keep products on. For older adults who continuously attempt to remove incontinence products, first see if you can ascertain why. If discomfort is an issue, try several types of products for one that might be more comfortable. Or your senior loved one might be attempting to change if there is a sense of moisture.
In all instances, keep close track of the older adult’s skin for signs and symptoms of rash or irritation, and contact his / her medical doctor if noted.