Dementia care calls for both empathy and creativity to deal with a number of complex behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true with regards to incontinence, something that is extremely frequent in Alzheimer’s along with other types of dementia. These tried-and-true approaches are generally effective in decreasing the effect of incontinence and reducing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with Alzheimer’s.
- Pick your words very carefully. Rather than speaking about incontinence products as “diapers,” for instance, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” However, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he prefers to use the term “diapers” and appears comfortable with that, then follow along.
- Get rid of regular underwear from the older adult’s dresser. To avoid misunderstandings or resistance to wearing incontinence products, make certain that those are the only option in his or her dresser.
- Test a range of products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels on the market, it might take some trial and error to find the one that is most comfortable and effective.
- Use backup products overnight. To help stop the older adult from waking up during 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 easy accessibility to the bathroom. Perform a walk-through of the areas the older adult spends time in to determine how straightforward it is for her or him to make it to the bathroom. Most notably, remove any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the person’s walking path to protect against falls.
- If an accident does happen… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to hurt (or further upset) the senior loved one, and say something such as, “It would appear that something might have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It appears as if your pants are wet; that happens sometimes.”
- Address hesitancy to keep products on. For senior loved ones who regularly attempt to remove incontinence products, first see whether you can uncover why. If discomfort is a factor, try different types of products for one that may be much more comfortable. Or your loved one may be attempting to change if there is a sense of moisture.
In all instances, check the senior’s skin for signs and symptoms of rash or irritation, and contact his or her medical professional if observed.
For many more tips on managing dementia with incontinence, or to learn more about JFS Care, Los Angeles, CA home care providers for the surrounding areas, reach out to us at (213) 383-2273. Visit our Service Area page for a full listing of the locations we serve.