Looking after a person with incontinence can be one of the most difficult aspects of carer responsibility. Not only can it cause frustration, but it also adds to your workload. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, carers report feeling angry, lonely and unable to cope when trying to manage it alone.
betterhealth.vic.gov.au states that medical treatment depends on the type and cause of incontinence. You should be guided by your doctor, but treatment options may include:
- increased fluid intake of up to two litres a day
- high-fibre diet
- pelvic floor exercises
- bladder training
- training in good toilet habits
- medications, such as a short-term course of laxatives to treat constipation
- aids such as incontinence pads
The right advice and support can make a big difference, and that’s where we can help. Our fully trained and discrete staff can guide you in selecting the right product for the needs of the person you care for. That way you can feel confident you are doing the right thing.
Medical treatment may take a while to work or it may manage the incontinence but not cure it. Keep in mind:
- The person you care for may be deeply distressed and ashamed about their incontinence. Aim to be calm and patient. Talk openly together about the situation.
- Try to accept your own discomfort and embarrassment. Humour can help.
- Despite effective treatment, accidents may happen from time to time. Try to keep a relaxed attitude as much as possible.
- Look after yourself too. Plan breaks from caring on a regular basis to give yourself time to recharge
Visit carersaustralia.com.au to find out more about the National Carer Counselling Program which provides short-term counselling services for carers and can assist with coping skills.
Remember, you are not alone and there are lots of people facing the same struggles and feelings. Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to the person you care for.