How to care for a person with urinary incontinence

Caregivers must be equipped with the right incontinence products so that they can help their clients better.

Wearing adult diapers is a good solution for those suffering from urinary incontinence. Adult diapers absorb sudden urine leakages and do not allow the liquid to pass onto the clothes. Thus, the person need not face any embarrassment in a public place, and nobody needs to know that he or she has suffered an ‘accident’. Also, these incontinence products help a person regain mobility and a good quality of life. They can be worn by both men and women and they can be administered by the person themselves or helped in the wearing process by a caregiver.

Often, wearing the adult diaper is embarrassing for people who suffer urinary incontinence. People are resistant to wearing diapers, mostly because wearing one is awkward and two, one often needs assistance in putting it on. Caregivers’ role is crucial in this context: not only can they teach the person to wear the adult diaper, they can be the primary source of information on hygiene and skin care during incontinence.

For senior citizens with restricted mobility and such conditions as frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, arthritis and rheumatism may face difficulty in changing their soiled clothes and wearing the diaper. The caregiver must first remove the soiled clothes after the person suffers a urine leakage. The person may need to be taken to a private space in the home to change their clothes. If the person is already wearing a diaper, it must be removed gently, wrapped in a plastic cover and disposed safely. The person’s soiled clothes must be washed with anti-bacterial detergent separately.

Next, the person must be cleaned carefully with warm soap and water, so that all vestiges of the urine are removed. Those with urinary incontinence suffer from skin infections because of frequent urination – the skin remains damp for a long time, so cleaning the area thoroughly is important. Once cleaned, wipe the area with a soft towel so that the skin is completely dry. Apply moisturiser on the area or dust with baby powder or anti-fungal talc.

After this, the caregiver must help the person into fresh underwear and clothes. Now the person is ready to wear the adult diaper, which must be positioned correctly while being worn. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to make the person wear their diaper themselves – this renders some dignity to them, and also makes them less dependent during the times the caregiver is absent.

It is most important to handle the person only after wearing sterilised gloves and an apron. A person suffering this condition can be prone to frequent infections, so it pays to be careful.

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