A Caregivers Guide to Incontinence

Becoming a caregiver for an elderly person is a huge undertaking that can be stressful and full of daily challenges. The requirements of the position are intensified if the elderly person you care for suffers from bowel incontinence. In order to properly care for this individual you must understand the requirements of the condition, as well as the products that are available to make your life easier. While caring for the person you must also understand that this is a medical condition that causes extreme embarrassment for the afflicted person, in most cases. Therefore providing care that helps maintain a sense of dignity is essential for providing superior care.

Your Duties when Caring for an Incontinent Individual 

As a caregiver it will be your responsibility to provide everyday care necessities for the person. However, caring for an incontinent individual requires special duties. Some of the additional responsibilities you will have include the following:
  • Providing the needed incontinence supplies 
  • Ensuing the person is changed regularly to prevent infection or discomfort
  • Cleaning up if there is a leak or accident 
  • Providing discreet care and disposal for the condition 

While this may not seem too bad, it is essential these duties are performed on a regular basis to ensure comfort of the elderly person. In most cases you will develop a care routine that fits both your needs and keeps you both comfortable with the situation.

Incontinence Supplies 
There is a world of incontinence supplies available for purchase. Determining which fits your needs is essential in providing ultimate protection. Utilize the following steps to ensure you provide the proper incontinence supplies: 

Step 1: Determine the degree of incontinence the person in your care suffers from. This will help determine what type of product you need to purchase. The person should fit into one level of incontinence: mild, moderate or severe.

Step 2: Once you know the degree of incontinence you must select the product you wish to use. Here is a simple guide:

  • Mild Incontinence: Pads or liners (these will resemble the products used for menstruation) 
  • Moderate Incontinence: Briefs (these are designed for active lifestyles and look and feel like traditional underwear) 
  • Severe Incontinence: Adult diapers (there are several different sizes, styles and designs so a process of trial and error is often needed to determine what works best for you) 

Keep in mind, these products will be offered in different sizes, which often reflects their capacity as well. If a person is severely incontinent going with a high capacity diaper is usually your best option. The capacity amount will usually be printed on the package in “cc” or “oz” for easy selection.

Step 3: Select the other incontinence supplies you need for daily care.
  • Bed liners for overnight or bedridden protection
  • Diaper pails to eliminate odor 
Bowel incontinence does not have to cause the person you care for extreme embarrassment. By utilizing this diaper pail you have a sanitary method of disposal that provides odor control and a stylish container. Additionally, it will make your job easier by not having to be taken out several times a day. You can allow the unit to fill to capacity and not have to worry with foul or unpleasant odors. It is the special design of the unit that makes this a possibility.

Call us. We're here to help.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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