Helping a family member with incontinence can be hard.
Even under the best of circumstances, it can be emotionally and physically challenging. No wonder it is one of the top two reasons people move to care facilities! However, many seniors prefer to stay at home — and with the proper understanding and support, it is possible to do so successfully.
Protect the Family Caregiver’s Sleep
One of the biggest challenges facing family caregivers of seniors with incontinence is interrupted sleep. Helping their loved one with incontinence throughout the night interrupts their sleep on a nightly basis. This takes a heavy toll on the caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
It’s important to find a way to safely protect a family caregiver’s sleep. Preventing exhaustion is one of the most important factors in setting up a successful care situation at home.
Use the Right Equipment
Using the right equipment can greatly decrease the time spent awake during the night. If a senior walks to the bathroom several times during the night, it can add up to several hours throughout the night.
A bedside commode is essentially a portable toilet that can be placed near the bed at night. If the senior can get up unassisted to a bedside commode — or at least not be up as long — it can translate to better sleep for the both senior and their caregiver.
Having a urinal at the bedside can offer a senior a way to stay in bed rather than getting up to the toilet. Some urinals are connected via a tube to a spill-proof collection bag, so the urinal remains empty and ready throughout the night.
Bedpans can negate the need to get up to the toilet for a bowel movement, or for females to urinate. Depending on the particular situation, bedpans may be more or less work and fuss than just getting up!
Some seniors prefer to wear incontinence briefs during the night, although most don’t wish to wear them if they don’t have to. If someone does use an incontinence brief, be sure to pay special attention to their skin integrity, because wet skin can break down quickly and lead to serious wounds or infections. Some briefs are made specially for nighttime use, to keep wetness away from the skin so that the person can enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
Hire Home Care Help
Regardless of what equipment is in use, there may come a time where a senior’s needs related to incontinence are too much for one person to realistically handle. Hiring support services such as home care can make a big difference. Home care aides are professional caregivers who can assist with a wide variety of tasks, including incontinence support.
- Assisting a senior with the use of a bedside commode, bedpan, or urinal
- Safely assisting a senior to the toilet
- Changing incontinence briefs or products
Some family caregivers arrange for home care assistance just during the night, so they can get a good night’s sleep. They might even have the night aide take care of laundry or simple cleaning while they are there — if they can do so quietly!
Ideally, family caregivers shouldn’t wait until they are at the end of their rope to seek help. Sharing the burden with a home care aide can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy, sustainable situation for the senior and family caregiver in their own home.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Huntington Beach CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!