Caring for someone with incontinence?

Here’s how you can help them with personal hygiene.   

According to the Canadian Continence Foundation, about 10% of the population experiences some form of incontinence, which is around 3.5 million Canadians. This number rises to one in five for Canadians over 65.

People with incontinence often report feeling shame and embarrassment, which often causes them to withdraw from social situations.

Knowing how to manage your loved one’s incontinence, as well as having the tools to clean up leaks and accidents, can help them feel more confident. Read on for six ways you can help someone suffering from incontinence with their personal hygiene.

  1. Select the right pads and protective underwear
    It’s important to choose the right type of pad or protective underwear for your loved one, so they can move freely without worrying about leaks. At Wellwise by Shoppers™, we offer a wide range of products to cater for different levels of incontinence. You can explore light bladder leakage, moderate absorption, maximum absorption, and overnight products here.
  2. Choose clothing that’s easy to take on and off
    Clothing that can be easily removed can help reduce the risk of accidents. When shopping for clothes with the person you care for, look out for comfortable dresses and skirts that can easily be pulled up or pants with elasticated waistbands. These will make going to the washroom quicker and easier than clothes with complicated fastenings, such as pants with zipper or button flies. In case of accidents, it's recommended to launder clothes or bedding straight away to keep them clean and stain free.
  3. Protect furniture
    If your loved one has more severe incontinence, you can help keep their home clean, dry, and free from odours with the use of furniture protectors. At Wellwise by Shoppers™, we offer a range of absorbent pads and waterproof protectors that you can browse here.
  4. Make bathroom adaptations
    Bathroom adaptations such as raised toilet seats and grab bars make it easier for your loved one to use the toilet and avoid accidents. It’s also a good idea to remove tripping hazards such as loose floor mats. If the person you care for finds it difficult to get to the toilet quickly enough during the night, keeping a portable commode by their bed may be a convenient solution.
  5. Pack an incontinence care kit
    Living with incontinence shouldn’t have to mean withdrawing from social interactions and the activities your loved one enjoys. Packing an incontinence kit can help you care for their personal hygiene while you’re out and about. Items to include in the kit could be extra pads, wipes, incontinence underwear, disposable gloves, and a change of clothes.
  6. Don’t forget your own hygiene
    Taking care of your own personal hygiene is also an important way of looking after that of the person you’re caring for. It’s therefore important to wear gloves when helping your loved one use the bathroom or when clearing up any accidents. You should dispose of gloves appropriately after use – never flush them down the toilet. Once you’ve finished, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Caring for someone with incontinence can feel daunting and uncomfortable at first. However, with these tips you can help your loved one stay on top of their personal hygiene, so you both feel confident and in control.

The information presented in this article is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information in this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.