Caring for a Loved One with Incontinence – How You Can Help Them
Men can experience incontinence for several reasons – traumatic injury, prostate health, diabetes, obesity and more. The good news is there are quite a few treatment options, but it is also important as a caregiver to help support them through their issues. As a caregiver, it is important to provide personal care and find effective solutions to help when a loved one has incontinence.
Talk with your loved one’s doctor
Perhaps the best place to start is with their healthcare provider. Incontinence is often evidence of an underlying issue. When addressed, the problem may be resolved. Some straightforward examples of this are urinary tract infection (UTI) and medication side effects. Clearing the infection or adjusting the medication may be all it takes. Help their doctor by making note of when the problem began, any other symptoms they are experiencing and how their toileting patterns have changed.
Be a detective and watch their diet
You may notice that certain foods worsen your loved one’s incontinence. Generally, caffeine, alcohol, citrus and spicy foods spell trouble. Notice any patterns to steer clear of danger. They will also need to stay hydrated and eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. Dehydration and constipation can also worsen incontinence.
Help them manage diabetes and exercise
Normalizing blood sugar levels and taking medicine can help protect them against nerve damage. In time nerve damage can lead to incontinence. It is also important to encourage your loved one to perform regular exercise, including Kegel exercises. To do Kegels, tighten the pelvic floor muscles (identify these muscles by contracting the same ones used to stop gas from passing) hold the muscle for a few seconds and then release. Repeat for two sets of 10 reps to start and increase the number as the muscle becomes stronger. Many men find that strengthening the pelvic floor muscle improves symptoms of incontinence within a few months.
Medication may help
There are several new medications on the market that relieve incontinence. Work with your loved one’s doctor to find the best one for them. Until they know how the medication works for their body, use Men’s Liberty for protection you can count on.
When the problem is expected to be permanent or of longer duration, they may want to consider surgical options. These include:
- Male sling – Their surgeon will make an incision and place a mesh like tape around a portion of your urethral bulb. They will be able to go home within 24-hours. Results vary with this procedure. Some men regain complete control of urinary function, others experience a reduction in leaks and accidents and a few experiences no noticeable difference. When considering surgery, learn all you can and talk with several providers about how the procedure impacts patients who share their same health profile.
- Artificial sphincter – This more involved procedure has about a 90% success rate and requires careful consideration. Their surgeon will place a balloon that cuffs the urethra in your pelvic area and a pump that controls the cuff in their scrotum.
Tell your loved one about Men’s Liberty
Your loved one shouldn’t have to endure the discomfort of absorbents. Having to change pads or diapers and fearing accidents can rob them of their confidence. Men’s Liberty takes worry and incontinence off their mind. Our easy to use external collection system is non-invasive and provides secure 24-hour protection. Dance, work, golf, travel – your loved one can do the things they enjoy because with Men’s Liberty, incontinence won’t hold them back.
Learn more about how your loved one can get back to doing what they enjoy with confidence. Men’s Liberty may be right for your loved one. Call us today to learn more.