This is sponsored content written by me in partnership with Depend® brand. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Lookout for a special offer from Depend brand at the end of this post.
“A hidden condition that is secreted by many and often feared due to loss of independence and quality of life.” This is incontinence, according to a Cleveland Clinic presentation titled, Psycho-Social Issues of Adult Incontinence. Nearly 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage in one form or another, and yet the condition carries a negative stigma. Incontinence often leads to feelings of anger, shame, and stress – not just for the patient, but often for their caregiver, too.
In honor of National Caregivers Day, I’ve partnered with Depend® brand because of its commitment to breaking category stigmas and changing the bladder leakage conversation through solutions that provide comfort, protection confidence, and dignity, through innovation and design. Bladder leakage does not have to get in the way of living a confident, uninterrupted life – for a patient or their caregiver.
Incontinence is a common topic in the Working Daughter community – how best to keep our parents dry and protect the integrity of their skin, how to keep our parents clean and comfortable at night, how to plan an outing when we’re not sure where the public restrooms are or how long we might be in the car. We talk about whether or not we can bring our parent to visit a family member or friend in their home, how to function on a few hours of sleep after washing bedding in the middle of the night, and how to take on yet another unexpected aspect of caregiving.
To help you manage this aspect of caregiving, here are 8 tips for caring with someone with incontinence and better prepare for situations you may face:
- First, continue to talk about it. Truth has power; it allows us to seek and find solutions and it removes the stigma. There’s no shame when our parents’ eyesight deteriorates or their joints become arthritic. Those ailments are considered normal. Incontinence is normal, too, and the more we talk about it, the more we normalize it.
- Have a plan. If you are caring for someone with incontinence, plan for different situations – at home, overnight, short outings and long trips.
- Encourage your parent to use the restroom before you leave the house.
- Keep your bag stocked, or pack an extra bag, with underwear, antibacterial soap, wipes, backup medication and water. Contrary to what many people think, drinking water when you have incontinence can help your bladder from feeling irritated.
- Locate public restrooms before you leave the house. If you can, map out restrooms along your route or at your destination. There are apps that can help: Flush identifies public restrooms nearby.
- If you’re caring for someone with dementia, consider stocking their drawers with Depend FIT-FLEX Underwear, rather than regular, cotton underwear so they are always protected.
- Keep pathways to the bathroom clear and consider installing grab bars and a high toilet seat for safety.
- Choose underwear that fits well. If the fit is right, your parent is more likely to wear it and will feel more like themselves, allowing them to enjoy the people and things they love. With more sizes than before, Depend FIT-FLEX Underwear provides a better fit for all different body shapes and sizes. The product has an improved waistband and tailored tension, the fastest absorbing material inside for dry, comfortable protection, and all-around leg elastics and a smooth, close-to-body fit.
As part of its commitment to supporting caregivers, Depend brand is giving away up to 50 free Caregiver Toolkits with some useful products to assist you in caring for your parent, and to treat yourself to a little self-care. To receive your kit, please click here.