This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you.
Methods of Reducing Incontinence Accidents
If you have been caring for an incontinent adult, you probably have experienced the frustration, inconvenience, and even embarrassment of incontinence for both yourself and the incontinent patient.
Handling toileting and accidents can take over a caregiver’s life and make daily difficult.
Here are three methods of reducing incontinence that help make a difference in your home.
The purpose of scheduled toileting is to develop a habit of consistent independent toileting to prevent accidents and urinary infections.
Patients are expected to go to the toilet every two to four hours or at times related to the daily schedule, such as at rising, after meals, before napping, and at bedtime.
A record can be kept of successful voiding and of wetness of underwear. Caregivers can help establish a schedule, monitor patient compliance, and encourage efforts to avoid accidents.
With a patient with cognitive and physical disabilities, the caregiver may be responsible for compliance with the schedule. Eventually, following a schedule becomes a habit and will help reduce incontinence.
This method would work best for caregivers with patients throughout most of the day. It even works for patients who are limited cognitively and in communication ability.
The purpose is to increase the patient’s recognition of their need to go to the toilet and to request help from a caregiver. The caregiver encourages interaction with the patient about efforts to go to the toilet on time and at regular intervals.
Every two hours, the caregiver asks if the patient needs to go or has already wet their pad/pants. The caregiver asks the patient to go to the toilet, whether or not they have any recognition of a need or have wet their underwear already.
The caregiver praises the patient for changing wet underwear soon or for keeping the underwear dry.
The caregiver might keep a record of the schedule, the patient’s communication of the need, and the successful avoidance of accidents.
Bladder Retraining to Increase Control
The purpose of bladder retraining is to enable the patient to extend the time between bathroom visits, control the urge to go, and hold more liquid in one’s bladder.
Bladder retraining can take six to twelve weeks to be successful.
It is beneficial to patients with overactive bladder and urges incontinence. Your family doctor can help you and the patient carries out a bladder retraining program by providing a written record.
To determine a baseline, begin keeping a diary by recording when the patient goes to the restroom and the time of accidents.
The patient will gradually extend the time between toilet visits. For example, if the patient goes to the bathroom every hour, try to schedule bathroom visits every hour and 15 minutes.
The patient will use the bathroom at each scheduled visit, regardless of whether there is an urge to go. Increase the time between restroom breaks during the day gradually.
When the patient feels the urge to urinate before the next designated time, the patient should use deep breathing or sit down until the sensation passes.
A physician can assist you in conducting a bladder retraining program.
Incontinence can be treated. Ruling out conditions that cause incontinence, such as an enlarged prostate in men or a prolapsed bladder in women, which can be treated with surgical intervention, is essential.
For some conditions, a doctor can suggest exercises and lifestyle changes and prescribe drugs to help reduce incontinence.
How toileting accidents are handled at home influences the attitudes of both patient and caregiver. Making a positive change can improve the atmosphere of your home life.
Incontinence is a condition that can be managed with the proper strategies.
Scheduled toileting, prompted voiding, and bladder retraining are all methods to help reduce incontinence accidents and improve the quality of life for both the caregiver and the patient.
It is important for both the patient and the caregiver to remember that incontinence is a treatable condition and that making positive changes can improve the atmosphere at home.