So many aging adults find themselves dealing with incontinence.
There may be a variety of different triggers and causes behind your senior’s incontinence issues. One of the things you both might not be prepared for is the emotional weight that incontinence can have on you and your aging family member. There’s a lot of frustration, irritation, and even sadness about what’s going on.
Here’s how you can try to cope:
-Count to Ten
Frustration is normal when you’re facing something like incontinence. The situation can feel out of hand quickly and you might feel sometimes that your elderly family member is doing certain things on purpose. Count to ten and slow your reaction process down a bit. Working with senior care providers can teach you how to approach this from a practical standpoint so that you feel more prepared and less surprised when incidents happen.
-Keep This from Being the End of the World
This is not the end of the world, but sometimes it might feel that way for you and for your aging family member. Your senior wants to control her bladder and its functions just as much as you want that for her. But if you dwell on that and make this about a failure on her part, that’s going to make the situation worse. Incontinence is not the end of the world and accidents are going to happen.
-Let Her Do What She Can Do
You might feel tempted to take over and to handle every aspect of this for your elderly family member. You don’t have to do that and more importantly, you shouldn’t. Let your elderly family member continue to do what she can do. That gives her a sense of empowerment that incontinence takes away from her. By allowing her to keep doing what she can, you may also be able to feel better emotionally about this situation, too.
-Believe it or Not, You Can Laugh Together
Some people find incontinence truly mortifying. It absolutely can be, especially if an accident happens in public or something else embarrassing happens. But if you can laugh about something, genuinely finding the humor without being mean, that takes the sting out of the parts that might be humiliating. And remember that when you and your elderly family member laugh together, you’re a team. It’s you and your family member against the situation. Too often bad feelings crop up between caregivers and aging adults because they feel like adversaries.
If you allow it to be, your senior’s battle with incontinence can be the breaking point for both of you. It doesn’t have to be that way. Look for ways to make the situation easier on you and your elderly family member both emotionally and practically.