When someone has incontinence, the most common situations they may experience is unconscious leaking or perhaps accidental bowel movement. Its severity can even vary, from a little urination to a total mess due to loss of bowel and bladder control. Unfortunately, when a person who has suffered from a stroke develops incontinence, it poses a lot of issues for them.
According to the Stroke Association, about half of the patients that are admitted to the hospital experience incontinence, making it a considerable concern for stroke survivors. For some survivors, experiencing it is embarrassing; there are also others who consider this as something that lowers their dignity. This, therefore, creates another concern for their mental health.
Among all the types of incontinence that are experienced by stroke survivors, the most common is urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. Urinary continence is the involuntary urination of a person. Symptoms of this include the urgent desire to urinate, small urine leakage when laughing, coughing, or sneezing, which can be more severe in most stroke survivors.
Fecal incontinence is the lack of control of your bowel movement, leading to the final act of digestion called defecation. This is usually a common problem among older people. But for stroke survivors, these can seriously affect their daily lives.
Fortunately, incontinence can be gone after a short period, which is also called spontaneous recovery. However, some patients experience it longer than others, leading to rehabilitation. There are, however, many ways to deal with incontinence, especially for stroke survivors whose experiences can be severe.
Here are some tips for managing incontinence for those who are caring for a stroke survivor:
Let Them Wear Adult Diapers
Persons experiencing incontinence usually use adult diapers as most of them are unable to control when to urinate or defecate. This absorbent product comes in various forms, like a child diaper or underpants. Using adult diapers gives an advantage as it prevents the patient from creating a mess on their beds and clothes.
Get a Commode Chair
Getting one of these useful furniture can be beneficial as commode chairs help the patient avoid going to the bathroom toilet. This is especially helpful for those who have reduced mobility. Additionally, you can place it near the patient’s bed or use it as the only chair to sit on whenever the patient is not on the bed. Moreover, this chair can be placed anywhere, letting you avoid several expenses, such as adult diapers or other sanitary items.
Refrain from Consuming Coffee and Alcohol
Yes, it might seem unfortunate for coffee and alcohol lovers, but it is a good idea to avoid them while experiencing incontinence. Aside from just coffee and alcohol, most beverages like energy drinks and soda should also be avoided. These beverages make you produce more urine, making the patient wet themselves if their bladder is full.
Always Have an Extra Piece of Garment
Keeping an additional piece of clothing in every part of the house is advantageous. Because whenever a leak or an involuntary bowel movement happens, you will be ready to change your patient. This applies not only in the house, but also when you go to routine checkups or trips.
The Closer to the Bathroom, the Better
Wherever go, always keep in mind where the nearest bathroom is for you or your patient to easily clean and change any mess. If at home, put your patient’s bed near the bathroom door, so whenever it’s time to go, the bathroom will be easy to reach.
Keeping the patient’s body clean is a must, especially the parts where things get messy to avoid acquiring any infections that may worsen their daily lives. The bed, chairs, toilet, and other places that the patient might sit or stay on should also be cleaned.
Keep Hygienic Products Near
Keeping wet wipes and hand sanitizers close at all times will prove useful when things get unclean. These products are essential, especially when the patient is in other places, like inside a car or in public areas, because these items can help you clean a mess whenever you don’t have access to a nearby comfort room.
The tips above will surely help in dealing with those unavoidable moments that incontinence can cause. Although these tips are not the cure for incontinence, this will help provide a little comfort to the patients. Even the slightest things that can make their daily lives a bit easier are steps worth taking. Moreover, getting incontinence treated is the best way to recover from it so it would be better to consult a professional.