Counseling a person living with incontinence involves understanding the patient’s condition and addressing their concerns. Additionally, whenever possible, offer them practical advice on managing their condition.
Here are 4 ways to counsel an incontinence patient:
- Understand the person’s condition: Ask the person about their symptoms, medical history, and any medications they are taking. You should also perform a physical exam to assess the extent of the incontinence, while looking to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
- Address their concerns: People with incontinence may feel ashamed about their condition, and may have concerns about how it affects their daily life. It is important to listen to their concerns and reassure them that incontinence is a common condition that can be managed.
- Offer practical advice: Depending on the severity and cause of the incontinence, there are several practical steps that patients can take to manage the condition.
These could include:
- Bladder retraining exercises: Encourage the person to gradually increase the time between urination. This trains their bladder to hold more urine.
- Pelvic floor exercises: These exercises can help strengthen the muscles that control urination.
- Lifestyle changes: Encourage the patient to reduce their intake of caffeine/alcohol. These can irritate the bladder and increase urine production. They should also maintain a healthy weight, thus avoiding constipation. Constipation puts pressure on the bladder.
- Use of incontinence products like adult diapers, diaper pants adults or adult pull up diapers: Depending on the incontinence level, the person may need pads or other products to manage leakage.
- Follow-up: Incontinence is treatable, and takes time to see improvement. Schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor the person’s progress and adjust their treatment plan as needed.
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