Your grandparents spent years making your childhood amazing by planning fun, new experiences outside of the house. Now, you want to return the favor, but incontinence issues have got them down. Naturally, this is a sensitive health condition, and it is common for older adults to be worried about accidents in public. Fortunately, you can ease their worries and help them have fun by using these simple strategies.
Talk to Their Physician
Incontinence can have many different underlying causes, and having your grandparent’s doctor explain the physical reason for their issue is reassuring. When your grandparent understands that it is not about a lack of self-control, then they will be less embarrassed about accidents. There may also be things your grandparent’s doctor can do to lessen the chances of an accident such as adjusting their medications or recommending special exercises to increase urinary control.
Pack a To-Go Kit
It is important for your grandparent to know that things can be done to help even when you are out in public. For example, you should always have some backup supplies in your bag that includes a change of clothing along with their preferred incontinence pads or underwear. This way, you can enjoy a movie or go to the mall without having to worry about making a quick exit if they cannot get to a bathroom in time.
At first, it is best to plan short trips so your grandparent can build their confidence. A quick lunch at a nearby restaurant or a visit with another loved one is perfect since there will be easy access to restrooms and you can cut the visit short if necessary. For public outings, research beforehand where bathrooms are located, and give your grandparent a code word to say if they are uncomfortable saying they had an accident. Knowing they can communicate their needs without embarrassment will increase their desire to go out in public.
Getting your grandparent out of the house is important for preventing isolation, and you will still be able to build beautiful memories by having fun together. By taking the time to address their incontinence issues in a sensitive manner, you can protect their dignity while giving them the courage to get out there and enjoy life anyway.