If you are close to an elderly person who is starting to need more and more assistance to live a normal and happy life, then you will know just how demanding it can be to care for them and offer them the support and guidance that they need, particularly when they do not think that they need it. Very often, elderly people are either in denial about needing help or simply refuse to accept it. After all, they have lived their entire lives being independent and raising their children and families with little to no help: why should they need help now?
Adult diapers: What to do if your parent is incontinent?
Having discussions, openly and honestly, about failing health and developing issues can be very difficult and very embarrassing, especially for your elderly parent. However, it is important that they know you are there for them, so broaching difficult topics such as the need for more home care or the need for special equipment for their continued good health is essential. The sooner you start opening up these topics of conversation with your parent or parents, the better, as it will give them longer to come around to the idea that they may need help that they cannot provide for themselves. The best way to start talking about adult diapers, for instance, is to follow and bear in mind a set of simple steps and tips.
Remember that your elderly parent is a person first and foremost.
You need to put yourself in your parent’s shoes and imagine what it would be like for you if someone started telling you that you needed to wear adult diapers because you had started to lose control of your bladder and had started to wet yourself on a regular basis. How would that make you feel? Most people would feel embarrassed, and our parents, who have raised us, worked hard in a job for most of their lives and survived some pretty horrific stages in history, will surely feel mortified that they need this sort of help. It may be simply too embarrassing to even contemplate. Next comes fear. The fact that you are losing control of your body and now cannot even control something as basic as bladder function is scary, and, if it were you, you may want to run away and hide from the problem. If your parent is incontinent and in denial about needing help, it is most likely because they are scared about losing control over certain aspects of their body. Put yourself in their shoes to truly understand what they are feeling so that you can breach the subject of adult diapers with sensitivity and patience.
Do not force your parent to do anything they do not want to
Even though you are doing this for the best, you cannot force your parent to do anything that they do not want to do. Of course, you need to try your best to persuade them that wearing an adult diaper is for the best, but you will need to take your time to do this, being patient and caring as you make the suggestions and gently coax your parent into something that can be very embarrassing and maybe even make them feel ashamed. The more you struggle with them and fight with them; however, the harder they will fight, so remember that you cannot force your parent to do anything that they do not want to and just gently try to persuade them using logic and reason.
Never get angry with your parent
Getting angry with your parent for not listening to you and not wearing an adult diaper is completely counterproductive and will only result in your parent being even more resistant towards the idea of wearing an adult diaper, especially if they are in denial about needing any help. Instead, always be calm and kind, remembering the first step – empathizing with your parent and putting yourself in their shoes. This will help to make your parent slowly soften and come around to the idea of wearing adult diapers for their incontinence.
When you approach the subject, do not be embarrassed
Actually opening up a dialogue about adult diapers with your parent can be difficult and you may feel embarrassing just thinking about it. However, the trick is not to let this show; the more embarrassed you feel, after all, the more embarrassed and worried your parent is going to feel, which in turn may make them more resistant to the idea of wearing adult diapers. When you breach the subject of wearing adult diapers to your parent, do so without any other distractions in the background – children or the television, for instance – so that you both have to focus on each other and the subject at hand. Make sure that you allow your parent plenty of time to think and reflect and do not interrupt with sharp or angry words. Remember to keep your cool and to not be embarrassed.
Assure them that this is perfectly natural
If you think it would help, you could always find out statistics and information about adult incontinent. After all, it may make them feel a little less embarrassed to know how many people there are who wear adult diapers regularly. Consider finding a pair of adult diapers to show them so that you can demonstrate how subtly they can hide under clothes nowadays. This was is so that they do not have to worry about looking as though they are obviously wearing an adult diaper.
By using all these tips, you can calmly and patiently broach the topic of adult diapers with your incontinent parent.